Decorah Eagle Cam

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Where did the Decorah Eagles go? They built a new nest at a location that is out of range of our cameras. We will report on them but, depending on where they nest, we may not be able to watch them live. However, Mr. North and DNF are very busy preparing for eggs at the Decorah North nest. You can watch and chat here and we’ll keep everyone posted.  https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-north-nest/.

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About the Decorah Eagles

About the Decorah Eagles

The Decorah eagles moved their nest from their location near the Decorah Trout Hatchery to a tree over a mile away and out of view of our cameras.. The female is known as Mom and the male is known as DM2. In general, the eagles 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 dead fish, squirrels, other birds, rabbit, muskrat, deer, possum and anything else they can catch or find. To learn more about bald eagles, please follow this link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. Visiting Decorah to see the eagles? Please read through our guide to eagle etiquette >> Bald Eagle Etiquette.

Click here for a live map

Female eagles are larger than male eagles, with slightly darker heads and more pronounced brows. The image below shows the differences in appearance between Mom and DM2 and should help in ID’ing them.

Decorah Eagles: Mom and DM2

History of the Decorah Eagles

Dad, Mom’s original mate, disappeared in April of 2018. Based on plumage color, Mom was four years old in 2007, making her eighteen years old in 2021. Click here for a guide to aging bald eagles based on plumage color and patterns.

After two other males came and went (you can read more about that here), Mom accepted a third suitor in the fall of 2018. She and DM2 are entering their third season together.

Nest Territory and Locations

Four nests (N0, N1, N2, and N2B) have been built on the Decorah territory. 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.

  • 2018: Dad disappears in April of 2018. He is last seen at N2B on April 18, 2018. After two male eagles come and go, Mom accepts new mate DM2, for Decorah Male 2. The two begin working on N2B in October.
  • 2015: N2 is destroyed during a storm the morning of July 18. In August, humans build a nest (N2B) to encourage the eagles to begin building near the former location of N2. Mom and Dad adopt N2B in October of 2015.
  • 2012: Mom and Dad 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: 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. OM disappears in early fall. 2007: A four-year old female (Mom) joins Dad at N1 in early December.
  • 2002’ish: the male eagle (Dad) and his original mate (OM) build a nest (N0) in the hills to the east of the hatchery
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

Bald Eagle Vocalization

April 19, 2022: DN15 and DN16

Eaglet Growth and Development: Week Four

We’re writing a series of blogs about the first few weeks of an eaglet’s life. An eaglet spends roughly 75 to 80 days in the nest. For about the first half, it grows and gains weight. For about the second half, it grows flight feathers and starts developing the skills it will need post-fledge. We will focus on week four in this blog. DN15 and DN16 turn 25 and 24 days old today. During week three (fourteen to twenty-one days),

April 5, 2021: DN13, left and DN14, right

Eaglet Growth and Development, Week Two

We’re writing a series of blogs about the first few weeks of an eaglet’s life. An eaglet spends roughly 75 to 80 days in the nest. For about the first half, it grows and gains weight. For about the second half, it grows flight feathers and starts developing the skills it will need post-fledge. We will focus on week two in this blog. In their second week of development, the eaglets will gain roughly two pounds, experience rapid growth in

March 26, 2021: DN13 eats breakfast!

Eaglet Growth and Development: Week One

We’re writing a series of blogs about the first few weeks of an eaglet’s life. An eaglet spends roughly 75 to 80 days in the nest. For about the first half, it grows and gains weight. For about the second half, it grows flight feathers and starts developing the skills it will need post-fledge. We will focus on week one in this blog. What can we expect in the first week following hatching? Like humans, growing eaglets have developmental milestones.

Canada Geese at 24 hours old, Charlo Osprey Nest, explore.org, just prior to the Big Leap

Canada Geese: Precocial versus Altricial

Altricial eaglets rely on parental care until they fledge. But goslings are precocial: capable of moving around, self-feeding, and leaving the nest shortly after hatch. What does that mean? Read on to learn more! Canada Geese and Bald Eagles: Precocial versus Altricial From Stanford University: A precocial bird is “capable of moving around on its own soon after hatching.” The word comes from the same Latin root as “precocious.” Altricial means “incapable of moving around on its own soon after

Egg Colors and Shapes

The Chicago Peregrine Program inspired me to write a quick blog on the colors and shapes of eggs. Bald eagles have white eggs, peregrine falcons have eggs that range from light cream through brick red, and red-tailed hawks have pale eggs that are lightly splotched with brown. How and why do the birds we watch lay differently-colored and shaped eggs? In general, female birds inherit egg colors and patterns from their female parents. Egg-shell is made primarily of calcium carbonate,

Click for More About Bald Eagles
News
News

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June 7, 2022: The new Decorah eagles on an early summer morning. She's at left and he's at right.

June 13, 2022: NestFlix and News from Decorah and Decorah North!

