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Welcome to the Decorah North Eagles! We hope you enjoy watching and learning with us! Click the livestream to watch and scroll down the page to learn more about the eagles and their surroundings. For branch ID, follow this link.
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The Decorah North eagles are nesting on private property north of Decorah, Iowa. Their nest is located in a white oak tree in a scrap of forest bordering a valley. A stream is located across a field where cattle are pastured. 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.
The eagles 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 in general, please follow this link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.
Decorah North Bald Eagles: DNF and Mr. North
The male is known as Mr. North. The female is the Decorah North Female, or DNF, who replaced Mrs. North in the summer of 2018. We don’t know exactly how or when it happened. You can read more about it here: https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/01/20/north-nest-announcement/
The first nest at the North site was built in a pine tree. The branches collapsed after the second nesting season and the eagles moved to a dead elm tree. They nested there for just one year before moving to their current location in late 2013. In August of 2018, their nest collapsed and slid or fell out of the nest tree during an extremely heavy storm. None of the tree branches were broken or damaged, so we decided to build a starter nest in the same spot. 2020 will mark their seventh season and fourth nest on this territory.
The North nest is 56 feet off the ground.
Bald Eagle Vocalization
Learn More About Bald Eagles
Keep your eyes on the Flyway! Birdcast predicts a heavy night for September 5th and 6th in the area of the Flyway. Listen for nocturnal migrants at night and look for nocturnal and diurnal migrants resting and feeding during the day.
How high can a Bald Eagle fly? Can an eagle fly to 50,000 feet to escape a hurricane? A look at what the data says!
As DH2 starts to sprout pinfeathers, we’re getting questions about natal down, thermal down, and juvenile feathers. Unless otherwise stated, the information in this blog applies to altricial birds, although most research in this area has been done on precocial and semi-precocial birds like ducks, geese, and cranes. Altricial and precocial birds have some marked differences in pre-hatch follicular development and post-hatch molts. Natal down, thermal down, and juvenile feathers Does thermal down sprout from natal down pores? Do flight
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. During week three (fourteen to twenty-one days), DH2 shed most of its natal down, gained a lot
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 three in this blog. DH2 turns 18 days old today. During week two (seven to 14 days), its footpads and talons
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The 2023 season was a tough one for the North Nest. While Mr. North and DNF started well, we documented at least five adult and subadult intruders between February 20th and March 20th. They followed Mr. North to the nest, perched in nearby trees, flew by the nest, attempted to steal food, and generally disturbed nesting activities. On February 23 – the day that DNF would normally have laid her second egg – she spent much of the day chasing
What a season 2023 was! We cheered HM, HD, and DH2; celebrated and mourned at Great Spirit Bluff; crossed our fingers for the Decorah North eagles (if one eagle could have incubated an egg all by himself, Mr. North would have done it); and were enthralled by the beautiful birds, turtles, flowers, frogs, and sunrises and sunsets on the Flyway. But the end of the summer is almost here and we need to take our usual fall break for cam
What are we looking forward to this week? We’ve got hatch at Great Spirit Bluff, nestling falcons at Alma, Great River Energy, and the Dubuque Courthouse, and some projected big nights on the Mississippi Flyway. Let’s break it down! Great Spirit Bluff Hatch has started at Great Spirit Bluff! Falcons normally begin full incubation after they lay their penultimate egg and it generally takes about thirty-three days from the onset of full incubation to the beginning of hatch. Savanna laid
We have your nestflix! In Decorah, DH2 explores self-feeding and shows us its tiny popping pinfeathers, HD makes a difficult fish delivery, and HM starts a rousing game of limbo with the very wonky stick. DH2 is getting big and it’s time to raise the crib rails! At Decorah North, we see some really interesting grackle behavior. Even if you don’t watch the whole video, I absolutely recommend checking out the song spread – it made me think of courting
Eaglets and Outcomes: Detailed Annual Information
We often get questions about where the eaglets go after they disperse. We have never tracked eaglets from this nest, but we have tracked eaglets from the Decorah nest. For more information, visit our eagle maps.