Decorah Geese and Blogs

Detangling a gosling in Decorah!

April 15, 2024: Periscope up! Goslings can thermoregulate, but they will seek the warmth of their mother's body to escape from a chilly wind!

We were getting questions about an injured gosling, so Raptor Resource Project Master Bander David Kester went to check it out. He wrote: “The gosling was from a family unit that has the largest number of young and it was also the youngest. It could not walk and was separated from its clan. I netted the gosling and discovered that fishing line was wrapped around both legs. With the help of eagle (and gosling!) fan Lu Powers, I cut the

Decorah Goose Update

April 24, 2024: MG and PG with their lone gosling.

Three geese hatched in total at N2B. After MG jumped yesterday, one followed her to the ground. But the other two remained in the nest and neither goose parent did much in the way of calling them down or encouraging them to come to the ground. We talked over a few plans and headed to the nest to monitor it from the ground. Shortly after 7PM, the goslings finally decided to jump, although it was unclear whether MG and PG

April 19: Hatch watch at N2B, speckled goose visiting N1!

April 19, 2024: A leucistic Canada goose at N1

The specked goose we’ve been seeing at N1 has an unusual and beautiful pattern of feathers on her head. Her striking looks are the result of leucism, a partial loss of pigmentation that causes white coloration, white patches, spots, or splotches on skin or fur. She hasn’t yet laid an egg, but our camera operators are on the lookout for hatch at N2B. Spring is a busy time for birds and everyone who watches them! 🐣🐥🦅🪿 We’ve had some questions

Canada Geese: Precocial versus Altricial

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

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

What’s Up With the Geese? Canada Geese, Reproduction, and Conspecific Brood Parasitism

April 1, 2024: the resident geese struggle with the intruder.

On Saturday April 1, goose watchers at N2B saw a female goose fly into the nest. After a lot of biting, pushing, and tussling, she laid an egg despite MG and PG’s best attempts to repel her. One of the local eggs dropped out of the nest, although MG and PG ended up incorporating the intruder’s egg into their own clutch. At one point, it was thought that Canada geese were strictly monogamous. Close observation has yielded a more nuanced

April 2, 2024: News and NestFlix from Decorah North, Decorah, and Great Spirit Bluff

April 2, 2024: A snowy shift change. This reminds me of the care Mom and Dad took with their eaglets, who stayed safe and warm in the worst spring weather.

The wind blew and the rain and snow flew, but DNF and Mr. North fed the eaglet crew! The terrific two ate nine times today so far, including a dual feeding by Mr. North (DN18) and DNF (DN17). The P’s shielded their eaglets from the wind and snow and got food in them quickly before Mombrella settled them under her warm feathers. This winter has felt like one long April Fool’s joke, with the punchline ending – we hope? –

March 26, 2024: NestFlix, News, and Cute Overload from Decorah North and Decorah!

March 26, 2024: Baby's first fish eyeball? This was a large bite for DN17. It took several tries for the eaglet to gulp it all down!

Did the eaglets get enough to eat today? It’s an evergreen question, especially when you see the little bobbleheads shivering in the snow, tumbling over, and wrestling one another instead of eating. Fortunately, Mr. North and DNF are perched at the peak of provisioning! They fed the terrific two thirteen times today, with twelve feedings going to DNF and one going to Mr. North. Wrestlemania or not, the eaglets ate well, with eleven feedings for DN17 and eight for DN18.

March 21, 2024: News and NestFlix from around our nests!

March 21, 2024: What's going on down there? DNF was restless today, looking at and listening to her eggs.

Tick-tock hatch clock! We’re starting hatch watch at Decorah North tomorrow! If you’d like a peek inside the egg right now, follow this link: We believe Trempealeau will begin hatch around April 4 and Fort St. Vrain will begin hatch around April 10, so we’ll have plenty of eaglets to watch! We’re pretty excited to compare nests, nestlings, and parenting styles across three states this year: Mr. North and DNF in Iowa, Ma and Pa FSV in Colorado, and

March 18, 2024: NestFlix and Chill!

March 18, 2024: HD visits the N1 tree, upsetting the geese.

We have your Monday NestFlix, but let’s look at the week ahead before we put our feet up and chill! We’re looking forward to hatch beginning at Decorah North on Saturday or Sunday, first eggs at peregrine falcon sites (my bet’s on Dubuque for the first egg at a nest we monitor: and a possible return of winter weather later this week! Well, we’re not really looking forward to that last one, but we are curious about what egg-laying

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