News and Blogs

A Tale of the Tape …. at the Hatchery Nest

January 7, 2019: N2B

by Sherri Elliott The Decorah Eagles nest this morning gives a great look at the depth already this season as DM2 and Mom pause work to track their territory. There are two things I look at every view…a lovely heart shape circled in the bark of the cottonwood tree, as well as the diamond shape in the bark which I have always used as a tape measure. During the N2B starter platform build in 2015 (video here), the bottom of

Where is D27?

January 5, 2020: D27's map

D27 rang in the New Year about four miles from her natal nest! A mild winter tends to result in more abundant food during the lean season: rivers are open for fishing, animals tend to forage in the (relatively) warm weather, and the folded hills and valleys in and around Decorah provide seemingly endless choices for perching and roosting. Happy 2020, D27 – and don’t forget to write! I’ve included a few images of maps from the eagles we’ve tracked

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

Friday night mega-roll: Videos from Decorah, Decorah North, and the Flyway

January 2, 2019: A hawk visits the North Nest

Happy Fri-yay, everyone! We have your Friday night nestflix mega-roll from Decorah, Decorah North, and the Flyway. The days are getting longer, the eagles are getting friskier, and nursery preparations are well underway at both Decorah nests! Fishing is good on the Flyway, where relatively warm weather has stretches of water open for chubby muskrats and hungry eagles. I enjoyed all of these videos, but really loved Mom with a huge branch, DM2’s large breakfast, and the wildlife video from

Feather Close-ups

January 2. 2020: Decorah North Female preens upper tail coverts

by Sherri Elliott Bald Eagles have over 7,200 feathers (yes, researchers study and have counted them) and each plays a remarkable part in physiology, flight, and insulation. While Bald Eagles will go through multiple plumage changes before maturity at age five when heads and tails become fully white, head feathers and upper tail coverts can be distinctly colored and patterned as they segue or transition to body or tail. Thanks to the camera operators we have closeups of Mom Decorah’s

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