Decorah North Bald Eagle Cam

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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. Average first egg date: February 19.

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About the Decorah North Eagles

About the Eagles

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.

Adults
Decorah North Bald Eagles: DNF and Mr. North

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/

Nests

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.

  • 2018: A female eagle (DNF, or Decorah North Female) replaces Mrs. North over the summer. The nest falls out of the tree following a storm in late August. Kike Arnal and Amy Ries build a starter nest in mid-September. Mr. North and DNF adopt it in October.
  • 2015: RRP adds cameras to the North Nest in September.
  • 2013: The tree falls. The eagles begin a new nest in a white oak tree.
  • 2011: The branches holding the nest collapse. The eagles build a new nest in a dead elm tree.
  • 2009: A pair of eagles establishes the Decorah North territory, building a nest in a white pine tree.

The North nest is 56 feet off the ground.

  • In 2021, the nest was 8.25 feet at its longest point and 6.25 feet at its widest point. Measured outermost stick to outermost stick, the nest measured 12 feet across. We can’t really get a height on it, since we can’t get anywhere near the bottom and the nest slopes downward from the top. Our best guess is six feet high at its tallest measure.
  • In 2019, the nest was seven feet long at its longest point, four feet wide at its widest point, was about 3.5 feet high, and had a perimeter of roughly 18 feet.
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

Learn More About Bald Eagles

Egg-laying Map

Why do bald eagles lay eggs in ice and snow?

Why do the Decorah and Decorah North eagles lay eggs in ice and snow? A lot of you – especially those of you who also watch the Florida eagles – are curious about bald eagle egg timing. Wouldn’t it be better to delay egg-laying until mid-March or early April? We’ll unpack the question by starting with a few facts. An Overview of Bald Eagle Nesting Bald eagles don’t all nest at the same time. In the southeastern United States, especially

January 14, 2021: Eagles at Lock and Dam Seven on Lake Onalaska, Mississippi River

How do eagles stay warm in cold weather?

Iowa bald eagles nest in extremely cold weather. How do they stay warm?  Bald eagles maximize energy gain by foraging in groups, gorging food, and increasing the assimilation of ingested food energy. They minimize energy loss by reducing activity, seeking protective microclimates, and lowering their nocturnal body temperature. In short, eagles keep warm by using the least amount of energy to get the most amount of food. Group Foraging and Changes in Behavior All bald eagles reduce activity and seek shelter during

April 12, 2021: DN13 back, DN14 front

Eaglet Growth and Development: Week Three

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. DN13 and DN14 are 18 and 16 days old. During week two (seven to 14 days), the

April 5, 2021: DN13, left and DN14, right

Eaglet Growth and Development, Week Two

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

March 26, 2021: DN13 eats breakfast!

Eaglet Growth and Development: Week One

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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News

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I love to see DNF enjoying a hearty meal! All eagles like to eat, but she especially seems to enjoy tucking into whatever is on her plate!

Nestflix and News: Decorah and Decorah North

Come join us for coffee, donuts, and a Decorah Eagle movie matinee! In Decorah, Mom and DM2 keep showing up in and around N2B. We’re glad you like hanging out at the hatchery…perhaps you’d like to move back in? At Decorah North, DNF shares a muskrat dinner and she and Mr. North bond. If she lays her first egg on February 16th again, we are just 20 days away from our first egg! Better get your comfy couches and baby-eee

January 21,2022: Mr. North gleams in the bright winter sunlight

Nestflix: Videos and news from Decorah, Decorah North, the Flyway, and GSB!

Grab something warm, wrap yourself in a blanket, and get ready for some wonderful videos from Decorah North, Decorah, and the Mississippi Flyway. I love all of these videos, but don’t miss the North fish chase, the beautiful subadult eagle, or the stunning video of Mr. North! We’re still seeing short-eared owls on the Flyway and I hope to write a little bit more about them tomorrow. Eagles and falcons and owls, oh my! Decorah North January 24, 2022: Mr.

Egg-laying Map

Why do bald eagles lay eggs in ice and snow?

Why do the Decorah and Decorah North eagles lay eggs in ice and snow? A lot of you – especially those of you who also watch the Florida eagles – are curious about bald eagle egg timing. Wouldn’t it be better to delay egg-laying until mid-March or early April? We’ll unpack the question by starting with a few facts. An Overview of Bald Eagle Nesting Bald eagles don’t all nest at the same time. In the southeastern United States, especially

January 18, 2022: C'mon, stick! DNF tries to free a large, wonky stick from the snow. She eventually gave up!

January 19, 2022: Nestflix and News!

It’s about time, Mr. North and DNF! Although we liked seeing snowy owls and coyotes on the Mississippi Flyway, and loved watching Mom and DM2 in Decorah, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one wondering about Mr. North and DNF. North nestorations resumed this morning with two large talonfuls of grass – one brought in by Mr. North and one brought in by DNF. Why did the North eagles disappear for so long? We think that they were hunkering down

January 12, 2022: Handsome Mr. North gleams in the bright sunlight.

January 12, 2022: NestFlix and News From the North Nest

Welcome back, DNF and Mr. North! The warm weather brought several animals out and about: Mr. North and DNF showed up on and around the north nest, Canada geese rested in the snow by the stream, white-tailed deer and an opossum foraged for food, and a young adult intruder made an appearance before Mr. North chased it away! Temperatures are supposed to stay (winter) warm through the next seven days or so, although a Friday snowstorm might have Mr. North

>> More News
Nest Records
Decorah North Eagles 2022 Nesting Record
Egg-Laying
We are waiting for the eagles to lay eggs. DNF laid her first egg on February 16 last year.

Hatching
This year’s first eaglet will be DN15. Last year’s first eaglet hatched on March 25.

Fledging
Fledging generally happens between 75 and 81 days of age, although it can happen a little earlier (especially if the nest has just one eaglet) or a little later. Female eagles fledge later than male eagles on average, although there is a period of overlap between about 77 and 79 days. In 2021, DN13 fledged at 78 days of age and DN14 fledged at 83 days of age.

Eaglets and Outcomes: Detailed Annual Information

Year Nest  Eaglets Known Outcomes
2021 DN4 DN13, DN14 DN13 and DN14 both fledged successfully! As of early July, 2021, the two were exploring the North Valley and improving their flight skills. Black flies were not an issue at this nest in 2021.
2020 DN4 DN11, DN12 DN11 died at 5:56 AM on April 10. It appeared to have an obstruction in its throat that it could not clear. DN12 fledged successfully.
2019 DN4 DN9, DN10 DNF laid two eggs beginning on February 21st. Both hatched beginning on March31, but DN10 died shortly after hatch. DN9 abandoned the nest early following an intense blackfly swarm. David Kester from the Raptor Resource Project rescued him. He was cared for by SOAR and released in the fall of 2019.
2018 DN3 DN7, DN8 Mrs. North laid one egg on 2/25/18. That egg broke in the wee hours of March 16. She reclutched on 4/12, laying two eggs. Both eggs hatched, but the eaglets succumbed to heat and blackfly bites on May 25.
2017 DN3 DN4, DN5, DN6 DN6 died of hypothermia shortly after hatch. DN4 and DN5 survived and fledged.
2016 DN3 DN1, DN2, DN3 3 eggs hatched. DN3 died of cold and
malnourishment on May 11. Sibling
aggression was a significant factor. DN2
was killed by contaminated prey on
May 25th. DN1 survived to fledge.

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.

Videos

Decorah North Eagles Video Playlist

Click the icon on the top left of the stream to view a full list of videos from our 2019 playlist, or visit our playlist here: https://www.youtube.com/c/RaptorResourceProject