Decorah North Bald Eagles

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H 36 • L 36
About the Decorah North Eagles

About the Eagles

The Decorah North eagles are nesting on private property north of Decorah. Their very large nest is located in a white oak tree in a scrap of forest bordering a valley and an excellent stream is located just across a field where cattle are pastured. In general, they 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.

Thanks to Spring Grove Communications
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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. Thanks to A2Z Security Cameras for their help and support with our new HD cameras!


The male is known as Mr. North. He and Mrs. North were here when we started watching in late 2015. The current female is Decorah North Female, or DNF. She 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 nest we are watching now is a starter nest built by Kike Arnal and Amy Ries in September of 2018. The eagles adopted it in October of 2018 and show every sign of moving in! The nest was built on a frame of 4x4s and measures 7×6 feet. It is the 4th nest built on this territory since 2009.

The first nest (DNN0) 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. 2019 will mark their sixth season and second nest in this spot.

  • 2009: A pair of eagles establishes the Decorah North territory, building a nest in a white pine tree.
  • 2011: The branches holding the nest collapse. The eagles build a new nest in a dead elm tree.
  • 2013: The tree falls. The eagles begin a new nest in a white oak tree.
  • 2015: Cameras are added to the North nest in very early fall.
  • 2018 (August): The nest falls out of the tree.
  • 2018 (September): Kike Arnal and Amy Ries build a starter nest.
  • 2018 (October): The eagles adopt it.
  • 2018 (unknown): A female eagle we call DNF replaces Mrs. North

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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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 199 days 9 hours old.

Eaglets and Outcomes

YearNest EagletsKnown Outcomes
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: