Nestorations and bonding activities are ramping up at both of our nests! We’ve seen tail swishing, mutual vocalization, and a few bonding attempts in Decorah, although HD especially appears to be learning the ropes when it comes to eagle love. Fortunately, he’s quite good at sharing meals and wonky sticks! Meanwhile, DNF and Mr. North are busy bringing in and arranging sticks and soft materials to create an egg-cellent nursery for this year’s clutch of egglets and eaglets. We’re impressed with their snow-removal work – I couldn’t remove that much snow without a shovel – and looking forward to February!
All of these videos were wonderful, but don’t miss HM and HD’s stick tango. It’s a lot of fun and I really enjoyed their mutual stick work! Thanks to our camera operators for finding such special moments, our videomakers for sharing them, and to to all of you who watch, learn, and especially care.
January 10, 2023: HD brings a huge stick and HM comes in to help him place it
January 10, 2023: HD brings a huge stick. HM comes in to help him place it! https://youtu.be/wjQ-pzF_AgI. HD brings in a large wonky stick at 1:19 (he appears to be panting at 1:27), HM comes in to help him place it at 3:33 (watch out, HD!), and the sticktivities begin as each eagle tries to carry out its own plans for stick placement! The two finally reach an agreement at 6:04, with each eagle choosing its own twig to whittle away. This video provides a great look at the complexities involved in eagle domestic life and nest building.
January 9, 2023: Bonding doesn’t go as expected
January 9, 2023: Attempted copulation, HM appears interested: https://youtu.be/BR9aUYygumU. Bald Eagles have been documented copulating ten months of the year, but interest and activity ramp up as breeding season approaches. In the first section of this video, HD and HM vocalize together before he attempts to copulate with her. But she didn’t appear ready – she wasn’t really tipped forward and I didn’t hear a copulation chirp – and the attempt fails. In the second part of the video, HM appears interested as she vocalizes, approaches HD, brushes against him, and tips forward. Was he intimidated or discouraged by his recent attempt? Whatever the reason, he doesn’t respond.
Eagles get better at a lot of things as they gain experience. Based on what we’ve seen on our cams so far, copulation is one of them! Watch the full video here: https://youtu.be/t9LCb7yhYAE.
Decorah North Eagles
January 9, 2023: DNF takes a bath on a beautiful but frigid day
January 9, 2023: DNF takes a bath on a beautiful but frigid day – https://youtu.be/BaSvs9TP2Hs. Maybe you’ve stepped into a cold lake to go swimming! Some people plunge in immediately, while others submerge a bit at a time. DNF stands in the chilly water until 31 seconds into the video, when she braves the polar plunge! Is that a tiny icicle hanging from her beak? She dunks her head and splashes water across her back, fluffing up her feathers and taking short breaks between splish-splashy baths!
January 10, 2023: Mr. North and DNF on the North nest