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

April 19, 2024: DN17 and DN18

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. During week three (fourteen to twenty-one days), the dynamic duo shed most of their natal down, gained

2024: 0629-44094, aka Ma FSV. She is 22 years old and fledged from a still active nest about 45 miles east of this one.

Bald Eagles, Menopause, and Ova

Do bald eagles go through menopause? Probably not, since we’ve documented menopause or prolonged post-reproductive lifespans in just four species.

Feather Follicle

What are feathers? What is molt?

Eaglets go through two molts and three feather stages in the nest: natal down (and molt), followed by thermal down (and molt), followed by juvenile feathers. As of this blog, the Decorah North eaglets are shedding the very last of their natal down and their thermal down is rapidly being replaced by juvenile down and feathers. We thought we would blog a little more about feathers to celebrate!  When we think about feathers, we tend to think about their qualities

April 14, 2024: The last gosling hatches at N1.

Canada Geese: Precocial versus Altricial

As watchers know, Canada geese are nesting in two abandoned bald eagle nests in Decorah, Iowa. N2B – currently a goose nest – is located about 700 feet east of N1, where geese started hatching yesterday. This blog discusses some of the differences between altricial eagles and precocial geese!  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

April 6, 2024: Sleeping - and dreaming! are part of eaglet growth and development.

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. DN17 and DN18 turned 15 and 14 days old today. During week two (seven to 14 days),

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News
News

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May 11, 2024: Mom feeding D40

May 11, 2024: Day Trip to Decorah!

Story and photos by Robin Brumm Saturday’s weather was supposed to be perfect, so guess where I went? You guessed it, I went to Decorah to see Mom and DM2. I also wanted to see if I could confirm how many eaglets were in the nest. So I packed up my stuff Saturday morning, and headed to Decorah. When I got to the nest, I noticed one parent in the nest and the other parent on the broken branch where

DM2 and eaglets

May 5, 2024: Decorah Day Trip

Story and photos by Robin Brumm I finally had a weekend that cooperated with a nice day, so I headed to Decorah. I was anxious to see if I could see any eaglets at N4, Mom and DM2’s nest. If there are eaglets, they would be about 2 weeks younger than the eaglets at DNN. I was a little on edge since Mom and DM2 haven’t had any eaglets the last two years, so as I walked down the trail

April 15, 2024: Natal down mohawks, thermal down bodies.

April 15, 2024: NestFlix and News From Decorah North, the Trempealeau eagles, and N1

Time to Nestflix and chill! At Decorah North, our grey grey tweagles are eating fish tails, sprouting pinfeathers and mohawks, coughing up pellets, and making all of their milestones! At Trempealeau, Mrs. T brings in an impressively large suckerfish and she and Mr. T defend the nest from a barred owl. The geese jumped this morning. Five of the six survived and the little family paddled downstream this morning. Perhaps we’ll see them below N2B or at the hatchery pond!

April 13, 2024: HD and HM work on their latest nest.

What are HM and HD up to?

– By John Howe Many of you have been wondering what HM and HD have been up to. Earlier this season they were spending plenty of time in the new nest we referred to as N5. We have not been able to see details of how that nest was doing, but we at believed that they laid eggs and were in incubation mode. In recent weeks, we noticed that they have been perched together for longer periods outside the nest

March 30, 2024: Mom Decorah. She is still nesting at 22 years of age.

March 30, 2024: A Day Trip To Decorah!

Story and Photos by Robin Brumm The weather finally cooperated and I was able to go to Decorah and not get snowed or rained on. So I got up at dark o’clock (not really, it was light o’clock) and headed off to Decorah. I was thinking about Mom and DM2 on the way over and had my talons crossed that they were still incubating. Their last 2 seasons haven’t been successful and I hope that this season will be a

>> 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.