Welcome back to our regularly scheduled NestFlix! While we’ve been monitoring our peregrine falcon sites, the Decorah North eagles have been busy learning to fly and practicing landings, and the new Decorah Eagles have been working on N1. We’re still waiting for DN16 to fledge, although it shouldn’t be too long now, especially with DN15’s inspirational flights! I loved all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed the hilarious fish-a-palooza – watch out for your toes, Mr. North! – and

D27's postcard! She's meandering just northwest of Decorah right now, flying in big, slow circles between Decorah and Harmony, roughly 17 miles away as the eagle flies. You can see Decorah at top left.

Satellite Tracking: Thanks for the airmail, D27 and D36!

Where are D27 and D36? They are still sending postcards from their wintering grounds in Iowa – although we’re curious to see what D27 decides to do this year! Last year, she left Decorah quite abruptly on July 16 for her summering grounds. How abruptly? She arrived at in NW Ontario on July 27: a flight of 633 miles in just 11 days! But she’s staying more or less put right now. We’ll see if and when that changes. Brett

May 7, 2022: Mom flying down to the river to catch a fish.

May 7, 2022: Day Trip to Decorah

Story and photos by Robin Brumm Saturday was supposed to be sunny and warm, so what should I do?? Go to Decorah of course! I left a little later than I was planning, so I was hoping the eagles would still be hanging around when I got there. I drove up to the hatchery and right away saw the new pair of eagles in the N1 tree. I quickly parked the car, grabbed my camera and started taking pictures. They

November 7, 2017: Dad Decorah

Watching Bald Eagles

This is a flashback post first published on April 26 of 2012. I repost it every year when the eagles begin bringing suckerfish into the nest. For new followers: Bob (Anderson) founded the Raptor Resource Project and was its first director. You can learn more about him here: https://www.raptorresource.org/about-us/remembering-bob-anderson/ Bob took a turn operating the controls at the Bald eagle camera this morning. He was fascinated by Dad, who brought in three suckers in one hour. Suckerfish are ‘rough’ fish:

May 4, 2022: We love cuddle puddles! DN16 left and DN15, right. It's been fun to watch them play and explore their clown clomper feet and growing wings and tails.

Your mega-raptor (and Canada Goose!) Nestflix Wednesday Matinee!

As promised: your mega-raptor (and Canada Goose!) Nestflix Wednesday Matinee! DN15 and DN16 turn 39 and 38 days old today and are up to tweagle shenanigans: E-gulping fish, Eagle Kneiveling around the nest, practicing their Eagleibrium, and holding Flappathons as they explore their rapidly growing wings! It won’t be long before our two teen pterodactyls turn into sleek young fledglings, but there are plenty of Eagleicious Delicious moments to enjoy before that happens. Look for walking skills and balance to

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Nest Records

Decorah Eagles 2022 Nesting Record

Egg-Laying: Decorah Eagles
Mom laid her first egg this year between Sunday, March 20 and Tuesday morning, March 22. Why was she so late? Read this blog: https://www.raptorresource.org/2022/03/29/finally-an-egg-at-n3/

Egg-Laying: Decorah Geese
Egg #1: March 24, 2022
Egg #2: March 25, 2022
Egg #3: March 27, 2022
Egg #4: March 28, 2022
Egg #5: March 30, 2022
Egg #6: April 1, 2022

Hatching: Decorah Eagles
This year’s first eaglet will be D40. Hatch should begin on or around April 26.

Hatching: Decorah Geese
Hatch should begin on or around April 25.

Fledging
TBE

Eaglets and Outcomes >>
 Year Nest  Eaglets Outcomes
2021 N3 3 – D37, D38, D39 All three eaglets fledged successfully.
2020 N2B 3 – D34, D35, D36 All three eaglets fledged successfully. We are following D35 and D36 via satellite.
2019 N2B 2 – D32, D33 Both eaglets abandoned the nest early
following an intense blackfly swarm.
Both were cared for at SOAR and have since been released.
2018 N2B 3 – D29, D30, D31 All fledged.
2017 N2B 3 – D26, D27, D28 All fledged. We are following D27 via satellite.
2016 N2B 2 – D24, D25 D25 was struck by a car and died.
We are following D24 via satellite.
2015 N2 3 – D21, D22, D23 All fledged
2014 N2 3 – D20, D19, D18 All fledged. D18 and D19 were electrocuted.
D20 is still alive and living at SOAR.
2013 N2 3 – D17, D16, D15 All fledged
2012 N1 3 – D14, D13, D12 All fledged. D12 and D14 were electrocuted.
2011 N1 3 – E1, E2, E3 All fledged. We last saw D1 in July of 2014.
Her current status is unknown
2010 N1 3 – Not named All fledged
2009 N1 3 – Not named All fledged
2008 N1 2 – Not named All 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.

Videos

Decorah Eagles Video Playlist

Click the icon on the top left of the stream to view a full list of videos from our 2021 playlist, or visit our our YouTube channel.