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,

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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September 17: Kike Arnal trimming branches at N1.

September 22, 2020: Time for camera work!

It’s September! The eaglets have fledged and our eagle Moms and Dads are at their lowest point of attachment to their nests, which makes it the perfect time for camera work.  We don’t have a cam turn-on date yet (although I will post as soon as we do!), but here is a rough outline of our tasks: At N2B: We’ll be replacing three cameras and two microphones at N2B, cleaning everything up, and doing a little trimming around the nest

August 25, 2020: DM2 with a bulging crop!

August 26, 2020: Decorah, Decorah North, and the Flyway

We’re getting questions about the eagle maps. We tend to update them two to three times monthly unless something exciting happens. I’ll put up an update the next time we have data. But in the meantime, we have some videos of a very stuffed DM2, a tween-eagle party at Decorah North, hunting eagles on the Flyway, and a few odds and ends prompted by fan emails. We hope you enjoy these videos as much as we did! Decorah Eagles August

April 22, 2020: Decorah family report. Do you see the eagle heart?

Announcing: Decorah and Decorah North Cam Shutdown

The Decorah and Decorah North cams will shut down for maintenance at 5:00 PM CDT on Saturday, August 29. The chat mods for both cams will be holding special celebratory goodbye chats from 3 to 5pm. Come join us and relive your favorite moments at each nest! Many of you told us that our nests were a place of refuge and calm for you this year. We hope you know that you gave us strength, courage, and determination in the

Your Questions, Answered!

Your dispersal questions, answered!

Where are D34 and DN12? Can the eaglets hunt on their own yet? When will they disperse? Your questions, answered…as best we can! Where are D34 and DN12? The short answer: we don’t know. Neither eaglet has been seen for several days and we didn’t see or hear D34 when we were in Decorah last week. Most of the eaglets that we have studied slowly widened their explorations prior to dispersal. But some (D25 and D1, for example) began adventuring

July 30: D36 at N2B

July 31, 2020: Nestflix from Decorah, Decorah North, and the Flyway

Grab the popcorn and sit back for some Nestflix (and a link to an article about our peregrine banding work)! We’re starting to see less of D34, D35, D36, and DN12 now that all four tween-eagles have discovered the wonder of flight, but the Flyway is busy – and getting busier – as birds and other animals begin preparing for fall. I liked all of these videos, but it was nice to see Mom and DM2 getting a little personal

>> 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
DN12 fledged on June 9, 2020 @ 12:11 PM CDT at just 70 days old!

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