We have your Decorah and Decorah North Eagles! It was a beautiful snow globe day at both nests today, with plenty of fishing, stick deliveries, and a brief moo-rade. I liked all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed the retention pond fishing tournament, the great horned owl vocalizations near the North nest, and DNF’s giant stick. As always, thanks to our camera operators and videomakers for finding and sharing such special moments, and to you for watching, learning, and especially for caring. We hope you like these videos as much as we did!
November 14, 2022: HM and HD resplendent against a bright blue early winter sky
November 15, 2022: HM vocals, HD goes fishing – https://youtu.be/UwqQVWtOTjo. It’s our first big snow day! Fluffy white snowflakes blanket the Y-Branch, where HM is vocalizing, drift over the retention pond, where HD is fishing, and dust N1 in a blanket of white. HM hop-flaps to the nest at 2:26 and begins pulling nesting materials from beneath the snow. HD and HM will spend the next few months racing the snow and cold to create a nestbowl and cup that will keep their eggs warm and dry through snowstorms and late winter rain.
I liked this whole video, but I really enjoyed the fishing activity at 18 seconds and 5:35! I love seeing bald eagles in the snow.
November 14, 2022: Fishing tournament, HD & 2 SA’s fish the pond – https://youtu.be/wH2kTsrb0aQ. Busy eagleport or fishing contest? HD and two subadults fish the retention pond. This is a very cool video.
D36 has been hanging out 10 to 15 miles west of Decorah, but I’ll be very curious to see whether one of these eagles turns out to be him. Did he decide to visit the old home place? We should know soon!
Adult territorial bald eagles are often more tolerant of juveniles and subadults. They can be a nuisance, but aren’t a threat to the adults or their bond. We don’t believe that bald eagles recognize their offspring after they disperse, since plumage and vocalizations change quite a bit! But perhaps bald eagles that have hatched a lot of offspring are more tolerant in general: a sort of back of the envelope calculus that recognizes any given juvenile or subadult in their territory could be offspring. We discussed eagle generations in this blog: https://www.raptorresource.org/2022/10/21/could-hd-or-hm-be-one-of-mom-and-dads-offspring/.
November 14, 2022: HM near N1? I’ll admit that I still struggle with ID sometimes!
November 11, 2022: HM close-ups on the Y – https://youtu.be/nRPJLlCHkVY. A wonderful look at a beautiful eagle! Still struggling with ID? We’ve got a blog here! https://www.raptorresource.org/2022/10/22/eagle-id-how-do-you-tell-hm-and-hd-apart/.
One of our Facebook followers pointed out that her ‘hair’ looks a lot like Rod Stewart’s – a great ID tip for me! I’ll have to add that to our list of ID markers!
Decorah North Eagles
November 14, 2022: Mr. North’s talons. Check out the foot nearest us and you’ll notice that the outermost talon – digit 4 – is a little shorter. It has a small ridge and is used in part for grooming.
October 14, 2022: Great horned owls are active near the nest – https://youtu.be/d7Id4Iiavj0. The audio is incredible! I emailed Karla Bloem from The International Owl Center and asked her what was going on! Was the screeching a GHO? She said: “Yes, that is all GHO talking, including the crazy squawks and wild hoots. Someone may have gotten grabbed or something early on…Intense stuff!”
November 14, 2022: DNF brings a large stick into the nest! How much weight can she carry? If conditions are ideal, she might be able to fly with as much as 100% of her own body weight, although she would be hard-pressed to dead lift that much.
October 14, 2022: DNF works hard to get a stick to the nest – https://youtu.be/s6YLNPJzrzE. We see DNF carrying a stick at 1:26. She lands on the love tree and rests for a couple minutes. The stick is too heavy and the distance is too short for her to gain enough lift to make it to the nest, so she flies out across the pasture at about 2:56 and circles back around, gaining lift and a tail wind assist as she finally gets her stick to the nest!
Take a look at where she places her prize. There is a whole pile of new similarly-sized sticks thanks to DNF’s hard work especially. While both eagles bring sticks to the nest, she’s the larger of the pair and so tends to break off and haul in bigger, wonkier sticks! How much weight can an eagle carry? We have a blog about that! https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/11/06/how-much-weight-can-a-bald-eagle-carry/.
October 14, 2022: DNF digs out the nest bowl and tries it out – https://youtu.be/A9kFIgiLRik. Beautiful DNF gleams in the sunlight as she lays down and scrapes in the nest bowl before giving it a test. Take a look at the top of her tail beneath her lovely brown feathers – a very neat view and something we don’t often see.
Odds and Ends
November 15, 2022: Camop Talon: “HM moves closer to HD, looking like she wants to get frisky. Lots of vocals but nothing else!” This really reminds me of Mom!
We had our first big snow of the year, so it’s time to listen to Snow Days! Enjoy our snowy tradition: https://youtu.be/_y9p9tWB_Jc.