It’s time for NestFlix, so put your feet up on the bark-a-lounger, grab the popcorn, fix yourself a cold beverage, and get ready for videos from Decorah, Great Spirit Bluff, and the Flyway! In Decorah, DH2 is taking her sweet time to fledge and building skills and confidence as she hops, hovers, and branches ever higher in the tree. Great Spirit Bluff has been tough, but Jaycie P/60 survived last night’s attempted owl predation and it was wonderful to see her and Newman today! And on the Flyway, we’re thrilling to American Avocets! Cornell Lab of Ornithology is right – American Avocets take elegance to a new level!
June 29, 2023: DH2 considers fledging
June 29, 2023: Decorah Eagles Hatchery Breakfast – https://youtu.be/Q1ALn76oiSA. The video opens with DH2 hungrily squeeing up above HD, who has delivered a fish to the nest, but not to DH2! HD holds the fish in his talons but (mostly) refrains from eating it until DH2 flies down into the nest at 9:36! He surrenders the fish and she eagles it down, mantling and squeeing as she does! She continues to squee after breakfish is (mostly) done and HD eventually flies out, perhaps to flee from the incessant noise. Once she’s picked through the nestovers, DH2 flies up to join HM on the Y-Branch. Look for a short but confident flight up at 23:59.
June 28, 2023: DH2 flies up above the camera – https://youtu.be/ojswZURPcE4. DH2 is gilded in golden afternoon light and dappled with shade as she perches on the Y-Branch. A light wind blows as she flaps her impressive wings and appears to consider flying. She looks up at 42 seconds and flies across the Y-branch, landing with a solid thump before flying back out again. She sites for another minute, looking up at something out of reach. HM? HD? At 2:19, she spreads her wings and flies upward! Boots on the ground boots Robin Brumm and Glenn and Darlene Miller spotted DH2 high in the nest tree – a nice flight, but not a fledge!
June 29, 2023: I believe I can fly!
June 28, 2023: DH2 feeling the wind, high hovers – https://youtu.be/rXRpGm_0iH8. A wonderful look at DH2 feeling the wind. Look for close-ups in the beginning of the video and at 2:09 and some wonderful wing action at 4:00 and 4:05. Her wingspan is somewhere between 5-1/2 to 8 feet, and probably toward the larger end of the scale. Look for an awesome hover at 4:25, 4:59, and 5:53 (really impressive!), and a short flight at 8:05. DH2 is feeling the wind!
June 27, 2023: DH2 and HM on the Y-Branch – https://youtu.be/K6RwSZkNFDo. Two of my favorite eagles in a deeply treasured place. I love these last moments of nest life and wonder if fledge is as confusing to first-time parents as hatch sometimes seems to be. DH2 and HM appear to be enjoying one another’s company and catching an afternoon nap on a hot hazy day in Decorah.
June 27, 2023: Selfies on the cam branch – https://youtu.be/4XEcdKonp9s. Hello, DH2! This was fascinating to me, since we’ve seen eaglets appear to be interested in their reflections before. DH2 appears to take very little interest – perhaps this cam surface isn’t especially reflective? – but we get a very nice look at her. I’ll ask John for camera detail! In the meantime, DH2 is looking great!
June 27, 2023: I want to take a selfie! DH2 on the cam branch
Great Spirit Bluff
June 29, 2023: Jaycie P/60 survived the owl attack – https://youtu.be/MQEZ2IRsMrQ. And all of us were so excited to see her! We’ve had a lot of questions about this nestbox, which sometimes gives us an accurate but really difficult view of life in the wild. I don’t know what to tell you all. Peregrines and owls have to eat and owls are not a species-level threat to peregrines. I wish they would all listen to my ‘No’ list! In the meantime, Jaycie is doing well.
June 23, 2023: Elegance personified: American avocets on the flyway.
June 25, 2023: American Avocets – https://youtu.be/tDuTQrqW_8E. With everything that is going on, it’s easy for me to overlook the flyway. I shouldn’t. These birds are stunning! As Cornell says, the American Avocet takes elegance to a new level! https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Avocet/id.