May 7, 2022: Day Trip to Decorah

Story and photos by Robin Brumm

Saturday was supposed to be sunny and warm, so what should I do?? Go to Decorah of course! I left a little later than I was planning, so I was hoping the eagles would still be hanging around when I got there.
I drove up to the hatchery and right away saw the new pair of eagles in the N1 tree. I quickly parked the car, grabbed my camera and started taking pictures. They both stayed for about half an hour and then flew off. I noticed that the N1 nest isn’t looking as flat as it did when I was there a couple of weeks ago. They sure have been bringing in a lot of sticks and grasses to the nest. It looks like they have picked N1 as their nest!

Since the new pair flew off, I decided to meander over to N3 to see if Mom and DM2 were around. Since I was planning on watching from the trail for a while, I loaded up my cart and walked down the trail. I got down to N3 and saw somebirdy on the dead tree. I looked through my binoculars but couldn’t tell who it was. I took a photo so I could zoom in and saw that it was DM2. I set up my lawn chair, got comfortable and waited for Mom to show up. About an hour later I heard eagle vocals. I looked up and saw Mom fly in and land on the dead tree. DM2 flew over and perched near her.

After about 45 minutes I noticed Mom looking down toward the water. All of a sudden she flew off, circled up, banked sideways and dropped down toward the water. Unfortunately I couldn’t see her after that because she was down below the river bank. A couple of minutes later, she flew up with a fish and into the N3 nest. She sat in the nest and finally started eating her fish. About 45 minutes later, DM2 flew off the dead tree and he also caught a fish. He took it towards N3 but landed on a branch below the nest. I wonder if he was going to eat it in the nest, but saw Mom there and decided if he landed in the nest he wouldn’t get to keep his fish, lol. A couple of minutes later he flew back to the dead tree and ate his fish on one of the branches.

After DM2 ate his fish, he flew off. I didn’t see which way he went, but I scanned the area with my binoculars and didn’t find him. In the meantime, Mom continued to sit on the nest. In fact she sat on the nest for about 2 ½ hours. I looked at my watch and saw that it was later than I planned on staying, so I said goodbye to Mom and reluctantly headed back to my car.

On the way home, I thought about Mom and DM2. I was so happy to see them, and was glad that they are still hanging around the N3 area. I wished they would come back to the hatchery, but they must like the N3 area or they wouldn’t stay there. I feel bad that they don’t have any eaglets to raise this year, but hopefully next year will be a more “normal” year for them. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens. 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.