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. For pasture perches, follow this link!

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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

An embryonic bird in very early stages of development. It has a top, bottom, front, back, left and right sides, and layers.

Peek inside a bald eagle egg: 4 days!

What do embryonic eagles look they look like as they develop and grow inside their eggs? Peek inside a Bald Eagle egg at four days!

An egg in cross section, modified from Romanoff and Romanoff, 1949

How long does it take a bald eagle to lay an egg?

How long does it take a bald eagle to lay an egg? We think that female bald eagles begin laying eggs five to ten days after productive mating begins.

January 23, 2023: HD sports eye-cicles on a frosty morning in Decorah. An icy fog left everything coated with frost

How do eagles stay warm in cold weather?

Each species experiences the world differently and eagles have capacities that are far different from ours. How do Bald Eagles survive an Iowa winter without adaptive clothing and central heat? A cold January morning coated our eagles in frost and left watchers wondering how Bald Eagles survive an Iowa winter. In general, wintering animals – including humans – need to retain body heat, stay dry, and take in enough calories to support winter’s increased energy demands. We humans put on

December 11, 2023: DNF and the big stick!

December 11, 2023: It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree…or How Much Weight Can a Bald Eagle Carry?

On December 11 of 2023, DNF arrived with a large stick that she struggled to place. How much weight can eagles carry?

Happy Halloween 2022!

Birds in superstition and folklore

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

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News

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February 19, 2024: DNF rolls her eggs and gently settles over them.

February 20, 2024: NestFlix, News, and What’s Coming Up!

We have a NestFlix Megaroll for everyone tonight, but I wanted to go through our calendar before we get started. Here’s what’s going on! Thank you so much for watching, sharing, learning, and caring! We hope you enjoy the videos as much as did! Decorah North Eagles February 20, 2024: Beautiful view of both eggs at shift change – https://youtu.be/oYdtdkkG10E?si=jzea-s9hoi-eNHs-. We finally got a glimpse of the eggs! They look lovely nestled in their bed of soft golden grass: the

An embryonic bird in very early stages of development. It has a top, bottom, front, back, left and right sides, and layers.

Peek inside a bald eagle egg: 4 days!

What do embryonic eagles look they look like as they develop and grow inside their eggs? Peek inside a Bald Eagle egg at four days!

February 18, 2024: DNF laid egg #2 today! We got a brief glimpse beyond the high walls of her grass berm - just enough to confirm egg #2!

February 18, 2024: A second egg for DNF!

DNF laid her second egg today at 2:49 PM nest time. When will her eggs begin hatching? I took a look at our records and saw an interesting variance between 2021 and 2022, although she laid her first and second eggs on the same day both years. In 2021, her first egg hatched on March 25 and her second egg hatched on March 27. In 2022, her first egg hatched on March 27 and her second egg hatched on March

February 16, 2024: Keep your tail out of my face!

Friday, February 16: Happy eagles, a tale of the tail, and our best guess for egg #2!

We’re posting just two NestFlix tonight, but they are personal favorites! I love watching Bald Eagle Dads come in for their first peek at a freshly laid egg. Mr. North is an old hand at egg care and he always seems to relish the chance to incubate. Who wouldn’t want to relax in a nice warm nest? https://youtu.be/Lexgasose0g?si=Ev0sQRLx3k8zL_GR Having said that, DNF doesn’t always want to relinquish her spot! While she sat and softly vocalized, he proceeded with nestorations. Her

February 15, 2024: DNF lays her first egg of the 2024 season.

DNF laid the first egg of 2024!

Congratulations to DNF and Mr. North! DNF laid her first egg of 2024 today at 2:12 PM CT. She tends to lay her eggs about 72 hours apart, give or take a little, so we’ll be watching for egg #2 on Sunday, February 18 at about 2:12 PM – although it could be a little earlier or a little later. As you watch the video, listen for her soft chirps and look for egg labor beginning at about three minutes.

>> More News
Nest Records
Decorah North Eagles 2024 Nesting Record
Egg Laying
DNF laid egg #1 @ 2:12 PM on February 15.
DNF laid egg #2 @ 2:49 PM on February 18.
Hatching
We’re guesstimating that hatch will happen on Saturday, March 23, in the morning. But it could be a little earlier or a little later than that.
Fledging
TBD

Eaglets and Outcomes: Detailed Annual Information

Year Nest Parents Eaglets Known Outcomes
2023 DN4 Mr. North, DNF None DNF laid one egg but abandoned incubation two days after laying it. Mr. North incubated their lone egg, which most likely froze before it cracked. She did not reclutch.
2022 DN4 Mr. North, DNF DN15, DN16 DN15 and DN16 both fledged successfully! As of late July, the two were exploring the North Valley and improving their flight skills. We saw some black flies here, but there were not enough to drive the young from the nest.
2021 DN4 Mr. North, DNF 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 Mr. North, DNF 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 Mr. North, DNF 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 Mr. North, Mrs. North 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 Mr. North, Mrs. North DN4, DN5, DN6 DN6 died of hypothermia shortly after hatch. DN4 and DN5 survived and fledged.
2016 DN3 Mr. North, Mrs. North 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.

Decorah North Eagles Video Library

Decorah North Eagles 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 youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/RaptorResourceProject.