May 5, 2024: Decorah Day Trip

Story and photos by Robin Brumm

I finally had a weekend that cooperated with a nice day, so I headed to Decorah. I was anxious to see if I could see any eaglets at N4, Mom and DM2’s nest. If there are eaglets, they would be about 2 weeks younger than the eaglets at DNN. I was a little on edge since Mom and DM2 haven’t had any eaglets the last two years, so as I walked down the trail to the nest I had my talons, umm, I mean fingers crossed and whispered, “ please be on the nest, please let there be eaglets”. I got to the corner, took a deep breath and turned and looked at the nest. There was an adult on the nest, and they were sitting up high! That was an excellent sign! So I set up my lawn chair and grabbed my binoculars.

I looked at the nest and saw DM2 sitting there. I took a photo and zoomed in on my camera. No eaglets seen yet. I’m sure they were napping. I kept watching and every so often I would take several photos. I was starting to get impatient. All of a sudden, DM2 stood up and bent over. Wait, was that a head? It looked kind of fuzzy! I took a few photos and zoomed in, yes! An eaglet! Hello D40! Can you believe that Mom has 40 offspring?? I kept taking pictures, and zooming in to look to see if I saw anymore. I was only seeing one eaglet at a time. The nest is so far away, and many of my pictures are grainy due to the far distance.

Meanwhile, Mom had flown in and to the perch tree, a few trees away from the nest tree. DM2 greeted her as she landed. She stayed on the perch tree for 10 or 15 minutes and then DM2 flew off the nest and Mom flew in. As I was watching, it looked like Mom was feeding but of course and was laying low in the nest. It still seems like I was only seeing one eaglet, but is it always the same one? Finally I decided it was time to head for home.

DM2 and eaglets
DM2 and eaglets

When I got home and went through my photos, I was still seeing only one at a time. It seems like sometimes, the eaglet seemed to be lighter colored, and sometimes it had more dark thermal down. Maybe there was more than one! After looking through my photos about 50 times, I think I might have found one where I see 2 eaglets. Unfortunately, the picture was taken with the zoom maxed out and is blurry, so it is hard to tell if there are two eaglets or not, but I will add it and you can decide what you think. At this time, I can only confirm that there is 1 eaglet. Even if there is only one, I am so happy that Mom and DM2 have one!

I wonder if Mom has had her typical 3 eaglets or just one, or two this year. I’m hoping that the next time I go over to Decorah, I will be able to tell exactly how many eaglets that there are in the nest.

RRP appreciates Robin’s generosity in sharing her photos and reminds you they are copyrighted and may not be downloaded without her express written permission.