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 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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The view from 10,000 feet in Chatfield, MN

Where are eagles D27 and D36?

Where are eagles D27 and D36? The two appear to have opted for staycations this year, with D27 spending her time on the Upper Iowa just north of Decorah, and D36 exploring SE Minnesota. D36 is currently located on the north branch of the Root River near Chatfield, MN. It winds beneath tall hills, steep ridges, and – towards the Root – tall limestone bluffs. Like Decorah, this area has everything an eagle might want: a clean, cold, shallow river

June 20, 2021: Mom near N1

Hello, Mom! NestFlix from Decorah, Decorah North, and the Mississippi River Flyway

We have NestFlix from Decorah North, Decorah, and the Mississippi Flyway. At Decorah North, DN13 and DN14 show off their newly gained flight skills and squabble over UFO jerky, a deer and her fawns cool off in the stream, and somebirdy fails to stick the landing! In Decorah, Mom keeps us guessing – is she reconsidering her move, or just taking a break from the family? either way, it was great to see and hear her again! The Mississippi Flyway

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

On July 4th of 1776, the Declaration of Independence was ratified by Congress. Six years later, on June 20 1782, Congress chose the Bald Eagle as the emblem of the United States of America because of its long life, great strength, majestic appearance, and presence in Roman symbology. We will forever be in awe of the beauty and splendor of our eagles and the landscapes – the rivers, hills, plains, and purple mountains majesty! – that they live in. On

March 13, 2020: A stunningly beautiful young eagle forages in shallow water.

Enacting lead-free ammo and tackle requirements on National Wildlife Refuges

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to open seven National Wildlife Refuges to hunting and sport fishing, expand hunting at 83 other NWRs, add regulations that pertain to hunting and fishing, and reduce the regulatory burden on the public (which I interpret as ‘develop a uniform set of regulations where possible’). The proposed regulations may set hunting and fishing seasons, bag or creel limits, methods of hunting and sport fishing, and areas open to hunting and sport fishing.

6-23-21: Eaglet wingercising in N3

6-23-21 Day Trip

Story and Photos by Robin Brumm I went to Decorah again on Wednesday. Since Izzy reported that we had a fledge on Sunday, I wanted to see if any more had fledged, or if I could see the fledgling. When I got to the N3 area, there were 2 eaglets on the nest and both parents in the perch tree near N3. I scanned all the trees in the area and didn’t see the third eaglet. The area is full

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Nest Records

Decorah Eagles 2021 Nesting Record

Egg-Laying
Egg-laying began on February 24th or 25th.

Hatching
Hatch began on April 4th or April 5th. Robin Brumm confirmed three nestlings on April 16.

Fledging
Fledge began on or around June 20.

Eaglets and Outcomes >>
 Year Nest  Eaglets Outcomes
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.