Decorah Eagle Cam

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HD and HM have built a new nest, although we still see them hunting and perching in and around the hatchery. Looking for eagles? Check out our North nest: https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-north-nest/! Missing HM and HD? Look for videos at the bottom of this page, subscribe to our youtube channel, or subscribe to our blog to keep up with the latest news. For branch ID, follow this link.

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About the Decorah Eagles

About the Decorah Eagles

2024: Decorah Eagles HM and HD have built a new nest. We will do our best to note important events like egg-laying and hatch. 

A new pair of eagles have moved into the rebuilt N1 nest near the trout hatchery. For now, we are calling them HM (Hatchery Mom) and HD (Hatchery Dad). 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 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.

Female eagles are larger than male eagles, with slightly darker heads and more pronounced brows. The image below shows the differences in appearance between HM and HD and should help in ID’ing them. We have more tips here.

Decorah Eagles: HM and HD

A Brief History of the Decorah Eagles: OM, Dad, Mom, DM2, HM, and HD

Dad Decorah and his first mate, OM, began nesting near the fish hatchery in 2002. OM disappeared in the early fall of 2007 and was replaced by Mom, Dad’s second mate. Mom and Dad stayed together through three nests and eleven years before Dad disappeared in April of 2018. Mom accepted her second mate, DM2, in the fall of 2018 and the two nested near the hatchery until the end of 2020, when they built a new nest behind the Walmart in Decorah.

Nest N1 sat empty in 2021 and 2022, although we began seeing another pair of adult bald eagles in and around the nest in March of 2022, and Canada Geese hatched young at N2B in April. For the time being, we have christened the new Decorah Eagles HM (Hatchery Mom) and HD (Hatchery Dad), although those names could change. Whatever we end up calling them, we are hopeful they will lay eggs in 2023!

Nest Territory and Locations: N0, N1, N2, N2B, N3, and N4

Five nests (N0, N1 [twice], N2, and N2B) have been built on the Decorah territory. Bald eagles built N0, N1 (once), and N2. Neil Rettig and Kike Arnal built nest N2B in August of 2015 after N2 was destroyed in a storm, and Kike Arnal and Amy Ries rebuilt nest N1 in September of 2021 after the original nest dwindled away.

  • 2024: HD and HM build a new nest.
  • 2023: HD and HM nest in N1.
  • 2022: Canada Geese hatch young in N2B: https://youtu.be/rhQCa2yUPuA, a new pair of bald eagles (HD, or Hatchery Dad and HM, or Hatchery Mom) adopts N1, N3 falls in July, and Mom and DM2 build another nest (N4) behind the Decorah-area Walmart.
  • 2020: Mom and DM2 begin a new nest (N3) behind the Decorah Walmart and begin nesting there in 2021.
  • 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. Watch the N2B rebuild here: https://youtu.be/2-xRSBBeIYs and read about it at our old blogspot: http://raptorresource.blogspot.com/2015/08/n2b-or-new-decorah-nest.html.
  • 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

Read this blog for more details about Mom, DM2, HD, HM, and the nests: https://www.raptorresource.org/2022/07/18/your-questions-answered-mom-dad-dm2-hd-hm-the-nests-and-the-territories/.

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

Chicken embryos roughly 25% of the way to hatch

Peek inside a bald eagle egg: 11 days!

What do embryonic eagles look they look like as they develop and grow inside their eggs? Dr. Peter Sharpe from the Institute for Wildlife Studies developed a table of bald eagle embryonic development based on work done by Hamburger and Hamilton (1951). While not all bald eagle eggs hatch in 35 days, the stages of development look something like this… What happens between the third and the 11th day? When we last touched on the topic, our embryonic eagle had

An embryonic bird in very early stages of development. It has a top, bottom, front, back, left and right sides, and layers.

Peek inside a bald eagle egg: 4 days!

What do embryonic eagles look they look like as they develop and grow inside their eggs? Peek inside a Bald Eagle egg at four days!

An egg in cross section, modified from Romanoff and Romanoff, 1949

How long does it take a bald eagle to lay an egg?

How long does it take a bald eagle to lay an egg? We think that female bald eagles begin laying eggs five to ten days after productive mating begins.

