Decorah North Eaglet Update

Today DN15 turned ten days old and DN16 turned nine days old! Although the weather has been a little chilly for adventuring, the two are already beginning to sport some thermal down (it is most visible on DN15 right now) and are eagerly eating everything Mom and Dad bring in. We’ve seen plenty of fish, cowghetti, a rabbit, a chipmunk, and a few red meat UFO’s. What’s on the menu? Sometimes only the eagles know!

Who feeds more and how much are the eaglets eating? As of April 4, DNF and Mr. North had fed the eaglets a whopping 123 times! They went from roughly three ounces to one pound in their first week, increasing their weight about five times in just seven days. That takes a lot of food! Mr. North fed them 33 times and DNF fed them 90 times.

Growth and Development, Week Two
April 5, 2022: DN16 and DN15

April 5, 2022: DN16 and DN15

In their second week of development, the tree-rific two will gain roughly two pounds, experience rapid growth in features like beaks, culmens, and footpads, rub or flake much of their egg ‘tooth’ away, start replacing their white natal down with thicker grey thermal down, and begin exploring the nest., especially if things warm up a little bit! Although they aren’t yet standing on their toes, they are able to sit up – way up! – for feeding and shuffle around on their metatarsi. Their eyes are wide open and fit more comfortably in their eyesockets, features like brow ridges are beginning to appear, and their legs and footpads are turning from pink to yellow.

DN15 and DN16 don’t seem to be battling as much as we’ve seen eaglets battle in other years – maybe they are too full to move? – but almost all beak bonking should disappear as pecking orders are established and eaglets get big enough for beak bonking battles to hurt. They haven’t had to wait long or compete much for food: Mr. North and DNF could keep a whole fleet of flying fishwagons full!


April 4, 2022: DNF brings in a rabbit DNF brings in and defurs a rabbit. The eaglets, still a little messy from their last meal, pay close attention to DNF and skillfully reach up to snatch bites from her beak. They are much stronger and more coordinated than they were just three or four days ago and take turns quite nicely under DNF’s excellent care.

April 4, 2022: Some feeding videos A nice compilation of feeding videos, including fish and rabbit. I liked DN16’s tiny poopshoot at 4:52, the could-have-gotten-bonky-but turned-into-a-cuddle-puddle huddle that started at 4:55, and the tiny cropzilla at around 8:14. This video is full of cute overload! 😍

April 2, 2022: Niebezpieczne karmienie maluszków śnieżycy [Feeding of babies in a snowstorm] I love these videos. DNF and Mr. North are such amazing, dedicated eagle parents! Mr. North feeds his eaglets fish roe, which is high in fat and protein…perfect for growing eaglets on a cold spring day! We get some lovely close-ups of Mr. North once the feeding is done.

April 2, 2022: On a snowy morning, the D’s wait to eat – Judging from DN15’s crop, they are waiting to eat their second or third breakfast! Go to about 45 seconds and you’ll see a babylet beak battle as DN16 gets up in DN15’s face over breakfish! DN15 isn’t having it and DN16 quickly submits after a brief beak bite. The two look a little cold and huddle together even after the tussle. DNF soon steps in to cover both of them beneath her waterproof feathers and warm brood patch.