Decorah Bald Eagles






Decorah Eagles 2017 Nesting Record

Egg-Laying
Egg #1: 2/20/17 @ 7:30 PM CT
Egg #2: 2/23/17 @ 6:18 PM CT
Egg #3: 2/27/17 @ 7:03 PM CT

Hatching
D26 Hatches: 3/31/17, 1st seen 3:05 PM CT
D27 Hatches: 4/01/17, 1st seen 6:59 AM CT
D28 Hatches: 4/04/17 @ 6:57 AM CT

Fledging
D26 Fledges: 6/16/17 at 11:03 AM CDT
D28 Fledges: 6/17/17 at 6:36 AM CDT
D27 Fledges: 6/22/17 at 2:16 PM CDT

Eaglet Ages
D26 is 253 days 8 hours old
D27 is 252 days 5 hours old
D28 is 249 days 5 hours old

Eaglets and Outcomes

 YearNest EagletsOutcomes
2017N2B3 – D26, D27, D28All fledged. D27 is still alive.
2016N2B2 – D24, D25D25 was struck by a car and died.
D24 is still alive.
2015N23 – D21, D22, D23All fledged
2014N23 – D20, D19, D18All fledged. D18 and D19 were electrocuted.
D20 is still alive and living at SOAR.
2013N23 – D17, D16, D15All fledged
2012N13 – D14, D13, D12All fledged. D12 and D14 were electrocuted.
2011N13 – E1, E2, E3All fledged. We last saw D1 in July of 2014.
Her current status is unknown
2010N13 – Not namedAll fledged
2009N13 – Not namedAll fledged
2008N12 – Not namedAll fledged

We often get questions about where the eaglets go after they disperse. We tracked eaglets in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017 to try to answer this question. For more information, visit our eagle maps.


Nest and Location History

Adults
As far as we know, Dad is the original male and Mom is his second mate. Dad is older than Mom, but we don’t know exactly how old he is. Based on plumage color, Mom was four years old in 2007, making her thirteen years old in 2016. Click here for a guide to aging bald eagles based on plumage color and patterns.

Mom is larger than Dad, with a slightly darker head, a pronounced brow, and grey ‘eyeshadow’. This video from 2011 provides pointers on how to tell them apart.

The eagles have built three nests (N0, N1, and N2) on their own. N0 was destroyed in a storm, the eagles left N1 on their own, and N2 was also destroyed in a storm.

Fourth nest N2B is a little more complicated. Humans Neil Rettig and Kike Arnal built N2B in August of 2015. We hoped the starter nest would encourage the eagles to adopt it and keep building, which they did! Footage of the build can be seen here: https://youtu.be/2-xRSBBeIYs. A blog about the nest build can be read here.

  • 2015: The eagles adopt N2B in October of 2015
  • 2015: Humans build a nest (N2B) to encourage the eagles to begin building near the former location of N2
  • 2015: N2 is destroyed during a storm the morning of July 18
  • 2012: The eagles begin a new nest (N2) in mid-October on the north bank of Trout Creek about 700 feet from N1, which is still standing
  • 2007: A four-year old female (Mom) joins Dad at N1 in early December
  • 2007: OM disappears in early fall
  • 2007: N0 is destroyed during a storm. Dad and OM begin building a new nest (N1) in the yard of a home just north of the hatchery
  • 2002’ish: the male eagle (Dad) and his original mate (OM) build a nest (N0) in the hills to the east of the hatchery


American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)

Brown-Headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
Brown-Headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

Canada Goose (Branta Canadensis)
Canada Goose (Branta Canadensis)

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous)
Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)


General Information

The Decorah eagles are nesting near the Decorah Trout Hatchery, located at 2325 Siewers Spring Rd in Decorah, IA. In general, they begin courtship in October, productive mating in late January or early February, and egg-laying in mid to late February. Hatching usually begins in late March to early April, and the eaglets fledge in mid-to-late June. While young usually disperse between August and October, the adults remain on territory year round. They eat live and and dead fish, squirrels, other birds, rabbit, muskrat, deer, possum and anything else they can catch or find. To learn more about bald eagles in general, please follow this link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. To catch up on videos of the Decorah Eagles, please visit our YouTube channel or scroll farther down this page.

Quick Facts

Common name: Bald Eagle
Scientific name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Length: 2.3–3.1 feet | 71–96 cm
Wingspan: 5.9 – 7.5 feet | 1.7-2.2 meters
Weight: 6.5 – 13.8 pounds | 3–6.3 kilograms
Lifespan: Up to 40 years in the wild


Decorah Eagles Video Playlist

 

Click the icon on the top left of the stream to view a full list of videos from our 2017 playlist.