Put up your feet and chill – we have your NestFlix roundup! I especially enjoyed watching DNF and Mr. North disagree over who gets lunch (Mr. North does not want to share, DNF!), a chunky squirrel sunbathing and eating, and a lovely Cardinal eating multiflora berries! It’s almost enough to make me appreciate multiflora (almost). Stay warm, everybirdie…egglets will be here before we know it!
January 18, 2024: Great Horned and Barred Owl calling – https://youtu.be/O2H6JIZj84g?si=er3onZE8bUddJr8g. The video opens with DNF peering into the darkness, her slumber interrupted by a pair of duetting Great Horned Owls. Listen for a slightly higher pitch from the female and a lower pitch from the male as the two reaffirm their bond. At 47 seconds, a barred owl joins the midnight chorus and DNF takes note! She remains on alert through the rest of the video.
January 17, 2024: Eagles Vocalize at GHOs – https://youtu.be/0_bZvPLcmhU?si=hvs75n0yc9J_t98E. Turn it down, kids! Mr. North and DNF react to a pair of owls duetting with vocalizations of their own. The neighborhood sing off goes on for a while as the owls duet and the eagles respond.
Like Bald Eagles, Great Horned Owls duet to reaffirm and strengthen their union, and to warn other owls away from their territory. GHO follow roughly the same chronological schedule as Bald Eagles, with egg-laying occurring in January or February. Great Horned Owls vocalize year-round, but duetting occurs primarily between January and March. Listen for more owls in the weeks to come!
January 17, 2024: A Cardinal and a Bald Eagle in a Snowy Nest – https://youtu.be/iXVYNelz4Gg?si=PHNTldqM–qiN9u5. A scarlet male Northern Cardinal feasts on red multiflora berries and DNF peers around her snow-covered nest, briefly dipping her beak into the snow before giving up on snow removal and flying out!
January 17, 2023: Squirrel at Decorah North – https://youtu.be/jgVDWfTzZCk?si=7uwWTTJIAK2VWL0P. A chunky fox squirrel suns, grooms, and eats an acorn, fur fluffed up and erect against the cold!
Where did the acorn come from? Fox squirrels cache food in fall and early winter: a valuable larder when snow covers the ground and food becomes scarce. This arrangement benefits squirrels and oak trees, since squirrels often cache seeds by burying them in the ground. Although squirrels have an excellent memory for caches, they don’t always retrieve them: they might become dinner, forget the cache (even animals with an excellent memory sometimes forget things), or not need the cache if winter is mild or their caches are plentiful. The acorn, snug in the ground, is a little safer from acorn eaters than it would be sitting on the ground or clinging to a tree, and gets a nice start on sprouting come spring!
January 16, 2024: DNF arrives, Mr. not thrilled, but relents – https://youtu.be/JggB_64xt4g?si=tSVlRk3esnN3CO41. It’s a bright, cold, and windy day, and Mr. North has brought a meal to the snow-covered nest. But was it a gift? The video opens with him mantling over dinner. He snaps at DNF when she flies into the nest, clearly attracted by the sight of her food-bearing mate! He isn’t interested in sharing and drags his meal across the nest, where he mantles over it once more. She nibbles at some fresh nestovers while he makes his displeasure clear. Undaunted, she walks across the nest at 1:18 and takes his dinner by simply moving him out of the way. He flies over to the Love Branch while she finishes eating!
How do eagles cope with snow and cold? Follow this link to learn more! https://www.raptorresource.org/2024/01/20/flashback-blog-how-do-eagles-stay-warm-in-cold-weather/
January 17, 2024: Bieliki amerykańskie polujące na ryby (Bald Eagles hunting fish): https://youtu.be/MYrmWiE1Pa8?si=HVLWJ7BbS4WJAzV5. It’s time for a winter get-together! The upper Mississippi is finally sealing over and eagles are congregating around open water to fish, squabble, and roost in large mixed-age congregations. We don’t call them flocks, but this behavior fits every definition of a flock that I can find. Flocking is one way that eagles survive and even thrive in deep cold and snow, since eagles can roost together for warmth and find food with less effort than they would expend foraging alone.