Kick up your feet and grab the last of the Halloween candy – we have your Friday night raptor mega-roll! It was a beautiful day for nestorations and squirrel al fresco today! DNF and Mr. North brought in 11 sticks and one grass delivery today: a light day after yesterday’s heavy lifting, while we saw Mom and DM2 eating squirrels today! Mom enjoyed her squirrel on the pond perch at noon, while DM2 flew into N2B with a squirrel! After perching in the nest for a few minutes, he ate a late lunch on the Skywalk.
I liked all of these videos, but I especially loved seeing Mom and DM2, the close-ups of Mr. North and DNF, yesterday’s wonderful stick follies, the coyote chorus, the eagle swim followed by a food fight – talk about a tri-athlete! – and this morning’s flight at the Mississippi Flyway. The thunder of their wings and chorus of their voices fills the hills with color, sound, and light.
Thanks so much to our talented camera operators for finding such special moments, to our video makers for capturing them, and to especially to all of you for watching, sharing, learning, and especially for caring. Happy Fri-yay, everyone!
November 5, 2021: noon, Mom defurs a squirrel on the perch pond – https://youtu.be/So0mcxRLy-g. I thought it was interesting (and fantastic!) that both of them were eating squirrels near N2B today. I had assumed they missed the easy pickings in the hatchery pond, but maybe its really all about the squirrels! There are fish in their new location, but I suspect that squirrels are a bit rarer!
November 5, 2021: 2pm DM2 brings prey to N2B, then Skywalk – https://youtu.be/4eC3O-drP84. It’s so good to see DM2 again! He brings a squirrel to N2B and perches there a while. Is he contemplating nestorations? Remembering the old home? Experiencing deja vu? I so wish I knew what was going through his mind! He appears comfortable and at home in the nest before he flies up to the Skywalk at 7:54.
Decorah North Eagles
November 5, 2021: DNF (front) and Mr. North (back)
November 5, 2021: 9am flight, stick work, gorgeous closeups – https://youtu.be/xqtKfRyOY0g. The North nest bowl is taking shape as Mr. North and DNF bring in stick after stick, followed by talonfuls of grass and husk. We get a nice close look at the nest (and eagles) beginning at 1:53, followed by a nice panorama at 2:58. Tight close-ups begin at 6:49. Note Mr. North’s head bling and the remnants of a very fresh breakfast on DNF’s face.
November 4, 2021: Stick follies! – https://youtu.be/1FBrxwqzHLM. Mr. North and DNF are hard at work on the North nest. Mr. North tries to direct the placement of a few sticks, but DNF has her own ideas about where they should go! The pair brought in a lot of sticks on November 4: our camera operators counted 20 stick and 2 grass deliveries by 11:09 AM. Nestoration materials and techniques vary from nest to nest: watchers might remember Decorah Dad’s obsession with getting sticks just right! But female eagles are larger than their mates and tend to get their way when they insist on it.
November 4, 2021: Stick harvesting – https://youtu.be/CMKDtH1zz3w. This is an extremely cool video! Start watching in slow motion at 35 seconds to see Mr. North launch himself off a limb, fly towards a branch, and do a partial eagle twirl around it. His weight and leverage break it off and he flies up it to the nest.
November 4, 2021: 3 coyotes running in the pasture: https://youtu.be/kNZsGN6WNko and Coyote Chorus: https://youtu.be/Zp6EH5roGfU. I loved both of these! Although it’s hard to see the coyotes, we can see the reflection of the IR light off their eyes very clearly and it is fun to see them running and jumping in the pasture. It might be four days after Halloween, but the coyote chorus would make the perfect Halloween soundtrack: beautiful, eerie voices howling in the night!
November 5, 2021: Morning on the Flyway
November 5, 2021: Gorgeous Morning Sunrise and Birds Flying – https://youtu.be/MZkq0N4IZBU. Exactly as the title says! The sun rises in a mist of blue, pink, and gold. Mallard ducks and Canada geese sound the dawn chorus as multitudes of birds take to the sky!
November 3, 2021: Pelican feeding frenzy and bald eagle swimming – https://youtu.be/K4NNvBer5yI. This is really cool! The pelicans These pelicans are cooperatively herding small schooling fish into shallow water. Between the shallow water, the herding pelicans, and the tight school, it is hard for the fish to escape and very easy for each pelican to get a pouchful of fish with every scoop of its large beak. At 1:19, we get to see an adult eagle riding a fish. It swims into deeper water and drags it up on to a muskrat den, starting an eagle food fight! You can watch the rest of this video or get the play-by-play below.
November 3, 2021: Adult BE catches lunch, eagle chaos ensues – https://youtu.be/WWzMkg0yAws. An adult eagle drags it catch up on to a muskrat den and the chaos begins! I’m not quite sure how many eagles joined the food fight – four, maybe? – but their combined attacks eventually drive the adult of its catch. It circles around and comes back, but overshoots the den and ends up in the water. Meanwhile, a quarrel of younger eagles are competing for the prize until 4:45. The adult has been sitting in the water, looking weirdly like a duck. Is the battle worth it? It must be, since the eagle clambers back up and chases everyone away. Kids, stay off my fish – and out of my den! It gobbles it down and leaves when a juvenile comes in at 6:20.
Odds and Ends
So you’ve probably already heard that California Condors are capable of virgin births. My Twitter feed talked about almost nothing else the day it was announced. But if you haven’t, a link: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-59097703.
Tangled eagles set free in Plymouth (Minnesota): https://www.kare11.com/article/news/weird/tangled-bald-eagles-set-free-plymouth/89-b168895c-a91c-4367-a821-7fe26122b688. The Decorah police aren’t the only police to get eagle calls!