Decorah North Bald Eagle Cam

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Welcome to the fifth year of the Decorah North Eagles. We hope you enjoy watching and learning about bald eagles 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

DNF and Mr. North

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.

  • 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

Learn More About Bald Eagles

April 28, 2020: D34, D36, and D35 seeking shade at N2B

When will we be able to tell the sex of the eaglets?

TLDR: We won’t, but read on to learn why!When will we be able to tell the sex of the eaglets? We get asked this question every year. While most of us make private guesses, we don’t make them official – in no small part because we’ve been wrong before! Keep in mind that age is a bigger factor than sex in weight gain and size early in nest life. Sexual dimorphism begins to appear in some variables after about 20

April 16, 2020: Decorah Eaglets

Why don’t Mom and DM2 DO something about all of those beak-bonking battles?

One of the most common questions we’re getting right now is something along the lines of ‘Why don’t Mom and DM2 DO something about all of those beak-bonking battles?‘ We recognize that eagle parents are bonded to their children, so why don’t they stop potentially harmful behavior? It’s umwelt time, so let’s put our eagle heads on and think through the question! Competition is an important part of eagle ‘society’, but eagles also need to surrender food to hungry mates

April 7, 2020: D34 and D35

Your questions, answered: Will the third egg hatch? Why did the first two eaglets hatch so close together?

It’s April 7 and a lot of you are wondering about the third egg. Will it hatch? It could! It has been almost 34 days since Mom laid her third egg, which is 33 days and 20 hours old as I write this. But her third egg almost always hatches 36 to 37 days after it was laid. If she goes 36 days, which is fairly common, hatch should happen on April 9th. We could see pip later today or

November 7, 2017: Dad Decorah

#Musings: Place, stories, and eagle intelligence.

Place, as writer Thom Van Dooren points out, can be understood as an embodied, lived, and meaningful environment. Bald eagles clearly have a sense of place. Their territories are woven with layers of attention, meaning, and experience: spots to hunt, perch, and hide from the weather, materials to build and replenish their nests, and mates and family to bond with and care for. Eagles have neighbors beyond counting – squirrels, mice, raccoon, rabbits, muskrat, mink, coyotes, deer, prairie dogs, trout,

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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January 14, 2021: DNF and Mr. North on the North nest

NestFlix: Decorah North and Great Spirit Bluff

We have your NestFlix from Decorah North and Great Spirit Bluff! I liked all of these videos, but I loved the North Nest bath time with both eagles – I’ve already got a number two favorite video this year! – and Mr. North’s tree trimming. If you want to see bald eagles, don’t miss the eagle icecapades at Great Spirit Bluff. How many eagles can you count? I counted well over twenty on the ice! Thank you so much to

January 12, 2021: Nestflix from Decorah North and the Flyway

We have your NestFlix! We aren’t seeing much of Mom or DM2 but, with only about a month until eggs, the North Eagles are extremely busy with nestorations! I really enjoyed the fish chase and the stunning looks at DNF, and I always like seeing coyotes out on Mississippi River ice. As always, thank you to our camera operators for finding such special moments, our video makers for sharing them, and you for watching, learning, and especially for caring. Have

January 5, 2021: DNF at the North Nest

January 6, 2020: Decorah North, GSB, and the Flyway

We have your NestFlix! While we wait for John’s report from Decorah later this week, we’re watching the Decorah North Eagles, Great Spirit Bluff, and the Flyway. I liked all these videos, but do not miss the first two Decorah North videos (I love the birdsong and close-ups of DNF), the Great Horned Owls at GSB, and the Northern Harrier on the Flyway. I miss seeing Mom and DM2, but I love seeing the diversity of birds and wildlife at

January 4, 2021: A Merlin at the North Nest

What Bird Is This?

What bird is this? It’s a Merlin! This surprise visitor delighted watchers at Decorah North yesterday by perching, eating, preening, and showing off its yoga skills before flying away. According to most sources, North America is home to five falcon species. From largest to smallest, they stack up like this: Gyrfalcon Peregrine Falcon Prairie Falcon Merlin American Kestrel Like Peregrine falcons, Merlins feed primarily on other birds that they catch in the air, although they will also eat mammals, insects,

December 31, 2020: Mr. North (left) and DNF (right). DNF is signaling an interest in copulation by lowering her head, tipping forward, and hunching her shoulders.

January 5, 2020: Nestflix

Unwind, relax, and chill with videos from Decorah North, Decorah, and Great Spirit Bluff! I liked all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed the two eagles playing at Decorah North (five days into 2021 and I already have a candidate for next December’s top ten list!), the interaction between three adults in Decorah, and the beautiful eagles and coyotes at GSB. Thanks so much to our camera operators for finding such special moments, our videomakers for sharing them, and

>> More News
Nest Records
Decorah North Eagles 2020 Nesting Record
Egg-Laying
Egg #1: February 21, 2020 @ 3:36 PM CT
Egg #2: February 24, 2020 @ 5:13 PM CT

Hatching
DN11: March 30, 2020 @ 2:36 PM CDT
DN12: March 31st, time as yet unknown. Confirmed at 8:23 AM CDT

DN11 died at 5:56 AM on April 10. It appeared to have an obstruction in its throat that it could not clear.

Fledging
DN12 fledged on June 9, 2020 @ 12:11 PM CDT at just 70 days old!

Eaglets and Outcomes

YearNest EagletsKnown Outcomes
2020DN4DN11, DN12DN11 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.
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.

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