Decorah North Eagles and Blogs

Announcing: The Raptor Resource Project’s 2023 Eagle Chats!

January 8, 2023: HM continued to sound the eagle alarm, adding his voice to the crow chorus. We don't don't know what was flying through neighborhood, but a wave of sound proceeded it. Bird calls can trav­el at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, giving birds advance warning to take cover or sound their own warning!

Are you ready for eagle chat? The egg clock is ticking ever louder as we count the days until HM and DNF lay their first eggs! If you have a chatroll account, you are good to go! If you don’t, register for a free account here: Here’s what our chat schedule looks like! Decorah Eagles Chat The Decorah Eagles regularly scheduled chat will begin after HM lays her first egg. From the first egg to the first hatch, we’ll

January 30, 2023: NestFlix and News from Decorah, Decorah North, and Fort St. Vrain

January 26, 2023: HM and HD.

We saw a lot of visiting eagles arrive late last week as subzero temperatures and storms pushed eagles into northeast Iowa. Many bald eagles winter in the same place every year, but others behave more like irruptive migrants as they wander the landscape in search of open water and easily available food. Extremely cold weather and serious snowfall push wanderers south – much to the chagrin of residents who aren’t excited about hungry visitors near their nests! The interlopers kept

How do eagles stay warm in cold weather?

January 23, 2023: HD sports eye-cicles on a frosty morning in Decorah. An icy fog left everything coated with frost

Each species experiences the world differently and eagles have capacities that are far different from ours. How do Bald Eagles survive an Iowa winter without adaptive clothing and central heat? A cold January morning coated our eagles in frost and left watchers wondering how Bald Eagles survive an Iowa winter. In general, wintering animals – including humans – need to retain body heat, stay dry, and take in enough calories to support winter’s increased energy demands. We humans put on

What is a brood patch?

March 30, 2018: Mrs. North's brood patch

Daylight length, or photoperiod, strongly influences hormone production in birds. In the northern hemisphere, our story begins shortly after the winter solstice in December. As daylight length increases, a cascade of hormones causes birds’ gonads to swell in preparation for reproduction, egg-laying, and incubation. In this blog, we’ll discuss the role the brood patch plays in incubation and determining clutch size. How do bald eagles keep their eggs warm in subzero temperatures? They apply heat via a special area of

January 24, 2023: Decorah and Decorah North NestFlix

January 24, 2023: HD getting a stick just right!

We have your Decorah and Decorah North nestflix! Mr. North, DNF, HD, and HM have made wonderful progress removing snow: trampling, smushing, rolling, and scraping to get down to the substrate before covering the nest floor with layer upon layer of shredded corn husks and fine grass. I loved all of these videos, but I especially enjoyed Mr. North pole-vaulting into the nest, HD’s giant stick, HM and HD perching together, beautiful white-tailed deer, and some hilarious North nestorations! I

January 20, 2023: Friday Night NestFlix and News!

January 19, 2023: HD and HM.

Our eagles rode the winter storm out, although they don’t look especially excited about snow recovery and removal. We’re glad that they didn’t fly south for the winter, but I sometimes wonder how they feel about about deep snow and all of the uninvited guests! Grab your favorite beverage and snacks and put your feet up – time to Friday night NestFlix and chill! Decorah Eagles January 20, 2023: HD to the nest, several SA’s in the area, HD &

January 17, 2023: Who turned on the switch at the North Nest? North News and NestFlix!

January 17, 2023: DNF near the North nest.

Who turned on the switch at the North Nest? Mr. North and DNF have been very busy with nestorations! The two laid down a nice framework of sticks and filled it with a veritable shag carpet of husks, stalks, and grass, replenishing it as squirrels filch material for their own nests! Turkeys also appear to be responding to longer days and diminished snow cover: we’re seeing males displaying and females roosting in trees. Now I understand how turkey vultures got

January 10, 2023: Nestorations and bonding activities are ramping up!

January 9, 2023: Bonding doesn't go as expected.

Nestorations and bonding activities are ramping up at both of our nests! We’ve seen tail swishing, mutual vocalization, and a few bonding attempts in Decorah, although HD especially appears to be learning the ropes when it comes to eagle love. Fortunately, he’s quite good at sharing meals and wonky sticks! Meanwhile, DNF and Mr. North are busy bringing in and arranging sticks and soft materials to create an egg-cellent nursery for this year’s clutch of egglets and eaglets. We’re impressed

The Neighborhood Watch: Alarm Calls

January 8, 2023: HM responds to the neighborhood crow watch with a warning of his own.

On Saturday of January 7, we watched HM and HD respond to alarm calls issued by the local neighborhood crow watch. Alarm calls convey information with pitch, volume, bandwidth, repetition, duration, inflection, and sound. Most of us are familiar with a chickadee’s ‘chick-a-dee-dee-dee’ alarm call: a social signal that tells other chickadees to rally in the vicinity of the predator – usually a perched bird of prey – and join in a chorus or mob of calling. The number of

Tick-tock egg clock! Date guesstimates all around our nests.

January 5, 2023: HM near N1

Tick-tock egg clock! Okay, it’s a little early to start counting the minutes, but here are the days we’ve penciled into our planners for first eggs, first falcons, and ice-out on the Mississippi River Flyway. Get your (RRP) calendars out and feel welcome to make your own best guesstimates. Eggs will be here before we know it! Decorah North I’m saving the afternoon of February 16th for DNF’s first egg! She’s been a remarkably consistent layer date and timewise, although

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