October 12, 2021: Decorah, Decorah North, and the Mississippi Flyway!

Welcome back, everyone! It’s great to see Mr. North and DNF again and we’re getting tantalizing views of Mom on the maple and bluff up above the hatchery! We’re still not sure where the Decorah Eagles are going to nest this year, but we’ll be watching all three nests (N1, N2B, and N3) and hope to have a boots-on-the-ground report within the next week.

Can we remove the dead tree that Mom and DM2 are nesting in right now? Removing the tree would require permits and we are very hesitant to disturb Mom and DM2 that much. Could we really justify cutting the nest tree down in an attempt to get Mom and DM2 to move back to one of the hatchery nests? In the end – and after a lot of discussion – we decided we could not.

We’re enjoying peak waterbird season over on the Flyway right now! Watch it to see and hear Sandhill Cranes, several different species of ducks and gulls, and far-flung migrants like semipalmated plovers and American golden plovers, along with locals like bald eagles and peregrine falcons. Just yesterday, our camera operators found a juvenile peregrine falcon taking a bath! Based on what we could see, we believe this was black/blue A/77, aka¬†Pammel, a 2021 hatch from the Alliant Lansing bluff that RRP’s own Dave Kester banded this spring. She is about 40 miles north of her natal nest, which I found fascinating. What drew her north? Was she soaring in a prevailing wind or following other birds? Did La Crosse look interesting from 17,000 feet up? We’ll be reading and writing more about this topic in the weeks to come.

As always, thanks to our camera operators for finding such special moments, our video makers for capturing them, and you for watching, sharing, learning, and especially for caring! Eagle on, everyone!

Decorah North
October 11, 2021: DNF (left) and Mr. North (right) at the North nest.

October 11, 2021: DNF (left) and Mr. North (right) at the North nest

October 11, 2021: DNF spent the night and Mr. North joined her in the morninghttps://youtu.be/gkuruBkKeZQ. DNF looks beautiful in IR light! At around 43 seconds, she starts vocalizing. We see Mr. North in the nest at 1:54 and she hops down to join him. The two inspect the nest and eventually begin digging, with breaks to look around for a bird that we can see but not hear! We get bonus sandhill cranes at 9:42, cows at 10:01, a coyote at 10:04, and a belted kingfisher at 10:18.

October 10, 2021: Mr. North having dinnerhttps://youtu.be/QZT0ClYbYrc. Mr. North flies into the nest with a screeching subadult eagle hot on his tail! It leaves Mr. North to recover from the chase in peace – see him panting? – and we get some nice close-ups starting at 1:03. He flies off with the food at 2:48 and we see him eating on a nearby branch at 3:07! He looks absolutely amazing against the brown branches and green and orange leaves, although I wanted to reach in with a napkin by the end of the meal!

Decorah Eagles
October 9, 2021: Mom soaks up the sun on the maple tree.

October 9, 2021: Mom soaks up the sun on the maple tree

October 11, 2021: Quick look at Red, Momhttps://youtu.be/czm4GsnY0WQ. Bald eagles and beautiful horses – two of my favorite things! The video with a look at the beautiful fall maples and a group of starlings. It quickly switches to Red and we get to see Mom fly over Red at 1:05! We see her regally perched against the red and green fall leaves beginning at 2:18.

October 11, 2021: Mom on the bluff perchhttps://youtu.be/0Q9Sk0B0Bdo. Exactly as the title says – Mom perched on the bluff overlooking the hatchery.

Mississippi River Flyway
October 10, 2021: A banded juvenile falcon at the Flyway.

October 10, 2021: A banded juvenile falcon at the Flyway

October 10, 2021: Banded Young Peregrine Falconhttps://youtu.be/GsnRh9UZj8E. We think this is A/77, a falcon that Dave Kester banded on the Alliant Lansing bluff in 2021 (check :33 for the best look we get at it – Chance was P/46). Who this is, she is beautiful! We get to see her perch in the bright sunlight before she takes a splish-splash falcon bath at 3:07, dipping her head, splashing the water up and over her back, and almost completely submerging herself as she enjoys a little spa time to a chorus of ducks.

October 8, 2021: Eagles that bathe together stay togetherhttps://youtu.be/qn6x07aXH8s. A beautiful look at (I think) The Coopers. We see both of them (she’s at right and he’s at left) at 13:38. We get to see a wider view of their world at 16:07, including Sandhill Cranes, Canada Geese, and what I think are some gulls.