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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 (for the second Decorah male eagle). 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. 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 Mom and DM2 and should help in ID’ing them.
Nest Territory and Locations
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 fifteen years old in 2018. 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. As of December 2018, Mom and DM2 were working on nest N2B, defending the territory together, and copulating.
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.
Bald Eagle Vocalization
Blogs About Bald Eagles [posts_table tag=”FAQ” columns=”image:blank,title:blank,date,tags” rows_per_page=”5″ page_length=”false”]
It looks like another episode of ‘As The Nest Turns’ has dropped! A beautiful 4-1/2 year old subadult showed up in the Decorah territory, perching near Momat N1 and spending time in N2B. Videos here: https://youtu.be/UFTG4tsSSNo https://youtu.be/Dq1y-e9VDXk Is this a rival suitor to DM2? A previous year’s offspring dropping in for a visit? We don’t know, but we’ll be watching and there is an active discussion about it in our forum.
A share from SOAR Some good news for Decorah Eaglet D32! His cast was removed after a vet check and new x-ray, and we put a new wrap on him for support. Since D32 was showing more signs of energy and wanted to stretch his wings, we moved him from the ICU crate to a 10’x20′ enclosure. He also has a roomie…an HY18 bald eagle at a similar stage in recovery. D32’s sibling D33 and Decorah North eaglet DN9 are
Decorah and Decorah North Eagles We got a nice long look at Mom on the ninth, which led to a lot of concerned questions about her appearance. Read this blog for more information: https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/07/12/is-mom-decorah-okay/ 07/09/2019: Mom’s feature film – https://youtu.be/uCpI4X-cW5s. Our first good look at Mom for weeks; still lots of flies bothering her, but she stays on camera for over an hour. This is a long video, but we’ve been waiting a long time to see her. 07/09/2019: Flyby
We got a nice, long look at Mom on Tuesday, which led to a lot of worried questions about her appearance. What was that dark mark beneath her chin? What’s going on with her face? Is she going to leave her territory? Here’s what we know. What’s going on with Mom’s face? In a word: Blackflies. John Howe and Neil Rettig captured several flies from Red-tailed Hawks near Neil’s home in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin. A professor at Clemson University
While fledge didn’t go as expected this year, our After The Fledge party is still on! After The Fledge will take place from Thursday, July 18 to Sunday, July 21. You are still welcome to register at http://bit.ly/2ILFW0E. Coming to Decorah for ATF (or any other reason)? Don’t miss our Before The Fledge Auction – your chance to win gift cards to great Decorah businesses! https://www.32auctions.com/BTF2019. You can find a printable schedule here: https://raptorresource.org/pdf/ATF-Schedule.pdf. All Weekend Decorah Fish Hatchery Tour:
The first egg broke on March 11.
Hatching Hatch #1: April 4, 2019 @ 6:54 PM CT (D32) Hatch #2: April 7, 2019, @ 7:19 PM CT (D33)
Fledging D30, last year’s first fledgling, fledged on 6/16/18 @ 2:55PM CDT
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.
This is a field guide to birds we see and hear around N2B. Click a bird to learn more about it!