Decorah Goose Cam

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What are geese doing in a former eagle’s nest? Eagles nested in N2B from 2015 to 2018 (Mom and Dad) and from 2019 to 2020 (Mom and DM2). When Mom and DM2 built a new nest behind the Decorah-area Walmart in late 2020, the nest sat empty until Canada Geese began nesting there in 2022.

N2B is located about 700 feet east of N1, the nest that HD and HM are nesting in now. While we saw HD chase a goose away from N2B on March 5th, the eagles largely ignore them. Check the video list at the bottom of the page or subscribe to our blog to keep up with the latest news.

About the Geese

About the Geese

We have not adopted names for the geese and don’t know whether they are the same pair that nested here in 2022, although it seems likely. In general, the geese arrive in late February or early March and begin laying eggs in mid-to-late March. The goslings begin hatching roughly 33 days after the first egg is laid. They will jump from N2B, which is about 70 feet high, 24 to 48 hours after the first egg hatches. Geese are precocial, which means that goslings are capable of moving around, self-feeding, and leaving the nest shortly after hatch:

To learn more about Canada geese, please follow this link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. Visiting Decorah to see the eagles or the geese? Please read through our guide to eagle etiquette >> Bald Eagle Etiquette.

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. As of 2023, bald eagles HD (Hatchery Dad) and HM (Hatchery Mom) are nesting in N1, and the geese are nesting in N2B.

  • 2022: Canada Geese hatch young in N2B: and a new pair of bald eagles adopts N1.
  • 2020: Mom and DM2 begin a new nest (N3) behind the Decorah Walmart and begin nesting there in 2021.
  • 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. Watch the N2B rebuild here: and read about it at our old blogspot:
  • 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: Canada Goose
Scientific name: Branta canadensis
Length: 29.9-43.3 inches | 76-110 cm
Weight: 6.5 to 19.8 pounds | 3000-9000 grams
Wingspan: 4.1 to 5.5 feet | 127-170 cm
Lifespan: 10 to 20 years in the wild

Canada Goose Vocalization


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April 26, 2023: Mother Goose and gosling

Goose Cam Shutdown Announcement

We’re shutting down the goose cam! The goslings leapt on April 26th and the occasional visitors to N2B don’t appear interested in laying eggs. If anything changes, we can turn it back on. Thanks so much for watching the geese with us this year! If you’d like to relive the goslings (so cute!), we have a video: If you’d like to read more about them, follow this link: And click here for other birds to watch and follow:

April 27, 2023: The injured gosling

We’re sorry to let everyone know that six didn’t make it. In reviewing the footage, it appears the gosling hit a branch on the way down and suffered a severe spinal injury. We can remove logs and dead wood from the bottom of the tree, but we can’t do much about large living limbs and we aren’t going to discourage nesting in N2B. Five out of six goslings survived the jump. This translates to a survival rate of 83%, which

April 26, 2023: The goslings this morning shortly before MG left the nest. When they didn't jump yesterday - they were pretty rambunctious! - we thought it might happen early this morning. But we were still surprised at how quickly it went!

April 26, 2023: The goslings make the leap of faith!

The goslings jumped this morning at about 7:29 AM. After watching them yesterday afternoon, we thought the jump might occur pretty early today, but we were still surprised at how quickly it happened! Within just a few minutes of MG’s departure, all of the goslings had joined their parents on the ground. Our camera operators were only able to find five of them, so we headed into the underbrush to find #6 hidden under a log. We tried reuniting little

April 25, 2023: Goslings!

April 25, 2023: Gosling Hatch!

Goose hatch started yesterday and we think they might leap today! Some videos: April 24, 2023: 1st gosling hatch 2:27 pm: April 24, 2023: 7:28pm Decorah Goose Cam: April 24, 2023: Decorah Geese. And then there were 2! April 24, 2023: Two hatches at Decorah Goose Cam! April 25, 2023: Decorah Goose Cam~Ma Goose Tosses Egg Shell Off Nest-You Can Hear It Land: April 25, 2023: Precious goslings peeking out: April 25, 2023: Good

April 23, 2023: Is that pip?

April 23, 2023: Is that a pip?

Is that a pip? A sharp-eyed volunteer alerted us to what looked like pips in a few of the goose eggs this morning. It could be dirt, but we’re waiting for hatch and the marks are on the right side of the egg. We’ll keep watching! No related posts.

>> More News
Nest Records

Decorah Geese 2023 Nesting Record

MG laid egg #1 on March [email protected] 9:36 AM
MG laid egg #2 on March 23 at 8:45 AM
MG laid egg #3 on March 25 at 7:07 AM
MG laid egg #4 on March 26 at 7:15 AM
MG laid egg #5 on March 28, time unknown (full incubation started)
MG laid egg #6 on March 30, time unknown

Hatch should start on or about April 22.

In 2022, the goslings jumped from the nest on Thursday, April 28. If they begin hatching on the 22nd, we would expect them to jump on the 23rd or 24th.

Geese and Outcomes

 Year Nest  # of eggs/goslings Outcomes
2023 N2B 6/TBD
2022 N2B 6/5 One gosling – we think it might have been the second one – died in the leap. Four survived and rejoined their parents.
Decorah Geese Video Library

Decorah Geese Video Library

Click the hamburger icon on the top right of the video below to view a full list of videos from our most recent playlist, or visit our Decorah Geese video library page here: