Story and photos by Robin Brumm
It had been about a month since I went to Decorah and I have been eager to get back over there to see if I could find both Mom & DM2, and the new pair of Hatchery Eagles. Since Sunday was supposed to be cool, but sunny, I decided to head over early so I left at dark o’clock. Thank goodness dark o’clock isn’t as early as it used to be!
September 25, 2022: DM2 left, Mom right on the old N3 branches
I got to Decorah and of course my car automatically had to drive through the hatchery first, so I checked out N1 and the bluffs to see if the new Hatchery pair was there. They weren’t at N1, but I grabbed my binoculars and scanned the bluff. I did see at least one of them in a dead tree. The tree where they often perch on the bluff, is off to the right and above where Mom and DM2 used to perch. I find it interesting that I have not seen them perch in any of the places that Mom and DM2 typically would perch. It was still too dark to get a decent picture, so I decided to head over to the N3 area.
September 25, 2022: DM2 left, Mom right on branches of the N3 fallen tree
I got to the nest area, parked the car, grabbed my stuff and headed down the trail. On the way down the trail, I may have muttered a few, “please be there, please be there” under my breath, lol. I got down to the N3 area and scanned all the preferred perch spots. Wait.. there is an eagle on the top of a broken branch! I looked through my binoculars but it was facing the other direction! Finally it looked to the side. Hmmm, was that Mom or DM2? Well, I didn’t have to decide because just then, another eagle flew in and perched on the top of a different branch next to it. I took some pictures and zoomed in on my camera. Both of them, Yay! DM2 was there first on the higher branch, and Mom flew into the lower branch. After looking at my pictures and comparing them to some older photos, I believe they were both perched on what used to be branches of the N3 tree.
September 25, 2022: Mom Decorah
They perched there for quite a while. Eventually DM2 flew off and circled around the area. I thought he was going to land on a thin branch but he flew slightly above it, grabbed the branch and flew into a group of trees. About a minute later he came flying back, grabbed another branch and flew into the same group of trees. He did that one more time, and finally flew off behind the trees. There was a big tree in front of the group of trees he flew into, so I couldn’t see a nest, or see exactly where he went. He came back quickly each time, so wherever he was putting those branches it was not very far from where N3 was located. Meanwhile, Mom was intently watching DM2 carry branches around… or maybe I should say she was supervising! 😉 She stayed for about an hour before she flew off in the same direction that DM2 flew. I waited a bit but nobirdy showed up, so I decided to go back to the hatchery.
September 25, 2022: The new hatchery pair perched in the tree next to N1. HM left, HD right
As I drove up to the corner by the hatchery, I looked toward the N1 tree and saw both of the new hatchery eagles perched in the spot we would often see them perching at night when the camera was broadcasting. So I pulled around the corner and walked over to the bridge to get some photos. I still have problems ID’ing the new pair, especially when there is only one of them. This time they were both there, so I could see the size difference. I’m pretty sure that HM (hatchery mom) was on the left, and HD (hatchery dad) was on the right. They stayed for a while and then flew off. It was a breezy, beautiful day for soaring, and they both quickly circled up into the thermals and disappeared over the trees.
September 25, 2022: One of the new pair of hatchery eagles flying over the area
As I was driving home, I wondered about Mom and DM2. It looked like he was bringing in branches for a new nest, and I wonder, if he really is starting a new nest, will I be able to see it once the leaves fall off the trees. As long as they are happy doing what eagles do, I’ll be happy for them… Here’s to a successful 2023 nesting season for them! ❤
RRP appreciates Robin’s generosity in sharing her photos and reminds you they are copyrighted and may not be downloaded without her express written permission.