Decorah North Bald Eagles

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Welcome to the third year of the Decorah North eagles! We hope you enjoy watching and learning with us! Click the livestream to watch, click here to pop video out, and scroll down the page to learn more about the eagles and their surroundings. For branch ID, follow this link.

Click here to make a donation to the Raptor Resource Project. Thank you for watching, learning, and caring!

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.


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:

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 about 56 feet off the ground. It is seven feet long at its longest point, four feet wide at its widest point, is about 3.5 feet high, and has 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

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Videos: What do you call a Bald Eagle Food Fight?

We have videos from Decorah, Decorah North, and the Mississippi Flyway! Before you start: following a Bald Eagle food fight on the Mississippi River, we asked what you would call a group of quarrelsome Bald Eagles. Convocation is the correct term, but it seemed too formal to apply to a full-on eagle food fight! Here are your suggestions, in posted order: Rabblers, Congress, Recess, Carnival, Squee, Woohoo, Rave, Quarrel, Squabble, Gawk, Commotion, Confusion, Frat Party, Scrum, and Rabble Rousers! Thank

Eagle pool party, thieving squirrels, and Sandhill cranes!

A kettle is a collective term for a group of migrating raptors, but what should we call a group of eagles on the ground? The terms ‘Collective’ and ‘Council’ don’t really fit the rowdy pool party antics of the eagles we saw at the North nest today. A squabble? A quarrel? A crush? Whatever you call it, they were fascinating to watch. Feel free to give your naming suggestions below! We also watched a brave squirrel thief filching nest materials

Sunday Videos: Decorah, Mississippi Flyway, and Decorah North

We have your Decorah Eagles, Flyway, and Decorah North Eagles videos! A Sunday short and sweet: thanks for finding, creating, watching, learning, and caring. You all rock! 🦅 Decorah Eagles 12/08/19: Mom & DM2 Close Ups and nest work – The first three minutes and fifteen seconds of this vdeio are featured below. At about 3 minutes, DM2 flies into N2B with some cornstalks. There must have been a two for one sale at Nest Depot – the bowl

Friday videos!

Happy Fri-yay! This morning’s #FridayFun includes some incredible footage of a flyway eagle food fight, a beautiful convocation of eagles, adult eagles taking themselves to the adult table, some fascinating behavior by Mr. North, mating at the North Nest, and starlings and geese. I was not able to pick favorites today – I recommend watching them all! Having said that, I was especially struck by Mr. North’s interesting behavior and the ‘Eagles of many ages’. Eagles are so amazing –

Thank you!

Thank you so much for your support on #GivingTuesday! You donated $10,708 to support our work yesterday. This will go a long way towards buying equipment, upgrading power on the Flyway, and expanding our educational program. From the very bottom of our hearts, thank you, thank you, thank you. We couldn’t do it without you!

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Nest Records
Decorah North Eagles 2019 Nesting Record
Egg #1: February 21, 2019 @ 3:23 PM CT
Egg #2: February 24, 2019 @ 12:23 PM CT

Hatch #1: March 31, 2019, confirmed @ 6:01 PM CT (DN9)
Hatch #2: April 1, 2019, confirmed @ 6:32 PM CT (DN10)
DN10 died within a day of hatching. We don’t have a cause of death.

DN9 is 257 days 15 hours old.

Eaglets and Outcomes

YearNest EagletsKnown Outcomes
2019DN4DN9, DN10DNF 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.
2018DN3DN7, DN8Mrs. 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.
2017DN3DN4, DN5, DN6DN6 died of hypothermia shortly after hatch. DN4 and DN5 survived and fledged.
2016DN3DN1, DN2, DN33 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 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: