Happy Flock-Tober, everyone! We’ll begin streaming again on Saturday, October 8, at noon. Please join us for a celebratory chat on our website from noon to 3pm CT at https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/. We look forward to seeing you and are hopeful that HD and HM will show up too! If you don’t see them between noon and three, be sure to check the stream on Sunday morning! Mr. North and DNF are still on staycation, although we’ve seen them in the area and expect nest work to start soon.
So what did we do in September? Camera Work…
Decorah North: We cleaned cameras, added a new camera, and replaced an old camera. We also squirrel-proofed our mounts to protect them, since the North Nest squirrels like to chew on our camera mounts!
October 4, 2022: A moo-rade at the North nest! September 30, 2022: Another glimpse of someone through the trees. We were not able to positively ID this eagle. October 1, 2022: Mr. North and DNF across the pasture. We don't usually see them around much this time of the year, although Mr. North visited the nest to inspect our handiwork about four days after we left.
Decorah N2B: We cleaned cameras and did a whole lot of foliage trimming. While we haven’t seen the new eagles in N2B very often, the nest is ready for Bald Eagles or Canada Geese! We were surprised by how much the nest had compacted since last year.
Decorah N1: We did not go into the N1 tree because the hatchery pair is still very present and we didn’t want to disturb them in any way. However, we added a camera on another tree in the area and replaced the camera on top of the hatchery pavilion. HD and HM are very busy working on the nest right now!
October 5, 2022: HD was moving sticks when HM dropped down to supervise him. He moved up to the Y just before our camera operators caught this snapshot. October 2, 2022: Both eagles have been hard at work trampling vegetation and making grass deliveries. HD is already testing the nest bowl. October 4, 2022: The Y-Branch remains popular with HM and HD. The site lines are spectacular and it provides ample room for both eagles. October 2, 2022: A glimpse of HD through the trees! October 5, 2022: HD trimming some branches. We were surprised at how quickly cottonwood trees send out shoots without eagles to trim them away! October 5, 2022: A beautiful view of both eagles on a vibrant fall day! October 5, 2022: Cam operator note: "HD and this stick have gone round and round the nest so much that I am dizzy!"
It’s very unusual for the eagle couples we watch to be this active so early in the year! I went back through other years with an eagle ‘change of guard’ and nest building at most of them didn’t really start until mid-to-late October, or get serious until November. For example, Mr. North and DNF didn’t stay overnight until October 15th of 2018, while Mom and DM2 didn’t start bringing in sticks until October 24th of the same year. We’re very curious about what spring holds, of course – but also curious to see whether they will continue their early nestorations if everything goes well this season.
And our Banding Station…
Master bander David Kester has been bringing classes to our banding station. We’ve got six interns from Luther College and are proud to have hosted visits by an Environmental Philosophy class for a visit and discussion of hands-on field work. Education is an important part of our mission and we hope to expand this program even more in the future!
Dave Kester (green shirt, orange cap) with Jon Jenson's Environmental Philosophy class from Luther College. This class studies the philosophical response to the environmental crisis. How does philosophy reevaluate human attitudes and responsibilities toward the nonhuman environment? What are our responsibilities? The class got to experience hands-on field work and discuss it in relation to Environmental Philosophy and Ethics.
Thanks so much for watching, sharing, learning, and especially for caring. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone again!
We were asked if going to the N1 nest would be legal. It’s a bit of a grey area: according to the Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines, nests at this latitude are typically considered inactive at this time of the year. But HD and HM are in the area and have been moving materials around the nest, so we decided not to risk disturbing them.