I apologize for falling behind on videos last week. I’m getting caught up now and hope to have the very latest videos posted by tomorrow. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy catching up with our families!
We have so many delightful videos today, including a very surprised squirrel, DNF playing hide and seek in a veritable haystack, Mom and DM2 on N2B, muskrat love on the Flyway, and sandhill cranes! The ice went out on the Flyway on March 9 of last year, although we saw eagles arriving in great numbers a week or so before that. This winter has been colder and ice-out is going to be a little later, but the eagles and spring are coming! I’m guessing we’ll see ice-out this week. In the meantime, watch for more eagles to arrive on the Flyway! Countdown to hatch as of March 15: 10 days!
Decorah North Eagles
March 8, 2022: Handsome Mr. North takes his turn at incubation
March 8, 2022: Squirrel walks up to the nest with DNF on it – https://youtu.be/WcA7JGcCsVU. In which a squirrel and DNF both get a real surprise! Note that the squirrel was not the only visitor – look for at least three little birds who appear to be very interested in the squirrel’s activity. Like the squirrel, they took off quickly after DNF’s wing flap! This video includes regular speed and slow-motion.
March 8, 2022: DNF versus the straw – https://youtu.be/G20GUBaUQ5U. This is an abridged version of two longer videos by GA Bear, found here: https://youtu.be/CFpzluw96_8 and here: https://youtu.be/iwENviBPSvI. I know we all worry about being able to see the eggs, but I was wondering if DNF would vanish about halfway through this video! She had quite a pile of grass to spread!
March 6, 2022: Deer Parade – https://youtu.be/m9qEquLTD9M. The deer parade starts with eight deer at 7 seconds! Large deer herds are beginning to break up as spring arrives and does begin birthing. It was wonderful to see this group parading through the pasture as they poked around for fresh spring browse. It won’t be long, deer!
It’s hard to believe now, but at the turn of the 20th century, unrestricted hunting and habitat changes caused a precipitous decline in white-tailed deer populations. We think that the white-tailed deer numbered around 500,000 individuals in the early 1900s – a far cry from the 30 million or so individuals in the United States today! You can learn more about that here: https://www.ckwri.tamuk.edu/news-events/hunters-and-conservation-and-management-white-tailed-deer.
March 5, 2022: Egg roll, a look at both eggs – https://youtu.be/4zNNAi0sAtc. Look quick! The Norths’ Great Grass Wall usually keeps the eggs hidden from our sight, but our skilled camera operators got a quick glimpse when Mr. North took his turn at incubation and added another brick – errr, cornhusk! – to the wall!
March 3, 2022: Mr. arrives to take over, DNF with wind-assisted take off – https://youtu.be/qeE_evyLaEM. Wow! After watching juvenile and subadult eagles on a river survey today, I am beyond impressed with the North’s mastery of the wind! Look for Mr. North to come in at 38 seconds and DNF to leave at 1:07, followed by some really nice close-ups of Mr. North settling over his eggs.
March 7, 2022: Mom and DM2 at N2B
As of March 14, Mom hadn’t laid an egg – the latest she has ever gone since we began tracking her all the way back in 2008. Based on what we know, Mom is far too young to be experiencing eagle menopause, but we are a little perplexed about why she is so late this year. Robin Brumm, John Howe, and two local people are watching the nest right now. We’ll bring you any news we get.
March 8, 2022: Mom eats a fish for lunch on N2B – https://youtu.be/li3mfsdzEHU. Mom, you know you could move back!
March 6, 2022: Mom & DM2 on N2B, copulation on the skywalk – https://youtu.be/DyUeDTaEKsw.
Muskrats on the Flyway, March 8, 2022.
March 8, 2022: Muskrats – https://youtu.be/ZXNocjjoCFQ. I thought this video was delightful, especially beginning at 5:58. Two muskrats are foraging. A third one surfaces and sniffs around the first one. They groom and nose at each other before one of them submerges. We see a really nice close-up at 9:04. It’s so warm and sunny, a nice pool has melted, and they seem so content as they groom and bathe! Here’s your earworm! https://youtu.be/KgCk3bnvO5Y
March 4, 2022: samiec błotniaka [Northern Harrier eats lunch] – https://youtu.be/-dNmBxmp9nU. This is a wonderful look at a Northern Harrier! We see the harrier’s dished face, beautiful plumage and striped tail, white underparts, and long, relatively thin legs as it eats lunch on a tussock of grass and reeds.
March 3, 2022: Welcome back, Sandhill Cranes! https://youtu.be/nPtM_UrlyAQ. This winter has seemed interminable. Here’s a beautiful reminder that spring is almost here!
Odds and Ends
Studying Bald Eagles along Colorado’s densely populated Front Range – https://coloradooutdoorsmag.com/2021/07/14/studying-bald-eagles-along-colorados-densely-populated-front-range/. This isn’t a new article, but I wanted to share it because it discusses FSV 44 from the Xcel Energy Fort St. Vrain nest, who is being tracked as part of this study. We don’t have his data, but Colorado Parks and Wildlife NE Region has tweeted and Facebooked about it. The Fort St. Vrain eaglecam group on Facebook does a very good job sharing as well!
Bird Brother: A Falconer’s Journey and the Healing Power of Wildlife – https://islandpress.org/books/bird-brother. Rodney Stotts’ difficult but inspirational story is well worth the read. I find parallels to our peregrine falcons in it: a hard journey, a fierce determination, and a wild story blooming in an unlikely place. If you enjoy reading personal stories, I think you will like this book. Interview here: https://www.treehugger.com/master-falconer-gives-birds-second-chances-5218153
The Dovbush Rocks complex – https://www.heritagedaily.com/2022/02/the-dovbush-rocks-complex/142754. An amazing stone fortress and a Robin Hood story from the Skolivski Beskydy National Park in the Skole Raion of Ukraine. I learned about this from heritagedaily.com – a great site to follow if you like learning about cool places! – but you can read more about it here: https://green-ukraine.com/bubnyshche-caves-and-rocks-complex-in-the-carpathians.