Decorah Bald Eagles

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  • About the Eagles

    The Decorah eagles are nesting near the Decorah Trout Hatchery, located at 2325 Siewers Spring Rd in Decorah, IA. 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.

    Daily Eaglet Calendar

    Month Week Day
    April 2018
    SundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
    March 25, 2018 March 26, 2018 March 27, 2018 March 28, 2018 March 29, 2018 March 30, 2018 March 31, 2018
    April 1, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day zero: Recovering from hatch

    : Day zero: Recovering from hatch
    April 2, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day one: Sitting up and feeding

    : Day one: Sitting up and feeding
    April 3, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day two: Let the bonking begin!

    : Day two: Let the bonking begin!
    April 4, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day three: Growing beaks, yellow feet!

    : Day three: Growing beaks, yellow feet!
    April 5, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day four: new sibling, bigger bites!

    : Day four: new sibling, bigger bites!
    April 6, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day five: A professional poop shoot!

    : Day five: A professional poop shoot!
    April 7, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day six: Babysitting from the skywalk

    : Day six: Babysitting from the skywalk
    April 8, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day seven: Eaglet explorers!

    : Day seven: Eaglet explorers!
    April 9, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day eight: Pretty preening

    : Day eight: Pretty preening
    April 10, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day nine: Thermal down is starting to pop!

    : Day nine: Thermal down is starting to pop!
    April 11, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day 10: Eaglet escapee!

    : Day 10: Eaglet escapee!
    April 12, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day 11: Cropzillas!

    : Day 11: Cropzillas!
    April 13, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day 12: Mom and Dad protection mode

    : Day 12: Mom and Dad protection mode
    April 14, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day 13: Dad delivers huge sucker fish

    : Day 13: Dad delivers huge sucker fish
    April 15, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day 14: Grey flannel suits, clown clompers

    : Day 14: Grey flannel suits, clown clompers
    April 16, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day 15: Taupe-colored talons!

    : Day 15: Taupe-colored talons!
    April 17, 2018

    Category: Eaglet Calendar: Day 16: A wonderful warble!

    : Day 16: A wonderful warble!
    April 18, 2018 April 19, 2018 April 20, 2018 April 21, 2018
    April 22, 2018 April 23, 2018 April 24, 2018 April 25, 2018 April 26, 2018 April 27, 2018 April 28, 2018
    April 29, 2018 April 30, 2018 May 1, 2018 May 2, 2018 May 3, 2018 May 4, 2018 May 5, 2018

    Nest Territory and Locations

    Mom and Dad
    As far as we know, Dad is the original male and Mom is his second mate. Dad is older than Mom, but we don’t know exactly how old he is. 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.

    Mom is larger than Dad, with a slightly darker head, a pronounced brow, and grey ‘eyeshadow’. This video from 2011 provides pointers on how to tell them apart.

    The eagles have built three nests (N0, N1, and N2) on their own. 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.

    • 2015: The eagles adopt N2B in October of 2015
    • 2015: Humans build a nest (N2B) to encourage the eagles to begin building near the former location of N2
    • 2015: N2 is destroyed during a storm the morning of July 18
    • 2012: The eagles 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: A four-year old female (Mom) joins Dad at N1 in early December
    • 2007: OM disappears in early fall
    • 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
    • 2002’ish: the male eagle (Dad) and his original mate (OM) build a nest (N0) in the hills to the east of the hatchery


    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

    Links


    Decorah Eagles 2018 Nesting Record

    Egg-Laying
    Egg #1: 2/21/18 @ 7:28 PM CT
    Egg #2: 2/24/18 @ 5:48 PM CT
    Egg #3: 2/28/18 @ 6:36 PM CT

    Hatching
    D29: 4/01/18 @ 7:25 AM CDT
    D30: 4/02/18, first glimpse @ 7:33 PM CDT
    D31: 4/04/18 @ 11:44 PM CDT

    Fledging

    Eaglet Ages
    D29 is 19 days 2 hours old
    D30 is 17 days 14 hours old
    D31 is 15 days 10 hours old

    Eaglets and Outcomes

     YearNest EagletsOutcomes
    2017N2B3 – D26, D27, D28All fledged. D27 is still alive.
    2016N2B2 – D24, D25D25 was struck by a car and died.
    D24 is still alive.
    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.

    This is a field guide to birds we see and hear around N2B. Click a bird to learn more about it!

    American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
    American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

    American Robin (Turdus migratorius)
    American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

    Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
    Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)

    Brown-Headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
    Brown-Headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

    Canada Goose (Branta Canadensis)
    Canada Goose (Branta Canadensis)

    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)
    Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)

    European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
    European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

    House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)
    House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)

    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)
    House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

    House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)
    House Wren (Troglodytes aedon)

    Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous)
    Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous)

    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
    Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
    Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)

    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
    Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)
    Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)
    White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis)

    White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
    White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

    Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)
    Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)


    Decorah Eagles Video Playlist

    Click the icon on the top left of the stream to view a full list of videos from our 2018 playlist, or visit our playlist here:

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