Tag Archives: Circannual clocks

Getting ready: Fall nestorations!

Annual Daylight Length, Decorah IA

Why are eagle couples in Decorah working on their nests right now? Among non-tropical birds, many activities (reproduction, molt, migration) are linked to daylight length. We’ve primarily discussed the photosensitive period of bird life here, when daylight lengthens, gonads start swelling, and human watchers start counting the days until eggs are laid. However, birds also have a photorefractory period that in many northern birds begins slightly prior to summer solstice in mid-June. Gonads start shrinking, a new hormonal regime takes

When will our eagles lay eggs? Bald eagle breeding in Iowa and Florida

Daylight Length Graph from Fort Meyers Florida

When will the Decorah and Decorah North eagles begin laying eggs? While nest timing can very from region to region (Florida, for example, is quite different from Iowa), mark your calendars as follows! In the nests we watch in Iowa and Colorado, bonding and copulating behaviors become more pronounced and frequent after the winter solstice. Female eagles begin laying eggs 5-10 days after productive copulation begins. This usually happens in mid-February at the Decorah and Fort St. Vrain nests. In