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. Click here to buy a 2020 Decorah Eagles North calendar. Thank you for watching, learning, and caring!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

Learn More About Bald Eagles
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January 19, 202: Mom and DM2

Nestflix: January 19, 2020

It was so good to see Mom and DM2 today, and we have some wonderful video of the Norths! We hope you enjoy our #SundaySweets! Thanks to our always-observant camera operators and video makers for finding and sharing special moments, and to you for watching, caring, learning, and sharing! Decorah Eagles 1/19/20: Mom arrives on a snowy nest, DM2 follows – Welcome back, Mom and DM2! They don’t stay long, but both visit N2B. Mom flies up to the

January 17, 2020: Mr. flies into the nest with a fish

Fri-yay Nestflix

We’re happy to reach the weekend, happy to have the Decorah cam working again (thanks, John!), and looking forward to eggs and eaglets! Looking to save the date? In general: The FSV Eagles usually start laying eggs in mid-February. They laid their first egg on February 13 last year. The Decorah Eagles usually start laying eggs just a tiny bit later. Mom laid her first egg on February 22 last year. The Decorah North Eagles have been harder to predict,

January 16, 2020: Coyote and swans on the Flyway

Nestflix: Decorah, Decorah North, and the Flyway

Brrrrrrrr! The thermometer reads -1F right now in Decorah, and the cold has our eagles hunkered down. They deal with frigid subzero temperatures by using the least amount of energy to get the most amount of food. Ben Franklin famously called bald eagles lazy, but Ben wasn’t living outside through an Iowa winter. I’d call them pretty smart! We’ve shared this information before, but if you haven’t read it and would like to know more about how eagles cope with

January 13, 2019: Mr. North and DNF

Nestflix: Decorah and Decorah North

Winter is back! We have videos from Decorah and Decorah North. Mom and DM2 took the day off, but Mr. North and DNF got busy removing the snow. I especially loved the two videos from Decorah North. If you missed Sherri’s post yesterday, be sure to check out the subadult video. This is a beautiful eagle! I also enjoyed seeing Mr. North slingshot past the North nest as he tore off a branch for delivery to the nest. It isn’t

January 13, 2020: Subadult visits the Decorah North Nest

Baldi-locks … at the North Nest!

By Sherri Elliott A lovely visitor today reminded me of the classic fairytale. No testing beds or tasting porridge, but this beauty was inquisitive, playful, resourceful, and showed nestoration skills while keeping an eye out for the rightful owners. I’m guessing it is almost 4 years old. It had a beautiful eye mask, darker beak, salt and pepper head feathers and a gorgeous display of mottling in tail and vent feathers. He/She displayed talent and technique moving large sticks, pulling

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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 295 days 11 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: