It’s about time, Mr. North and DNF! Although we liked seeing snowy owls and coyotes on the Mississippi Flyway, and loved watching Mom and DM2 in Decorah, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wondering about Mr. North and DNF. North nestorations resumed this morning with two large talonfuls of grass – one brought in by Mr. North and one brought in by DNF.
Why did the North eagles disappear for so long? We think that they were hunkering down during the cold weather. It’s not uncommon for eagles to stop or greatly decrease nesting activity during periods of sub-zero weather, especially this early in nesting season. We might have been seeing more of Mom and DM2 for the same reason – instead of working on their nest, the two were taking a cold weather break near their old stomping grounds.
We hope you enjoy these videos as much as we did! Thanks as always to our camera operators and video makers for finding such special moments, and to you for watching, sharing, learning, and especially for caring. Go eagles and snowy owls!
Decorah Eagles North
January 18, 2022: Some nestorations – https://youtu.be/O4mDxHiyBFE. Am I the only who thinks that it’s about time for snow removal and nestorations to resume here? It was great to see Mr. North bring in a talonful of grass and begin spreading it around the bottom of the nest. DNF flew in at 2:52 with what looked like a small hay bale! She supervised as Mr. North began carpeting the nest, expertly loosening and moving the grass around to cover the bottom of the nest bowl. He left at 5:16 – hear the neighborhood crow watch and a blue jay? – and we got some beautiful close-ups of her face. Go to 9:02 to see her wrestling with a stick in the snow. She talons it and pounces on it – a closer view starts at 10:53 – but finally gives up at 12:20. The video ends with Mr. North leaving the nest and DNF flying into it.
January 16, 2022: Hovering Rough-Legged Hawk – https://youtu.be/L456S_Y2sAQ. My favorite section of this video started at 1:03 – it’s an excellent look at a rough-legged hawk’s hover!
Saturday, January 13: Breakfish on N1!
What’s up, Mom and DM2? The Decorah North eagles weathered the cold out of view, but the Decorah Eagles spent some of their time at the hatchery. We watched them perch on the Y-Branch, eat breakfish on N1, spend time around both nests, and perch on the bluff. Their polar plunge week looked like this:
We also saw Great Horned Owls prospecting at N2B on January 17. Listen to the hooting at the beginning of the video! https://youtu.be/GwaindS7MLo.
January 17, 2022: Fox and coyote sightings – https://youtu.be/D8tvfdDP5Ps. This video gives us a great look at a fox! It has a different coat color (look at that flashy red!), a fluffier tail, and a smaller body. Look for the coyote, who appears to be watching the fox, at 17:28.
January 16, 2022: A closer look at coyotes – https://youtu.be/GS53Ki7zThs. This is a really nice look at two of the coyotes we’ve seen wandering through, hunting, and playing near the sandbar.
How do we know this is a coyote and not a wolf? The two can have similar coat colors, but coyotes have narrower faces and smaller nose pads than wolves. They are also a lot shorter: not as tall, not as long, and not as heavy. Coyotes can often be found in and around urban areas, while wolf packs tend to shy away from urban and suburban areas. Wolves might pass through, but this area is pretty busy and they would be unlikely to settle down. It’s been a lot of fun to watch the coyotes and speculate on their behavior. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, mating season begins in January and continues through February. Females begin searching for dens about the time the ice goes out on the Flyway and whelp in late March or April. A link to some more ID points: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Mammals/Gray-Wolf/Identification.
January 16, 2022: Snowy Owl Close Up! https://youtu.be/A99pVJ9PpMY. Heart be still! This is a beautiful look at a Snowy Owl!
January 16, 2022: Coyote photobombed by Snowy Owl – https://youtu.be/nzqqxbWNBU4. The camera operator finds a coyote and a Snowy Owl comes in for a photobomb at seven seconds! They seem quite unconcerned with one another.