We have your nightly NestFlix from Decorah North and Decorah! I loved all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed DNF’s gardening work and close-ups in the first Decorah North video, Mr. North’s incredible limbo in video two, HD’s stick harvesting in the first Decorah video, and the beautiful close-ups in the second Decorah video. The weather has finally changed, the days are over an hour shorter than they were just a month ago, and both pairs of eagles are busy with nestorations. We hope you enjoy these videos as much as we did!
November 7, 2022: Beautiful DNF glows with health and vitality in the morning sun
November 7, 2022: Hemp Bush, Large Stick, Deer, and a Fly Off – https://youtu.be/EZChkXPRRaI. This hemp has got to go! DNF worked on help removal again this morning, snapping off pieces of the bush until a stick distracted her. Unfortunately, it got hung up in the hemp bush while she was moving it. No wonder she wants the bush gone! We get some lovely close-ups at 4:44, a beautiful white-tailed doe at 5:15, some more nice close-ups at 6:12, and a really cool fly-off at 6:56. It was a busy morning at the North nest!
November 7, 2022: DNF flies out of the North nest. We can see the outline of this year’s nest with new rails and plenty of soft, fluffy grasses and corn husks: an excellent insulator that it easy to get, fly into the nest, and shred!
November 7, 2022: Mr. brings in long stick, stick dancing, and Mr.’s neck flex! – https://youtu.be/kYTHbOukRjg. Mr. North flies into the nest with a long stick and DNF grabs one end! After a complicated bit of stick tango – check out Mr. North’s limbo at around 25 seconds! – the two maneuver the stick into place.
It’s a good thing that a raptor’s neck has 14 vertebrae! Mr. North’s head-twisting flexibility was on full display in this video. Note how far he can twist his head back without changing position or moving his body! This comes in handy for nest limbo, but also aids hunting and triangulation. A minimum amount of movement helps keep eagles in stealth mode and conceals them from potential prey.
November 6, 2022: It isn’t very easy to garden with just your mouth! DNF tries to pull up the desiccated hemp plant. She doesn’t get it all the way out, but she does snap off a few pieces.
November 6, 2022: Mr. North Wing Slaps at a Chickadee – https://youtu.be/QG7YfJksT2M. Pesky neighbors! The video opens with Mr. North in the nest. A chickadee flies into the lower right side of the nest at about nine seconds and starts exploring. Mr. North chases it off at about 14 seconds. Go to 1:26 to see the extremely cool slow-mo view.
What was the chickadee doing? Black-capped chickadees select winter roost cavities to help them weather extreme cold. We know that some small birds nest within the nest itself. Now I’m wondering if an intrepid chickadee might chose to roost there! More on wintering chickadees here: https://www.birdnote.org/listen/shows/chickadees-cold-night-interview-susan-sharbaugh
November 7, 2022: HM (left) and HD (right) at N1. See the eagle heart?
November 7, 2022: Busy morning. Fly arounds, fish, and sticks – https://youtu.be/BgrmSf9uJw0. There is a lot to like in this video, but I wanted to draw everyone’s attention to 27:17. HD is perched over by the cliff. He suddenly flies out, turns around, and uses his weight and motion to snap off a stick, which he brings to the nest. HM joins him with another stick at 28:21 – look at those wings! – and a short round of stick tango begins. As usual, HM gets her way. HD can always ‘improve’ the placement once she’s left!
Bald eagles sometimes appear to prepare sticks for harvest by stripping them of bark and nibbling and twisting them. A stick might require several breaking attempts before an eagle finally frees it, but they usually don’t quit until the stick has been taken. We don’t entirely understand their criteria, but at least some sticks are removed to clear favorite perches and keep sight and flight lines open. That may have been the case here.
November 7, 2022: Big wings need big nests! HM has just flown into N1.
November 6, 2022: 5 pm HM & HD on the nest, working on new cornhusk decor – https://youtu.be/JrTGzfGrZsA. It’s time for fall decorah-ating! Corn husks are an excellent insulator and very easy to grab, bring to the nest, and shred to order! Go to 3:34 and you’ll see that HM is supervising nestorations from a nearby limb. She flies into the nest at 3:38 (it’s a very cool fly-in) and joins in the nestwork. Look for a little Beakerson’s moment at 8:14 (don’t jump on HD’s head, HM!), followed by a round of nest fit testing by HD.
Go to 7:21 for a nice look at the differences between the two. HM has a long feather collar, a larger beak, and a bit more smoky eye than her mate (although not quite as much as Mom). He has a smaller beak, more guyliner – the difference is pretty pronounced here – and a slightly rounder, shorter head.