Decorah Eagles and Blogs

How Big is a Bald Eagle’s Nest?

We’re almost at the end of October and our eagles are getting busy! HD and HM have been in full-speed ahead mode since early October, alternating straight sticks, wonky sticks, and piles of fluff as they build out their new home. It might seem early to start bringing in grass, but the subfloor needs a lot of prep before egg cup construction starts. Digging creates a soft, low spot that drains water, layers of material insulate the eggs and help

Postcards from our Bald and Golden Eagles!

Bald Eagle D36's map on Monday, October 24, 2022.

Where are D36, D27, and Golden Eagle (GOEA) 733? 733 was our big mover last week, flying 576 miles south in just six days! She spent October 17th and 18th flying 302 miles south from western Ontario down into northern Minnesota. On October 19th, she flew 126 miles southeast past Ely, Minnesota to the north shore of Lake Superior. She followed the shore down and around the big lake’s western tip at Duluth before dropping down through Wisconsin’s lake country

On Migration

September 2019: Migrating Birds on the Mississippi Flyway

At whatever moment you read these words, day or night, there are birds aloft in the skies of the Western Hemisphere, migrating. If it is spring or fall, the great pivot points of the year, then the continents are swarming with billions of traveling birds… – Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds We get a lot of questions about migration. Do the Decorah eagles migrate? Do our Peregrine falcons migrate? Where do they go when they

Eagle ID: How do you tell HM and HD apart?

HM! She lacks HD's cere markings, has a much larger beak, darker head feather vanes, a flatter head (possibly due to her larger supraorbital ridge) and looks like Mom! H/T to Talon, Tulsa, Glogdog, Pyrmum, and Pelmomma.

How do you tell HM and HD apart? If, like me, you sometimes struggle to ID who you are watching, our camera operators and moderators have some great tips! If you are still catching up on the saga of Mom, DM2, HD (Hatchery Dad), and HM (Hatchery Mom), you aren’t alone! We bought an even bigger Confusion Couch after our swaying cottonwood turned into a Tilt-A-Whirl this year. Some links: Mom, Dad, DM2, HD, HM, the nests, and the territories!

Could HD or HM be one of Mom and Dad’s offspring?

HD (left) and HM (right). HD stands for 'Hatchery Dad' and HM stands for 'Hatchery Mom'. We could change the nomenclature, but that is what we are using now. We can clearly see the ID cues mentioned in previous pictures: HD's smaller beak, guyliner, cere markings, and whiter head, and HM's larger beak, and flatter, darker head. She is also much larger and has a small circular mark on the right side of her face. Glogdog: "Since HM is larger, her folded flight feathers fold lower near her tail's end, and HD's flight feathers fold shorter near the tail tip." A fantastic ID tip for ID'ing them from behind!

Could HD or HM be one of Mom and Dad’s offspring? Mom and Dad’s oldest eaglet turned 14 years old this spring. Since bald eagles tend to nest in the region they were born, it’s possible that at least one of them was produced by Dad and OM, or Dad and Mom. But male and female eagles have slightly different nesting dispersal patterns, which makes male HD the more likely offspring choice. Natal dispersal in birds is defined as the

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