February 27, 2023: What are we looking forward to this week?

Since HM laid her first egg on Saturday, we’re hopeful for another egg on Tuesday! Eaglets from this nest will have the designator DH (for Decorah Hatchery) + a long-count number. So the first egg to hatch will be DH1, the second will be DH2, and so on. Hatch usually happens about 39 days after the first egg is laid, which puts it on or around April 5th – talons crossed!

Are HD and HM first-time parents? We don’t know anything about their history, but HD’s first reaction to egg #1 is about what we would expect from an inexperienced eagle. HD comes into the nest and HM leaves. He looks at the egg and gingerly steps into the egg cup at about 1:48, balling his feet and moving slowly and carefully. He fiddles with a few materials and moves his foot as if to roll the egg, but instead steps out of the nest and flies over to join HM on the Y! HD eventually takes his first shift and does a great job rolling and shimmying the egg beneath him.

It seems increasingly unlikely that DNF is going to lay another egg. She laid her first egg almost seven days ago and would normally follow with a second egg three days later. It’s been an unusual year for the Norths so far. Instead of perching near the nest, packing in food, and developing the reserves she needs to lay eggs, DNF is guarding her nest, egg, and mate from potential rivals. Male eagles don’t tend to fight larger female eagles, which means that DNF is on guard duty while Mr. North tends the home fires. As one of the DNN mods put it, intruders are stressful and can throw everything off tilt. We are still hopeful that her first egg will hatch: https://www.raptorresource.org/2023/02/24/whats-going-on-at-the-north-nest/.

Falcons have shown up at a number of our sites, including Xcel Energy’s King and High Bridge sites, Great River Energy, and Red Wing Grain. I’m a little surprised we haven’t had Zooey or another female join Newman at Great Spirit Bluff. We’ll be watching for that this week! If you see any band numbers, please let us know right away! Bands are read top to bottom, which means that the characters on the black stripe come first, followed by the characters on the colored site. You can look up band numbers at the Midwest Peregrine Society’s site: https://midwestperegrine.umn.edu/?vw=search.

Nestling falcons. These two bands are black/blue 09/U and H/31.

Nestling falcons. These two bands are read as black/blue 09/U and H/31

I’ve added quizzes back to our site and hope to have a new quiz every Monday. If you’d like to test your eagle knowledge – or whatever we’re quizzing on – follow this link: https://www.raptorresource.org/classroom/weekly-quiz/. In the past, we’ve had classrooms submit quizzes. If you are interested in submitting a quiz for or with your class, please contact me at [email protected].

Have a great week, everyone!