Decorah North Bald Eagle Cam

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Welcome to the third year of the Decorah North Bald Eagle cam! 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

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,

eggs - Egg Colors and Shapes

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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May 19, 2020: DN12 at the North Nest

May 19, 2020: It’s a Mega Raptor Marathon from Decorah and Decorah North!

The eaglets at Decorah and Decorah North are all past the halfway point in nest life. They usually fledge at 75 to 80 days, with males often (but not always) fledging first. We see a lot of baby behaviors in the first four to five weeks of nest life: eat, bonk (until about the third week), poop, sleep, repeat. The baby-eees are also exploring the nest and gaining skills, but things don’t really kick into high gear until they begin

Decorah North Nest: DN12 Milestones

Did You See? DN12’s Home-Alone Schooling!

by Sherri Elliott If you’ve been thinking about calling Eaglet Protective Services to report DN12 being left unattended for longer periods or not getting enough to eat … Don’t! DN12 has thousands of aunties and uncles that are keeping eyes fixed on the little darling, and there’s no doubt that parents Mr. North and DNF are close by also checking on their eaglet. At 6 weeks old, DN12 is half-way through the nesting season and continues to meet or exceed

May 11, 2020: DN12 responds to a squirrel at the North Nest

Did You See?

By Sherri Elliott A squirrel came calling yesterday at the Decorah North Nest and DN12 locked eyes with the little intruder and wasted no time asserting to defend the penthouse. Look to the left in this short video and see the squirrel tiptoe up to the side door only to meet DN12’s steely eagle eyes. In a flash, DN12 asserted to defend and stood with hackles up, wings stretched out and flapping to loom large…and for good measure muttered some

May 7, 2020: D36 naps behind Mom's new picket fence

May 8, 2020: Your Fri-yay nest news and raptor movie marathon!

Happy Fri-yay, everyone! We’ll keep the news short and sweet: today Decorah eaglets D34 and D35 turn 33 days old and D36 turns 30 days old, and DN12 at the North nest turns 38 days old – about halfway through an eaglet’s 75 to 80 day nest life! We had our first peregrine falcon hatch at Great Spirit Bluff last night, with possibly more to come, and we also have falcon hatchlings at Dairyland Power Genoa and MPL Hibbard. Thank

May 4, 2020: DN12 is 34 days old

May 4, 2020: Movies and news!

We have your mega-movie Monday marathon, with videos from Decorah and Decorah North! We had hatch at the Dairyland Genoa nest over the weekend and are pacing the floor at Great Spirit Bluff. Go Nova and Newman! In Decorah and at Decorah North, our not-so-little eaglets are learning to be big kids: attempting to self-feed, bantling (baby mantling), walking on their ginormous yellow footpads, playing house, and being entertained by floppy fledging fish! We hope you enjoy these videos as

>> 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
Fledge should occur in mid-June.

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.

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