We have your NestFlix! Nestorations are well underway at the North nest as Mr. North delivered the season’s first cornstalk this morning, although a lot of today’s excitement involved new arrivals! Our camera operators reported at least five juvenile and subadult eagles passing through the Valley of the Norths – and for every eagle we see, there are almost certainly more that we don’t. For the most part, DNF and Mr. North ignored them, although nobirdy is going to take DNF’s perch on the rootball! We’re also beginning to see eagles arrive in great numbers on the Mississippi Flyway. t’s a veritable eagle college for recently launched juveniles, who are learning important lessons in fishing, foraging, chasing, and stealing from other eagles! Eagle College professors aren’t forgiving: young eagles must learn quickly if they want to eat!
As always, thanks to our excellent camera operators for their unparalleled spotting skills, to our videomakers for capturing the world of our birds, and to all of you for watching, sharing, learning, and especially for caring! Happy hump day – Halloween is almost here!
Decorah North Eagles
October 26, 2021: North nestorations
October 27, 2021: First cornstalk delivery of the year – https://youtu.be/xN8qF10xbrg. Mr. North brings the first cornstalk of the new season! Cornstalks are a coveted nest material everywhere that eagles nest near corn fields: a veritable Nest Depot of stalks, husks, and stubble for eagles to collect and repurpose for nesting materials. This is the first of many that the two will snap, shred, and use to carpet the nestbowl!
October 26, 2021: DNF scrapes in the nest
October 26, 2021: DNF scrapes in the North nest – https://youtu.be/4CWMWeHFqvU. Redecorah-ating is in full swing at the North nest! The video opens with Mr. North and DNF beak to beak, their breath visible in the crisp air. This is Iowa, so listen for cattle lowing in the background! At 40 seconds, DNF sinks down and begins rolling her body while churning her powerful feet. DNF and Mr. North will spend the next four months preparing the nest for eggs and young: bringing in layers of materials, replenishing sticks, and creating a loose depression that will drain water away and keep eggs from breaking on the frozen substrate of the nest bowl.
October 27, 2021: Cattle in the stream near the North nest
October 24, 2021: Raccoon, North nestorations, and visitors – https://youtu.be/iLm2uf9HLJ0. This video opens with two raccoons foraging in the field below the nest. Nestorations begin at 1:38 as Mr. North and DNF dig in the nest, fluffing and aerating the substrate, which compacted under water and its own weight over the summer. At 6:05, DNF flies in from the field with a stick. She places it and looks off alertly towards the field. What is that? It’s Mr. North on a broken tree with a very wonky stick! We get a closeup at 6:54 and he flies into the nest with it at 7:15, flapping mightily as he circles for lift and sticks the landing! The video concludes with a look at the adult and subadult visitors. While DNF and Mr. North sometimes tolerate visitors, nobirdy is going to take DNF’s place on the rootball!
October 27, 2021: Eagle College or free-for-all?
October 27, 2021: Lots of eagle activity – https://youtu.be/aVFji5VdWPU. It’s late October and eagles are pouring out of the great north woods ahead of ice and snow. Watch what I think are two juvenile eagles at the beginning of the video, or go to 2:47 to see a large mixed-age group age of eagles compete over spots, chase, and tangle with one another. It won’t be long until the trees on eagle island are full of migrating eagles!