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 are nesting near the Decorah Trout Hatchery, located at 2325 Siewers Spring Rd in Decorah, IA. 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 12, 2021: DN13 back, DN14 front

Eaglet Growth and Development: Week Three

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 three in this blog. DN13 and DN14 are 18 and 16 days old. During week two (seven to 14 days), the

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.

March 10, 2021: Zooey from the back

How do we know falcon Zooey’s age?

How do we know that falcon Zooey is two years old? Peregrine falcons have two distinct age-related plumages: juvenile and adult. Juvenile falcons have heavily barred underparts and brownish topsides (“brown birds”), mature falcons have pale undersides with black-barred bellies and blue/slate topsides (“blue meanies”), and two-year-old falcons like Zooey have a mix of adult and juvenile feathers. I love this stage! Tail Feathers (Retrices) Like all peregrine falcons, Zooey has twelve tailfeathers that are numbered one to six from

Hatch Watch 2021!

Tik-tok hatch clock! We’re on hatch watch at Decorah North!

We are on hatch watch at Decorah North! While both eaglets still have open body cavities, most of their major morphological changes are done. At this point: Their eyelids still need to close all the way. Their eyes are growing into their sockets, more or less. Eaglets often have big bulgy ‘blueberry eyes’ when they hatch. Their eyes settle into their sockets during the first few days after hatch. Natal down is growing from feather germs. The chicks are squirming

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News
News

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April 5, 2021: Mom feeding. You can see something stringy hanging from her beak!

April 5, 2021: A Day Trip to Decorah!

By Robin Brumm Monday was my last day of spring break. Hmm…what should I do?? Go to Decorah, of course! I spent Friday and Saturday and there were no signs of a hatch either day. I know that the eggs usually hatch at 35-40 days old. I had looked at the nest records and noted that for the last three years, the first egg has hatched at 39 days. If they laid the first egg on February 24th, 39 days

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:

April 1, 2021: No fooling! A three-year-old subadult eagle stopped by N2B!

April 1, 2021: A visitor to N2B!

Somebody stopped by the Decorah Air Branch & Breakfast on April 1 at around 8:20am. Robin Brumm writes: “There was quite the beauty that stopped by N2B and the maple (M2) this morning. I’m guessing that it is about 3 years old. I know we all would like it be one of Mom and Dad’s offspring, but unfortunately, we will never know, because they refuse to wear name tags!” We haven’t seen Mom or DM2 in a few days. While

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.

March 21, 2021: DNF appears to share a story at Decorah North! The unusually warm weather has both eagles panting. It's hard to believe they were coping with subzero temperatures a month ago.

March 24, 2021: NestFlix!

We have your Nestflix mega-roll, with videos from Decorah North, Decorah, and the Flyway! At Decorah North, DNF dines on cowghetti, flies past some deer, and gathers grass to replenish the nursery. It won’t be long until eaglets at here! In Decorah, Mom eats a light fish dinner, letting prospective inhabitants know that this eagle branch and breakfast isn’t for rent! And pelicans – a marvelous, magnificent sign of spring – return to the Flyway today, resplendent in their beautiful

>> More News
Nest Records
Decorah Eagles 2020 Nesting Record
Egg-Laying
Egg #1: February 26, 2020 @ 5:44 PM CT
Egg #2: February 29, 2020 @ 6:28 PM CT
Egg #3: March 4, 2020 @ 5:59 PM CT

Hatching

D34: April 5, 2020 @ 9:45 AM CDT
D35: April 5, 2020 @ 4:07 PM CDT
D36: April 8, 2020 @ 6:50 PM CDT

Fledging

D34: June 18 @ 8:40 AM
D35: June 21 @ 8:44 AM – fall turned fledge!
D36: June 21 @ 6:09 PM

Eaglets and Outcomes >>
 YearNest EagletsOutcomes
2020N2B3 – D34, D35, D36All three eaglets fledged successfully. We are following D35 and D36 via satellite.
2019N2B2 – D32, D33Both eaglets abandoned the nest early
following an intense blackfly swarm.
Both were cared for at SOAR and have since been released.
2018N2B3 – D29, D30, D31All fledged.
2017N2B3 – D26, D27, D28All fledged. We are following D27 via satellite.
2016N2B2 – D24, D25D25 was struck by a car and died.
We are following D24 via satellite.
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.

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.