Thank you to everyone who donated treasure and time on Giving Tuesday! We’ll have totals next week, but please know that we really appreciate your support. We covered the year at Decorah (eagles and geese), Decorah North, Great Spirit Bluff, and the Flyway. We also discussed camera upgrades, our Peregrine Falcon banding work, our autumn raptor banding stations, Golden Eagle tracking, the possibility of a Golden Eagle cam, two new sites that we hope to online this fall, and some of the work it takes to get everything done.
I’ve rounded up some of the links and videos that people asked for during our chats. We hope you enjoy them!
DH2’s Hatch: We’re starting to revisit 2023. John mentioned that DH2’s hatch was the finest hatch footage we’ve ever seen and several chatters asked for a link!
A Tree Falling Right Next to N1: On June 2 of 2023, a microburst snapped a cottonwood tree right next to the Decorah Eagle’s nest tree. DH2 stayed safe, although the little eaglet appears to be holding on for dear life at the end of the video. The tree – and the camera in it – were not so lucky!
The tree fell in a microburst and the wind speed here was not reflected in any historical documentation that I can find. But the National Weather Service says that larger trees begin blowing over in 64 to 75 mph winds. We took a look at the tree afterwards and the wood was solid: no rot at the heart! If the gust had been forty feet west, this could have been N1.
John and Amy’s video talk: In case you missed it and want to catch up!
Bonus video: HM on N1 today! We’ve got a field day tomorrow – those peregrine falcon nestboxes don’t fix themselves! – but we’ll have a full video round-up tomorrow and I’ll make sure to update our playlists tonight! https://www.youtube.com/@RaptorResourceProject/
Golden and Bald Eagle Tracking
We began researching the dispersal and migration of fledglings from the Decorah Eagles nest back in 2011. We tracked nine eagles from 2011 to 2023, when three-year-old eaglet D36 was hit by a car. You can learn more about our Bald Eagle tracking research and the eagles we tracked here: https://www.raptorresource.org/learning-tools/bald-eagles/
In 2022, we began researching the movements of Golden Eagles that winter in the Driftless area of Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. We’ve put transmitters on seven to date. You can learn more about our Golden Eagle tracking research and the eagles we’ve tracked here: https://www.raptorresource.org/learning-tools/golden-eagles/
Autumn Banding Station
A lot of you were surprised to learn about our autumn banding station. We have two stations: a station in collaboration with Luther College on Hawk Hill in Decorah, and a station on the Mississippi River near Wyalusing Wisconsin. We have a little more about that here: https://www.raptorresource.org/about-us/hawk-hill-banding-station/
Peregrine Falcon Banding
Our report makes it look so quick and easy! But peregrine falcon banding starts with surveys in February or early March. We monitor roughly 50 sites and make repeat visits to the 35 or so that can’t be monitored by camera or someone on site. Once egg laying starts, we coordinate with landowners and site managers to set banding dates: a constantly shifting target during wet years. Banding itself lasts from roughly May 20 through mid-June, followed up by more surveys and reporting. We have 36 years of data on peregrine falcon populations in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and have seen a lot of change over more than three decades!
Movies and Media Appearances
We’ll have another movie to add next year, but here’s what we’ve done so far! https://www.raptorresource.org/movies-and-media-appearances/