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.

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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

April 19, 2022: DN15 and DN16

Eaglet Growth and Development: Week Four

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),

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.

Canada Geese at 24 hours old, Charlo Osprey Nest, explore.org, just prior to the Big Leap

Canada Geese: Precocial versus Altricial

Altricial eaglets rely on parental care until they fledge. But goslings are precocial: capable of moving around, self-feeding, and leaving the nest shortly after hatch. What does that mean? Read on to learn more! Canada Geese and Bald Eagles: Precocial versus Altricial From Stanford University: A precocial bird is “capable of moving around on its own soon after hatching.” The word comes from the same Latin root as “precocious.” Altricial means “incapable of moving around on its own soon after

Egg Colors and Shapes

The Chicago Peregrine Program inspired me to write a quick blog on the colors and shapes of eggs. Bald eagles have white eggs, peregrine falcons have eggs that range from light cream through brick red, and red-tailed hawks have pale eggs that are lightly splotched with brown. How and why do the birds we watch lay differently-colored and shaped eggs? In general, female birds inherit egg colors and patterns from their female parents. Egg-shell is made primarily of calcium carbonate,

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News

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2022 Cam Shutdown Announcement

2022 Stream Shutdown Announcement

We’re so glad we got to spend time with all of you this year – a wonderful year at the North nest and a hilarious, sometimes difficult, but ultimately hopeful year in Decorah! We’ll be shutting down our Decorah and Decorah North streams for maintenance on Saturday, August 20, at 5:00 PM CDT. Please join us for special celebratory chats and an end of the season fundraiser on our website from 3pm to 5pm on shutdown day. We’ll be reminiscing

July 29, 2022: HD and HM on the Y-Branch.

NestFlix and news from the North Nest, the Decorah Trout Hatchery, and Great Spirit Bluff!

Today DN15 and DN16 turn 129 and 128 days old. Last year, none of our camera operators reported seeing DN13 or DN14 at the North nest last year after August 14th. That got me curious, since we know the eaglets are beginning to wander prior to dispersal. I took a look at each year’s August map in two sections: one from August 1 through August 15, and one from August 16 through August 31. While most of our eaglets didn’t

July 25, 2022: DN15 on the babysitting branch at the North Nest

NestFlix and News From Decorah North, Decorah, and the Flyway!

Today DN15 turns 123 days old and DN16 turns 122 days old. How much longer will it be before they disperse? To date, we’ve tracked eight Decorah eagles with satellite transmitters: D1 beginning in 2011, D14 beginning in 2012, Four beginning in 2014, siblings D24 and D25 beginning in 2016, D27 beginning in 2017, and siblings D35 and D36 beginning in 2020. While a few of them did things their own way, most of them stayed within a mile of

July 4, 2022: A Red-Winged Blackbird dives and sits on DN16

News and NestFlix from Decorah and Decorah North

What’s going on at DNN and Decorah? At Decorah North, DN15 turns 101 days old and DN16 turns 100 days old. As hard as it is to believe, DN15 has been on the wing for 24 days – almost a month! – and DN16 has been on the wing for 16 days. Both of them are becoming strong, proficient flyers, although the place, be it log, nest, or branch, still looks like a wrestling ring every time DNF or Mr.

DN15 and DN16, Decorah North nest, 2022

North Nest Farewell Chat

Join us here to share your favorite North nest memories and say goodbye – for now! – during our final regularly scheduled Decorah North chat of the 2022 season. We’ll be starting at 6PM CT on Saturday, June 25, and ending at 7:30 PM, although we might stay open a little longer depending on how things go. If you’ve enjoyed watching this year – or any year! – please consider making a donation or becoming a monthly supporter. Your support

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Nest Records
Decorah North Eagles 2022 Nesting Record
Egg-Laying
DNF laid egg #1 on February 16 @ 3:17 PM CT
DNF laid egg #2 on February 19 @ 4:15 PM CT

Hatching
DN15 hatched some time during the night of March 25 or early morning of March 26. We got our first glimpse at 6:27 AM
DN16 hatched at 4:25 PM on March 27.

Fledging
DN15 fledged on June 11 at 77 days old.
DN16 fledged on Father’s Day, June 19, at 84 days of age.

Eaglets and Outcomes: Detailed Annual Information

Year Nest Parents Eaglets Known Outcomes
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 North Nest video library page here: https://www.youtube.com/c/RaptorResourceProject.