What a day – or two! – at the North nest! We feel like a switch turned on: Mr. North and DNF are bringing pile after pile of fluffy grass and husks to the nest, the egg cup is taking shape, and the eagles are copulating, perching together, and making sure everything is ready for eggs. We’re getting ready with our Decorah North Chat, which will open on February 13. We’ll start with one chat from 8:30am to 10:30 am and another from 5:30pm to 7:30 pm: opening and closing chats to catch everyone up on the day’s egg-citing events!
I enjoyed all of these videos – it was a very busy couple of days at the North nest! – but I especially liked the first nestorations video on the list, the fluff and a stick video on January 6, and Mr. North’s tree. I can’t say that I enjoyed the eagle interaction, but it was fascinating: a reminder that eagle life can be quite dangerous and eagles don’t always get along.
Decorah North Nest
January 7, 202: DNF left, Mr. North right
February 7, 2022: 3:30 pm nestorations, copulation – https://youtu.be/zJg9eJbzmJI. Go to 1:06 for close-ups. DNF is standing in the center of the nest bowl as she arranges grass and husks around her. She lays down and scrapes at 1:34 before settling in for a nice long sit. She looks so warm and cozy in the bright sunlight! Mr. North joins her with more grass at 3:18 and the two begin arranging it, working side by side as they strive to get everything just right! Mr. North lays down at 4:50 and DNF moves up the ladder branch to stand sentinel. He flies up to join her at 8:13. See her body language? The two vocalize, copulate (we get a pretty good look at tail twisting) and settle down for a nice preening.
January 3, 2022: DNF and Mr. North on nest defense
February 7, 2022: More nesting, food gift, and copulation – https://youtu.be/mZV6J5KMkRs. This round-up video opens with a rabbit foraging for woody browse. After sunrise and a look at the valley, we see three sparrows on and near the multifora rose, while an adult male red-bellied woodpecker forages for food and drink on the log. Look for the eagle action to begin at 2:28, including grass deliveries, fit tests, food gifts (Mr. North isn’t trying to steal the fish he just gave you, DNF!), scraping, dual nestorations, copulation, and post-coital preening.
February 6, 2022: Fluff and a stick and working on the nest – https://youtu.be/l0fD12EdxDI. I enjoyed this whole video, but my favorite part probably started with the close-ups around 5:00. Mr. North settles down for a fit test while DNF carefully maneuvers around him. We get wonderful views of the two of them together as Mr. North enjoys a little time in the Bark-a-lounger.
January 7, 2022: DNF takes the nest bowl for a spin. I love the view of her stacked tailfeathers!
February 6, 2022: Mr. North brings in a tree – https://youtu.be/G2sLgYLHesI. Mr. North shows us his lumberjacking side when he flies in with an impressively long stick! Studies have found that male bald eagles sometimes appear to show off for their mates: they might vocalize to bring attention or bring in more material when their mates are present. I hope DNF saw this stick!
February 6, 2022: Visitor with a bloody face attacked near the nest – https://youtu.be/pHtWYzs57ZI. We don’t know who this is or what happened, but we see that the eagle has a bloody face shortly before an altercation with another eagle at 1:05. It could be from food, one of the Norths, or an interaction with another interloper (there were four in the valley). The visitor leaves shortly afterwards.
January 6, 2022: An unknown eagle near the North nest
February 6, 2022: Visitors, nestorations, copulation – https://youtu.be/qL8rvhqMN2o. Everything looks peaceful until the second minute. We see two eagles who are not the Norths perched in a conifer. Another eagle lands next to them. At 3:33, the eagle in the center sidles toward the one who landed at the end of the branch and gets in its face. If you slow down the video, you’ll see that it looks like center eagle catches side eagle as it flies out. This might be the eagle with the bloody face we saw later on. Go to about six minutes and you can spot four eagles: two on the branch, one in the center of the tree, and a white head just visible at lower right.