April 23, 2022: Day Trip to Decorah

Photos and Story by Robin Brumm

I woke up at dark o’clock and left for Decorah before the sun rose on Saturday morning. I wanted to get there early and see if I could get any pictures of the new pair of eagles, and top of my list was checking on Mom and DM2.

When I got to the hatchery, the new pair of eagles had already flown off, so I went over by N2B and took a photo of Mother Goose. As I was sitting there, an eagle flew to the Y branch. I looked through my binoculars and saw some darker streaking on the tail feathers. It was the male eagle! He flew off upstream, after just a few minutes. I headed back to the hatchery and waited for a little while to see if the new pair would come back. I decided to walk over toward the pond. I looked through my binoculars and scanned the treetops. There they were, the new pair, both perched near each other. I walked along the stream and took a few photos. I could see them both vocalizing and then the male flew off. I scanned the sky and saw a hawk soaring over the bluff. The male chased after him and escorted him out of the area. The female then left the bluff and flew toward the N1 tree. She landed on a branch above the Y. I took several photos and then decided to head to N3.

April 23, 2022: New female above, new male below on the Y branch, N1 nest to the right.

April 23, 2022: New female above, new male below on the Y branch, N1 nest to the right.

I got halfway to N3 when a friend messaged me that the male had just landed in the N1 nest. So…back I went to the hatchery. I parked my car and walked over to N1. The female was still on the upper branch and the male was on the Y branch. I took lots of photos and then I went to check on Mom and DM2 at N3.

I walked down the trail behind Walmart to where I could see N3. I looked through my binoculars and didn’t see anyone in the nest. Hmmm, where were they? It was warm and humid, so I wasn’t too concerned that they were off the eggs, but I didn’t see them anywhere. I waited about half an hour and saw someone fly in and land on the dead tree across the stream from the nest tree. I looked through my binoculars but couldn’t tell who it was. I took a photo and zoomed in.. it was Mom! She perched there for a while and then flew to the perch tree next to N3. She was looking down at the river, like she was trying to find a fish. She flew down toward the river and went behind the river bank. I couldn’t see her for a while after that. Maybe she caught a fish and was having lunch. She finally flew back to the dead tree. I was starting to get worried that no one was incubating eggs. I watched Mom on the dead tree for an hour or so and then DM2 flew in and landed on a branch in the N3 tree, and still no incubation. I guess that means something must have happened to the eggs. Mom and DM2 both stayed on their respective perches for about an hour or so, and then they both flew off.

Since both Mom and DM2 left the area, I decided to head for home. It was a long ride home this time, and I was feeling a little melancholy that there was no visible incubation. I was sad that Mom and DM2 won’t have any offspring this year, but was very happy that I was able to see both of them together and know that they are okay. I guess we will have to wait and see what comes next for them. It’s all on eagle time!

RRP appreciates Robin’s generosity in sharing her photos and reminds you they are copyrighted and may not be downloaded without her express written consent.