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

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

September 2019: Migrating Birds on the Mississippi Flyway

On Migration

At whatever moment you read these words, day or night, there are birds aloft in the skies of the Western Hemisphere, migrating. If it is spring or fall, the great pivot points of the year, then the continents are swarming with billions of traveling birds… – Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds We get a lot of questions about migration. Do the Decorah eagles migrate? Do our Peregrine falcons migrate? Where do they go when they

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.

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News

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November 20, 2022: HD and HM gleam in the sunlight, resplendent against the bright blue sky

November 22, 2022: NestFlix and News from Decorah, Decorah North, and the Flyway!

Kick up your feet and get ready for Nestflix! HD, HM, Mr. North, DNF, and an intrepid fox squirrel are all busy with nestorations, while eagles are pouring into the Flyway! I enjoyed all of these videos, but I especially liked the stick deliveries in Decorah, Mr. North fishing – check out his polar plunge! – and the aforementioned squirrel filching nesting material from Decorah North. As always, thanks to our camera operators and video makers for finding and sharing

It's a fishing tournament! HM and subadult eagles fish the hatchery retention pond.

Giving Tuesday Fundraiser on Tuesday, November 29!

Please join us on November 29, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, for our fundraiser on Giving Tuesday! We’ll be holding three special chats and John and Amy will make a special appearance to talk about the year and recap events at all of our sites. Our chat schedule looks like this: Decorah North Eagles Chat will be open from 6pm to 8pm Decorah Eagles We will have two chats: 9am to 12pm, and 3pm to 5pm Mississippi Flyway Chat begins

November 14, 2022: DNF brings a large stick into the nest! How much weight can she carry? If conditions are ideal, she might be able to fly with as much as 100% of her own body weight, although she would be hard-pressed to dead lift that much.

November 16, 2022: News and NestFlix from Decorah and Decorah North

We have your Decorah and Decorah North Eagles! It was a beautiful snow globe day at both nests today, with plenty of fishing, stick deliveries, and a brief moo-rade. I liked all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed the retention pond fishing tournament, the great horned owl vocalizations near the North nest, and DNF’s giant stick. As always, thanks to our camera operators and videomakers for finding and sharing such special moments, and to you for watching, learning, and

November 10, 2022: A closer look!

November 11, 2022: News and NestFlic from Decorah and Decorah North

We have your NestFlix! Note the lovely subadult eagles at the Decorah and Decorah North nests. The northland is sealing over with ice and snow and the late holdouts are heading south. Look for more bald eagles everywhere we watch and a major flight of ducks on the Flyway following this weekend’s first major winter storm! Decorah Eagles November 10, 2022: Morning has broken, to the nest, deep cup nestorations – https://youtu.be/hc58CQsN06k. How deep can a nest be? HD and

November 7, 2022: HM (left) and HD (right) at N1. See the eagle heart?

November 7, 2022: Nestflix and news from Decorah and Decorah North

We have your nightly NestFlix from Decorah North and Decorah! I loved all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed DNF’s gardening work and close-ups in the first Decorah North video, Mr. North’s incredible limbo in video two, HD’s stick harvesting in the first Decorah video, and the beautiful close-ups in the second Decorah video. The weather has finally changed, the days are over an hour shorter than they were just a month ago, and both pairs of eagles are

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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.