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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.
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.
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/
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.
The North nest is 56 feet off the ground.
Bald Eagle Vocalization
Learn More About Bald Eagles
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),
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
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.
Altricial eaglets rely on parental care until they fledge. But goslings are precocial: capable of moving around, self-feeding, and leaving the nest shortly after hatch. What does that mean? Read on to learn more! Canada Geese and Bald Eagles: Precocial versus Altricial From Stanford University: A precocial bird is “capable of moving around on its own soon after hatching.” The word comes from the same Latin root as “precocious.” Altricial means “incapable of moving around on its own soon after
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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We were asked about eaglet growth and development during our explore.org Bird Week chat yesterday. Bald eagles spend about the first half of nest life – say, 35 to 40 days – gaining weight, growing limbs and feet, and growing and replacing feathers. In stage two – about 40 to 75 or 80 days – they begin preparing for life beyond the nest by building muscle, exploring their new wings, learning to unzip prey and feed themselves, and practicing their
This is a flashback post first published on April 26 of 2012. I repost it every year when the eagles begin bringing suckerfish into the nest. For new followers: Bob (Anderson) founded the Raptor Resource Project and was its first director. You can learn more about him here: https://www.raptorresource.org/about-us/remembering-bob-anderson/ Bob took a turn operating the controls at the Bald eagle camera this morning. He was fascinated by Dad, who brought in three suckers in one hour. Suckerfish are ‘rough’ fish:
As promised: your mega-raptor (and Canada Goose!) Nestflix Wednesday Matinee! DN15 and DN16 turn 39 and 38 days old today and are up to tweagle shenanigans: E-gulping fish, Eagle Kneiveling around the nest, practicing their Eagleibrium, and holding Flappathons as they explore their rapidly growing wings! It won’t be long before our two teen pterodactyls turn into sleek young fledglings, but there are plenty of Eagleicious Delicious moments to enjoy before that happens. Look for walking skills and balance to
We concentrate on geese for a few days and DN15 and DN16 turn into tweagles: tween-age eaglets! Their weight gain is slowing, their mid-toes, foot pads, and tarsus are close to or at their adult size, and their juvenile feathers are unfurling and growing! DN15 and DN16’s wing chords and central retrixes (the central pair of tail feathers) will more than double in length over the next 40 days as they get ready for life beyond the nest. The next
Sorry, everyone – it has been a very busy week and I’m behind on the NestFlix! Read on to catch up on the latest news: new eagles in Decorah, rapidly growing eaglets at Decorah North, and Mother Goose and her eggs (we’re still looking for hatch on the 25th!). Thank you so much for watching, sharing, learning, and especially for caring! What a wild, interesting year it has been. Cross your fingers for all of our birds! Decorah North Eagles
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.
Eaglets and Outcomes: Detailed Annual Information
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.