Story and photos by Robin Brumm
The last time I went to Decorah, I saw DM2 taking sticks into a group of trees, but there were too many leaves to actually see if they were building a nest. Saturday was supposed to be nice, so I decided I would go over to Decorah again now that a lot of the leaves were gone. I got up at dark o’clock, and off I went.
October 27, 2022: N4, the new nest not far from where N3 used to be.
I drove through the hatchery when I got to Decorah, but I didn’t see the new pair of eagles, so I continued on toward N3. I parked my car, gathered my stuff and headed down the trail. As I walked down the trail I kept looking through my binoculars for a nest. I saw what I thought was a nest, but I didn’t see any eagles. I went further down the trail to where Mom and DM2 would always perch, to see if they were there. I looked around the area but no eagles. But wait…was that a nest? It sure looked like the start of one! I put up my lawn chair and sat down to wait, hoping for an eagle to fly into the nest. I wasn’t disappointed because several minutes later DM2 came flying through the area and into the nest! He brought breakfast, too! I’m not sure what he brought in, but he ate for about 25 minutes before he flew to the perch tree. He only stayed a couple of minutes and then flew off.
October 27, 2022: DM2 in N4
About 10 minutes later, an eagle flew into a tree to the left of N4. I thought maybe DM2 had come back, but the eagle vocalized and it sounded just like Mom. I took a photo and zoomed in. It was her! Yay! Unfortunately she was behind some branches and I couldn’t get a clear picture of her, but as long as I got to see her, I’m happy! Mom perched there for almost an hour before she flew off to the north. I waited for a while but nobirdy came back, so I decided to drive back to the hatchery.
October 27, 200: Mom in a nearby tree close to N4
When I got to the hatchery, HD (hatchery dad) was on the Y branch and HM (hatchery mom) was on a branch to the right of the nest. I parked the car and walked over to the kiosk to get a better view of N1. As I was sitting there, they both flew off. I saw HD circling the pond, but was too far away to get a picture. I didn’t see where he went. When I got back near my car, I heard what sounded like female eagle vocals. I scanned the bluffs with my binoculars and saw HM sitting in their favorite tree on the bluff. A bit later a friend messaged me and told me that HD had a fish on the branch they often use for sleeping. I walked over to the bridge and got a few photos. All of a sudden, HM flew right over me to a branch above where HD was perched. Too bad I don’t have eyes in the back of my head so I could have seen her coming! Eventually HD flew off upstream and HM followed. I checked the cam on my phone and they were both in the stream taking a bath. I waited for a while and they both came back to the N1 tree.
October 27, 2022: HM (Hatchery Mom) in the N1 tree October 27, 2022: HD (Hatchery Dad) eating a fish near N1 October 27, 2022: HM above, HD below near the N1 tree.
Even though they were still perched in the N1 tree, it was getting late, so I reluctantly decided to head for home. As I was driving home I thought about what a great day I had. I got to see Mom & DM2, N4 (the new nest), and HD & HM, too! I wonder how big N4 will be the next time I go back to Decorah?
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.