Decorah Bald Eagles

Chat hours: We’ll set a schedule once Mom begins laying eggs, but in the meantime, watch for flash chats! To support us, follow this link: Donate to RRP! To see who’s watching with you, view the Visitor Map!
Decorah
20°
clear sky
humidity: 100%
wind: 3mph E
H 16 • L 9
36°
Sun
28°
Mon
38°
Tue
About the Decorah Eagles

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.

Female eagles are larger than male eagles, with slightly darker heads and more pronounced brows. We’ll put together an ID video as soon as we know we have a new male on territory.

Nest Territory and Locations

History of the Decorah Eagles

Dad, Mom’s original mate, disappeared in April of 2018. We’re still waiting to see what happens in the nest this year, but a male eagle has been seen bringing sticks to the nest.
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.

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.
  • 2015: Mom and Dad 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: 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: 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
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

Links

Nest Records
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
6/16/18: D30 fledged at 2:55 PM CDT
6/23/18: D29 fledged early in the morning
6/23/18: D31 fledged at 7:29 PM CDT

Eaglet Ages
D29 is 257 days 22 hours oldD30 is 256 days 10 hours oldD31 is 254 days 6 hours old

Eaglets and Outcomes >>
 YearNest EagletsOutcomes
2018N2B3 – D29, D30, D31All fledged.
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.

Videos

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:.