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Where did Mom and DM2 go? The two built a new nest out of camera range. But another pair of eagles have moved into the hatchery territory and are busy working on N1. HD and HM are usually active in the morning and late afternoon. Check the video list at the bottom of the page or subscribe to our blog to keep up with the latest news.
About the Decorah Eagles
A new pair of eagles have moved into the rebuilt N1 nest near the trout hatchery. For now, we are calling them HM (Hatchery Mom) and HD (Hatchery Dad). 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 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.
A Brief History of the Decorah Eagles: OM, Dad, Mom, DM2, HM, and HD
Dad Decorah and his first mate, OM, began nesting near the fish hatchery in 2002. OM disappeared in the early fall of 2007 and was replaced by Mom, Dad’s second mate. Mom and Dad stayed together through three nests and eleven years before Dad disappeared in April of 2018. Mom accepted her second mate, DM2, in the fall of 2018 and the two nested near the hatchery until the end of 2020, when they built a new nest behind the Walmart in Decorah.
Nest N1 sat empty in 2021 and 2022, although we began seeing another pair of adult bald eagles in and around the nest in March of 2022, and Canada Geese hatched young at N2B in April. For the time being, we have christened the new Decorah Eagles HM (Hatchery Mom) and HD (Hatchery Dad), although those names could change. Whatever we end up calling them, we are hopeful they will lay eggs in 2023!
Nest Territory and Locations: N0, N1, N2, N2B, and N3
Five nests (N0, N1 [twice], N2, and N2B) have been built on the Decorah territory. Bald eagles built N0, N1 (once), and N2. Neil Rettig and Kike Arnal built nest N2B in August of 2015 after N2 was destroyed in a storm, and Kike Arnal and Amy Ries rebuilt nest N1 in September of 2021 after the original nest dwindled away.
Read this blog for more details about Mom, DM2, HD, HM, and the nests: https://www.raptorresource.org/2022/07/18/your-questions-answered-mom-dad-dm2-hd-hm-the-nests-and-the-territories/.
Bald Eagle Vocalization
The ways in which we watch and learn about birds – HD cameras, high-powered spotting scopes and lenses, and DNA analyzers – are new, but our interest in birds is very old. Sacred and magical birds are common in folklore, oral traditions, and religious texts, including the Bible, the Torah, the Qur’an, and the Bhagavad-gita. It’s easy to say that ancient people lacked a global perspective and scientific knowledge, but a quick search for birds + omens shows that we
At whatever moment you read these words, day or night, there are birds aloft in the skies of the Western Hemisphere, migrating. If it is spring or fall, the great pivot points of the year, then the continents are swarming with billions of traveling birds… – Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds We get a lot of questions about migration. Do the Decorah eagles migrate? Do our Peregrine falcons migrate? Where do they go when they
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.
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Kick up your feet and get ready for Nestflix! HD, HM, Mr. North, DNF, and an intrepid fox squirrel are all busy with nestorations, while eagles are pouring into the Flyway! I enjoyed all of these videos, but I especially liked the stick deliveries in Decorah, Mr. North fishing – check out his polar plunge! – and the aforementioned squirrel filching nesting material from Decorah North. As always, thanks to our camera operators and video makers for finding and sharing
Please join us on November 29, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, for our fundraiser on Giving Tuesday! We’ll be holding three special chats and John and Amy will make a special appearance to talk about the year and recap events at all of our sites. Our chat schedule looks like this: Decorah North Eagles Chat will be open from 6pm to 8pm Decorah Eagles We will have two chats: 9am to 12pm, and 3pm to 5pm Mississippi Flyway Chat begins
We have your Decorah and Decorah North Eagles! It was a beautiful snow globe day at both nests today, with plenty of fishing, stick deliveries, and a brief moo-rade. I liked all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed the retention pond fishing tournament, the great horned owl vocalizations near the North nest, and DNF’s giant stick. As always, thanks to our camera operators and videomakers for finding and sharing such special moments, and to you for watching, learning, and
Thanks for the airmail, D36! Two-year old bald eagle D36 sent us another postcard from the Turkey River near Spillville, Iowa: seemingly his new favorite hang and the place he’s spent the most time on his Iowa staycation! With winter finally moving in, it’s no surprise that he’s sticking to the steep valleys and flowing water of the Turkey. Given the eagles we’re seeing on the Flyway and wandering through Decorah, he should have plenty of company in the next
We have your NestFlix! Note the lovely subadult eagles at the Decorah and Decorah North nests. The northland is sealing over with ice and snow and the late holdouts are heading south. Look for more bald eagles everywhere we watch and a major flight of ducks on the Flyway following this weekend’s first major winter storm! Decorah Eagles November 10, 2022: Morning has broken, to the nest, deep cup nestorations – https://youtu.be/hc58CQsN06k. How deep can a nest be? HD and
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
N3 failed this year, although we have a new pair of eagles hanging out near N1. More about N3, Mom, and DM2 here: https://www.raptorresource.org/2022/04/26/decorah-eagles-update-at-n3-with-mom-decorah-dm2/
Hatching: Decorah Geese
Hatch began on Wednesday, April 27.
The goslings jumped from the nest on Thursday, April 28. You can learn more about that here: https://www.raptorresource.org/2022/05/03/goose-jump-highlights/.
We often get questions about where the eaglets go after they disperse. We tracked eaglets in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2020 to try to answer this question. For more information, visit our eagle maps.
Decorah Eagles Video Library