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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/.
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.
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.
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.
Bald Eagle Vocalization
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. DN15 and DN16 turn 25 and 24 days old today. During week three (fourteen to twenty-one days),
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
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.
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 to learn more! Canada Geese and Bald Eagles: Precocial versus Altricial From Stanford University: A precocial bird is “capable of moving around on its own soon after hatching.” The word comes from the same Latin root as “precocious.” Altricial means “incapable of moving around on its own soon after
The Chicago Peregrine Program inspired me to write a quick blog on the colors and shapes of eggs. Bald eagles have white eggs, peregrine falcons have eggs that range from light cream through brick red, and red-tailed hawks have pale eggs that are lightly splotched with brown. How and why do the birds we watch lay differently-colored and shaped eggs? In general, female birds inherit egg colors and patterns from their female parents. Egg-shell is made primarily of calcium carbonate,
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Welcome back to our regularly scheduled NestFlix! While we’ve been monitoring our peregrine falcon sites, the Decorah North eagles have been busy learning to fly and practicing landings, and the new Decorah Eagles have been working on N1. We’re still waiting for DN16 to fledge, although it shouldn’t be too long now, especially with DN15’s inspirational flights! I loved all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed the hilarious fish-a-palooza – watch out for your toes, Mr. North! – and
Where are D27 and D36? They are still sending postcards from their wintering grounds in Iowa – although we’re curious to see what D27 decides to do this year! Last year, she left Decorah quite abruptly on July 16 for her summering grounds. How abruptly? She arrived at in NW Ontario on July 27: a flight of 633 miles in just 11 days! But she’s staying more or less put right now. We’ll see if and when that changes. Brett
Story and photos by Robin Brumm Saturday was supposed to be sunny and warm, so what should I do?? Go to Decorah of course! I left a little later than I was planning, so I was hoping the eagles would still be hanging around when I got there. I drove up to the hatchery and right away saw the new pair of eagles in the N1 tree. I quickly parked the car, grabbed my camera and started taking pictures. They
This is a flashback post first published on April 26 of 2012. I repost it every year when the eagles begin bringing suckerfish into the nest. For new followers: Bob (Anderson) founded the Raptor Resource Project and was its first director. You can learn more about him here: https://www.raptorresource.org/about-us/remembering-bob-anderson/ Bob took a turn operating the controls at the Bald eagle camera this morning. He was fascinated by Dad, who brought in three suckers in one hour. Suckerfish are ‘rough’ fish:
As promised: your mega-raptor (and Canada Goose!) Nestflix Wednesday Matinee! DN15 and DN16 turn 39 and 38 days old today and are up to tweagle shenanigans: E-gulping fish, Eagle Kneiveling around the nest, practicing their Eagleibrium, and holding Flappathons as they explore their rapidly growing wings! It won’t be long before our two teen pterodactyls turn into sleek young fledglings, but there are plenty of Eagleicious Delicious moments to enjoy before that happens. Look for walking skills and balance to
Decorah Eagles 2022 Nesting Record
Egg-Laying: Decorah Eagles
Mom laid her first egg this year between Sunday, March 20 and Tuesday morning, March 22. Why was she so late? Read this blog: https://www.raptorresource.org/2022/03/29/finally-an-egg-at-n3/
Egg-Laying: Decorah Geese
Egg #1: March 24, 2022
Egg #2: March 25, 2022
Egg #3: March 27, 2022
Egg #4: March 28, 2022
Egg #5: March 30, 2022
Egg #6: April 1, 2022
Hatching: Decorah Eagles
This year’s first eaglet will be D40. Hatch should begin on or around April 26.
Hatching: Decorah Geese
Hatch should begin on or around April 25.
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.
Decorah Eagles Video Playlist