January 23, 2023: HD sports eye-cicles on a frosty morning in Decorah. An icy fog left everything coated with frost

How do eagles stay warm in cold weather?

Each species experiences the world differently and eagles have capacities that are far different from ours. How do Bald Eagles survive an Iowa winter without adaptive clothing and central heat? A cold January morning coated our eagles in frost and left watchers wondering how Bald Eagles survive an Iowa winter. In general, wintering animals – including humans – need to retain body heat, stay dry, and take in enough calories to support winter’s increased energy demands. We humans put on

December 11, 2023: DNF and the big stick!

December 11, 2023: It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree…or How Much Weight Can a Bald Eagle Carry?

On December 11 of 2023, DNF arrived with a large stick that she struggled to place. How much weight can eagles carry?

Click for More About Bald Eagles
News
News

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Chicken embryos roughly 25% of the way to hatch

Peek inside a bald eagle egg: 11 days!

What do embryonic eagles look they look like as they develop and grow inside their eggs? Dr. Peter Sharpe from the Institute for Wildlife Studies developed a table of bald eagle embryonic development based on work done by Hamburger and Hamilton (1951). While not all bald eagle eggs hatch in 35 days, the stages of development look something like this… What happens between the third and the 11th day? When we last touched on the topic, our embryonic eagle had

February 26, 2024: Handsome Mr. North incubating eggs.

February 26, 2024: News, NestFlix, and new cams!

We know it is late February, but it really feels like spring has sprung! We’ve got eagles on eggs at the North nest and our new Trempealeau eagle cam, we’re eagerly awaiting eggs at Xcel Energy’s Fort St. Vrain nest, female falcons are lining up for Newman’s food gifts at GSB, the ice is entirely out on the Flyway, and we’re seeing and hearing spring arrivals everywhere! We’re also getting ready for our First Egg Fundraiser on March 2, chatting

An embryonic bird in very early stages of development. It has a top, bottom, front, back, left and right sides, and layers.

Peek inside a bald eagle egg: 4 days!

What do embryonic eagles look they look like as they develop and grow inside their eggs? Peek inside a Bald Eagle egg at four days!

An egg in cross section, modified from Romanoff and Romanoff, 1949

How long does it take a bald eagle to lay an egg?

How long does it take a bald eagle to lay an egg? We think that female bald eagles begin laying eggs five to ten days after productive mating begins.

February 12, 2024: Mr. North, left. DNF, right. I think they are one of the best-looking eagle couples around!

February 12, 2024: NestFlix and News from Decorah North and Decorah!

Are you as egg-cited as we are? All of the eagles we watch are beginning to switch their focus from bringing in sticks to piling up soft, fluffy materials, working on egg cups and cup footings and, in DNF’s case, calling for room service as she builds the resources she needs – especially water! – to lay eggs. Eggnancy is hungry work! Astute watchers might also notice that the eagles are developing brood patches – a patch of bare skin

>> More News
Nest Records

Decorah Eagles 2024 Nesting Record

Egg-Laying: Decorah Eagles
HM and HD built a new nest. We’ll do our best to keep everyone updated on egg laying and hatching.

Egg-Laying: Decorah Geese
In 2023, MG laid egg #1 on March 21

Hatching: Decorah Eagles
Hatch began on April 4 in 2023.

Hatching: Decorah Geese
In 2023, the goslings began hatching on April 24.

Fledging
In 2023, the goslings jumped from the nest on April 26.

Eaglets and Outcomes >>
 Year Nests Eaglets Outcomes
2023 N1 and N2B were successful. N4 failed. Eaglets: DH1 and DH2. Geese: CG6 through CG12 Eaglet DH1 and one gosling died. Eaglet DH2 fledged on June 30 and five goslings survived and rejoined their parents.
2022 N3 failed. Five goslings jumped from N2B CG1, CG2, CG3, CG4, CG5 One gosling – we think it might have been the second one – died in the leap. The rest survived and rejoined their parents.
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, 2017, and 2020 to try to answer this question. For more information, visit our eagle maps.

Decorah Eagles Video Library

Decorah Eagles Video Library

Click the hamburger icon on the top right of the video below to view a full list of videos from our most recent playlist, or visit our Decorah Eagles video library page here: https://www.youtube.com/c/RaptorResourceProject.