Tick-tock egg clock! Okay, it’s a little early to start counting the minutes, but here are the days we’ve penciled into our planners for first eggs, first falcons, and ice-out on the Mississippi River Flyway. Get your (RRP) calendars out and feel welcome to make your own best guesstimates. Eggs will be here before we know it!
February 16, 2022: A first egg for DNF and Mr. North!
I’m saving the afternoon of February 16th for DNF’s first egg! She’s been a remarkably consistent layer date and timewise, although that could change if we experience a polar plunge just as she’s getting ready to lay eggs. Here’s what her egg calendar looks like:
- 2022: DNF laid egg #1 on February 16 at 3:17 PM
- 2021: DNF laid egg #1 on February 16 at 1:44 PM
- 2020: DNF laid egg #1 on February 21 at 3:36 PM
- 2019 (DNF’s first year): DNF laid egg #1 on February 21 at 3:23 PM
January 5, 2023: HM near N1
Eagles at our latitude usually lay eggs between the end of January and the beginning of March. It’s anyone’s guess what HM will do, although I’m penciling in late February through early March based on what we’ve tended to see in Decorah. Female eagles need to retain a lot of water to produce eggs, so we’ll be watching for HM to ‘bulk up’ and reduce her activity immediately prior to laying. We might see several false alarms prior to her laying an egg.
Could HM go earlier? She could! DNF laid her first egg ever on February 21 but moved earlier in her third year – a pattern we’ve also documented at our Decorah and Fort St. Vrain eagle nests. We’ll keep everyone posted on her activity!
Decorah Canada Geese
March 9, 2022: Canada geese at N2B
Canada Geese tend to return to the same nesting sites every year. I don’t know to what degree a pair of nesting eagles would deter nesting geese, especially since eagles were in the area by the time geese chose N2B. We first saw geese in N2B on March 9 of last year. We hope HD and HM will be incubating eggs by that time this year!
Xcel Energy Fort St. Vrain Eagles
Ma’s nesting chronology moved back by over two weeks when she accepted Pa Jr. in 2021, changing from February 14’ish to March 3rd’ish. But she could move earlier, since she went from late to mid-February in her third year with OG Pa. I’m penciling in late February for now, but that could change as the date draws nearer!
Great Spirit Bluff
February 28, 2022: Newman
We’re not forecasting egg laying until we have falcons back at GSB. Look for wandering falcons in January and early February, and Newman’s return between February 15 and February 24. Males usually arrive earlier than females.
Peregrine falcons also tend to lay a little later in their first year and sometimes have unusual laying patterns. In 2021, two-year-old Zooey didn’t lay her first egg until April 16, and laid her second egg 10 days later than her first. She advanced egg-laying up by 13 days in 2022 and laid all of her eggs roughly two days apart.
Mississippi River Flyway
February 6, 2022: Superb-owl Sunday!
Will we see Snowy Owls again this year? If we do, we should see them soon. We saw our first Snowy on January 5 of last year, so keep your eyes peeled! Tired of winter? Ice-out usually happens the first or second week of March here, although we won’t really have a handle on things until a little later in the season. We’ll see how thick the ice gets and what February weather looks like.