Decorah Eagle Cam

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Welcome to the tenth year of the Decorah Eagles. We hope you enjoy watching and learning about bald eagles with us! Click the livestream to watch, click here to pop video out, and scroll down the page to learn more about the eagles and their surroundings.

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About the Decorah Eagles
About the Decorah Eagles

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. 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 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 seventeen years old in 2020. 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 28, 2020: D34, D36, and D35 seeking shade at N2B

When will we be able to tell the sex of the eaglets?

TLDR: We won’t, but read on to learn why!When will we be able to tell the sex of the eaglets? We get asked this question every year. While most of us make private guesses, we don’t make them official – in no small part because we’ve been wrong before! Keep in mind that age is a bigger factor than sex in weight gain and size early in nest life. Sexual dimorphism begins to appear in some variables after about 20

April 16, 2020: Decorah Eaglets

Why don’t Mom and DM2 DO something about all of those beak-bonking battles?

One of the most common questions we’re getting right now is something along the lines of ‘Why don’t Mom and DM2 DO something about all of those beak-bonking battles?‘ We recognize that eagle parents are bonded to their children, so why don’t they stop potentially harmful behavior? It’s umwelt time, so let’s put our eagle heads on and think through the question! Competition is an important part of eagle ‘society’, but eagles also need to surrender food to hungry mates

April 7, 2020: D34 and D35

Your questions, answered: Will the third egg hatch? Why did the first two eaglets hatch so close together?

It’s April 7 and a lot of you are wondering about the third egg. Will it hatch? It could! It has been almost 34 days since Mom laid her third egg, which is 33 days and 20 hours old as I write this. But her third egg almost always hatches 36 to 37 days after it was laid. If she goes 36 days, which is fairly common, hatch should happen on April 9th. We could see pip later today or

November 7, 2017: Dad Decorah

#Musings: Place, stories, and eagle intelligence.

Place, as writer Thom Van Dooren points out, can be understood as an embodied, lived, and meaningful environment. Bald eagles clearly have a sense of place. Their territories are woven with layers of attention, meaning, and experience: spots to hunt, perch, and hide from the weather, materials to build and replenish their nests, and mates and family to bond with and care for. Eagles have neighbors beyond counting – squirrels, mice, raccoon, rabbits, muskrat, mink, coyotes, deer, prairie dogs, trout,

Egg Colors and Shapes

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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News
News

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November 22, 2020: D36's Map

November 23, 2020: Eaglet airmail!

Thanks for the airmail, eaglets! Can we still call D27 an eaglet? She is a little over three years old right now and is spending her time in a valley system just a few miles south of her natal nest. We keep wondering if she’ll cross paths with sibling D36, but the two haven’t been especially close so far. D36 continues to hang south, moving his foraging area from the Turkey River to the Volga River: also a popular spot

November 22, 2020: mom Decorah near N1

November 22, 2020: Videos and news from Decorah

We have a little #sundaysweetness for everyone this morning! As the nest shows, Mom and DM2 have been busy! These videos give us a very nice look at both eagles and a little nestoration at N2B. Have a great day, everyone! Decorah Eagles November 21, 2020: Early morning – https://youtu.be/zV75RVbrRag. Mom is at N1, which is currently decorah-ated with a single stick. DM2 lands at N2B with another stick, which he places in the nest. A frosty Mom comes to

November 19, 2020: Nestorations!

November 19, 2020: Videos from Decorah, Decorah North, and the Flyway

What a day it was in Decorah! Once Mom and DM2 decided it was time to get going on nestorations, they didn’t waste any time. We saw sticks, corn husks, cornstalks, and road kill in N2B today! At Decorah North, an opossum collects leaves with its tail. On the Flyway, two beautiful bald eagles stand next two one another, casting lovely reflections on the still water. I hope you enjoyed these videos as much as we did. Thank you so

November 17, 2020: Magnificent Mom!

November 17, 2020: Nestflix from Decorah, Decorah North, and the Flyway!

We have your Nestflix from Decorah, Decorah North, and the Flyway! I loved all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed seeing Mom and DM2 working on the nest, the food chase at the North nest, and the food fight on the Mississippi Flyway – or most of the videos we’ve rounded up for you tonight! We hope you are doing well and enjoy these videos as much as we did. Thank you so much for watching with us! Decorah

November 15, 2020: Nestorations at N2B

Do female eagles experience menopause?

We’re getting a lot of questions about eagles and what might be called menopause this week. Many of you want to know if female bald eagles stop laying eggs due to age-related changes in their bodies – the avian version of menopause. Is Mom disinterested in DM2 because she’s done with eggs? The short answer is ‘No’, but I want to unpack the question a little further. Human menopause is very unusual. Unlike the vast majority of animals, women can

>> More News
Nest Records
Decorah Eagles 2020 Nesting Record
Egg-Laying
Egg #1: February 26, 2020 @ 5:44 PM CT
Egg #2: February 29, 2020 @ 6:28 PM CT
Egg #3: March 4, 2020 @ 5:59 PM CT

Hatching

D34: April 5, 2020 @ 9:45 AM CDT
D35: April 5, 2020 @ 4:07 PM CDT
D36: April 8, 2020 @ 6:50 PM CDT

Fledging

D34: June 18 @ 8:40 AM
D35: June 21 @ 8:44 AM – fall turned fledge!
D36: June 21 @ 6:09 PM

Eaglets and Outcomes >>
 YearNest EagletsOutcomes
2020N2B3 – D34, D35, D36All three eaglets fledged successfully. We are following D35 and D36 via satellite.
2019N2B2 – D32, D33Both eaglets abandoned the nest early
following an intense blackfly swarm.
Both were cared for at SOAR and have since been released.
2018N2B3 – D29, D30, D31All fledged.
2017N2B3 – D26, D27, D28All fledged. We are following D27 via satellite.
2016N2B2 – D24, D25D25 was struck by a car and died.
We are following D24 via satellite.
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.

Videos
Decorah Eagles Video Playlist
Click the icon on the top left of the stream to view a full list of videos from our 2020 playlist, or visit our our YouTube channel.