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. For pasture perches, 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

April 19, 2024: DN17 and DN18

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. During week three (fourteen to twenty-one days), the dynamic duo shed most of their natal down, gained

2024: 0629-44094, aka Ma FSV. She is 22 years old and fledged from a still active nest about 45 miles east of this one.

Bald Eagles, Menopause, and Ova

Do bald eagles go through menopause? Probably not, since we’ve documented menopause or prolonged post-reproductive lifespans in just four species.

Feather Follicle

What are feathers? What is molt?

Eaglets go through two molts and three feather stages in the nest: natal down (and molt), followed by thermal down (and molt), followed by juvenile feathers. As of this blog, the Decorah North eaglets are shedding the very last of their natal down and their thermal down is rapidly being replaced by juvenile down and feathers. We thought we would blog a little more about feathers to celebrate!  When we think about feathers, we tend to think about their qualities

April 14, 2024: The last gosling hatches at N1.

Canada Geese: Precocial versus Altricial

As watchers know, Canada geese are nesting in two abandoned bald eagle nests in Decorah, Iowa. N2B – currently a goose nest – is located about 700 feet east of N1, where geese started hatching yesterday. This blog discusses some of the differences between altricial eagles and precocial geese!  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

April 6, 2024: Sleeping - and dreaming! are part of eaglet growth and development.

Eaglet Growth and Development: Week Three

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 three in this blog. DN17 and DN18 turned 15 and 14 days old today. During week two (seven to 14 days),

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News

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July 12, 2024: A beautiful misty morning in the valley of the Norths. We're starting to see a little less of the terrific two on camera as they expand their wanderings...and some visitors to the valley as well!

July 15, 2024: News and NestFlix From Decorah North and Trempealeau

We have your NestFlix from Decorah North and Trempealeau and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did! Curious about our auction? Check it out and place a bid or more here: https://www.32auctions.com/ATF2024. Thanks so much, everyone: for watching, sharing, learning, and especially for caring! We’re looking forward to seeing you at After The Fledge this weekend. Decorah North Eagles Fledgling eaglets are beginning to wander a little more widely and we’re starting to see visitors in the

July 7, 2024: DN18? I think so, given the white. DN18 has more white feathers than DN17.

July 8, 2024: NestFlix and News from the North Nest and Trempealeau!

We’ve got NestFlix from the North Nest and Trempealeau! The eaglets at both places are learning about life beyond the nest and stretching their wings – literally – as they learn by soaring, chasing, perching, landing, and taking off. Eagle college is a few months away, but it’s best to start preparing now, since the professors are not as acoomodating as Mt. North, DNF, and the Ts. I loved all of these videos, but I especially liked TE2 in front

June 26, 2024: The limb and nest on the ground beneath the tree.

June 26, 2024: News from the North Nest and Trempealeau

The rest of the North nest collapsed this morning when the limb holding it broke at 5:03 AM. Our camera operators gave us a glimpse of the limb on the ground and we’re quite curious to assess the state of the tree as a whole. In the meantime, we’ll keep watching the eagles! The entire North family is doing well and we watched them across the pasture today. It looks like AP placement for DN17 and DN18 in Outdoor School

June 23, 2024: The nest's framework makes a most unusual pillow for DN17!

June 24, 2024: NestFlix and News from Decorah North, Trempealeau, and the Mississippi Flyway!

We saw a real tug-o-fish today as DN18 and DN17 scrapped over a small trout that DNF brought in. Note that DN18 used his eagle table manners – gorging everything but one bite down quickly. No one can steal it once it’s down the hatch…exception here: https://lauraerickson.substack.com/p/parasitic-jaeger-in-july! Fledge and post-fledge activities are going on at all of our eagle nests right now and several people have expressed concern that the fledglings aren’t being fed. It’s common for feedings to decrease

DN17 at the North Nest: growing, learning, and adapting. I love this stage of eagle life!

June 21, 2024: NestFlix and Chill!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting our fledge fundraiser. You donated $16,000 dollars to support our education and research work yesterday, which is amazing! Your donations keep cameras streaming, scopes trained on peregrine falcon bands, autumn banding stations open, classrooms learning about bald eagles and peregrine falcons, and so much more! So again, thank you – and a special shoutout to our volunteers for a wonderful day. John and I had a great time chatting and

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Nest Records
Decorah North Eagles 2024 Nesting Record
Egg Laying
DNF laid egg #1 @ 2:12 PM on February 15.
DNF laid egg #2 @ 2:49 PM on February 18.
Hatching
DN17: We don’t have a hatch time for DN17, but we first saw it at 6:31 AM on March 24. DN17 is 116 days 11 hours old today.
DN18 hatched at 3:14 AM CDT on March 25. DN18 is 115 days 15 hours old today.

Fledging
Some time between early and mid-June.

Eaglets and Outcomes: Detailed Annual Information

Year Nest Parents Eaglets Known Outcomes
2023 DN4 Mr. North, DNF None DNF laid one egg but abandoned incubation two days after laying it. Mr. North incubated their lone egg, which most likely froze before it cracked. She did not reclutch.
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 youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/c/RaptorResourceProject.