News and Blogs

Is that subadult eagle a Decorah Eaglet?

February 1, 2023: Another look at the subadult eagle.

Several persistent subadult eagles at the Decorah trout hatchery have watchers wondering if they are Decorah eaglets. One appears to be roughly 2-1/2 years old, which means it hatched in 2020: the last year that Mom and DM2 nested in N2B. We know it isn’t D35 or D36. Could it be D34?  Natal dispersal in birds is defined as the movement between hatching location and first breeding or potential breeding location. Juvenile bald eagles usually disperse from their natal nests

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

January 26, 2023: Our first Golden Eagle of the season!

January 26, 2023: Dave Kester and a subadult Golden Eagle. Jeff Worrell caught our first GOEA of this season.

Jeff Worrell and the rest of our Golden Eagle trapping team caught an eagle today! I loved our banding master’s response so much that I had to share these photos. We’ll post more information tomorrow. From David Kester: “It was a big day for Jeff Worrell and Brett Mandernack, RRP’s golden eagle project leads. There is a small population of golden eagles that winter in the Driftless/Coulee region. We place GPS solar-powered transmitters on them and track them to see

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 &

Body plans and shapes: identifying birds in flight!

Left to right: Osprey, Turkey Vulture, Adult Bald Eagle, Subadult Golden Eagle

We’re going to be counting Golden Eagles for the National Eagle Center and Hawkwatch International on January 21, so I decided to brush up on my knowledge. Understanding a species’ behavior, seasonality, and body plans can help you identify birds in flight. Bald and Golden Eagles, Turkey Vultures, and Ospreys Bald Eagles: Flat Soar | Driftless Area: Year Round | Favorite Food: Fish | Genus: Sea Eagles Bald eagles are built for soaring, with long broad wings, large wing slots,

January 18, 2023: D36 takes a fishing trip!

January 18, 2023: D36's Map.

Where is D36? Our little homebuddy is taking a fishing trip on the Turkey River in NE Iowa, moving from Spillville down through Fort Atkinson, Festina, St. Lucas, Eldorado, and back up to Douglas, Iowa. Brett told us that the Turkey River is wide open, which means plenty of fishing opportunities and – most likely – plenty of eagles! Good luck, stay warm, and don’t forget to write! I got curious about eagles in NE Iowa during the winter, so

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