Tag Archives: musing

What is going on with the Decorah Eagles?

February 17, 2021: Mom mantles a rabbit at N2B

What is going on with the Decorah eagles? We saw them maybe 13 or 14 times in January and DM2 delivered nesting materials just twice – a far cry from the nestoration activity we’re used to this time of the year! But we suddenly started seeing a lot more of them on February 14. Mom and DM2 are hanging out on and around the nest, removing snow, and refurbishing the place with new cornhusks, sticks, and rabbit fur. Are they

Do female eagles experience menopause?

November 15, 2020: Nestorations at N2B

We’re getting a lot of questions about eagles and what might be called menopause this week. Many of you want to know if female bald eagles stop laying eggs due to age-related changes in their bodies – the avian version of menopause. Is Mom disinterested in DM2 because she’s done with eggs? The short answer is ‘No’, but I want to unpack the question a little further. Human menopause is very unusual. Unlike the vast majority of animals, women can

Eagle #musings: SW Florida, Fulton Trio, Mississippi Flyway

November 2, 2020: Bald eagles on the Mississippi Flyway

A number of you have contacted us about the SW Florida and Trio eagles. While these aren’t our nests, they raise interesting questions about eagle social, nesting, and bonding behavior. I hope this blog helps answer your questions! Southwest Florida Last year, Harriet and her mate M15 reclutched after their lone eaglet, E14, died of rodenticide poisoning on January 15. While Bald eagles at this latitude normally hatch in late December or early January, E15 and E16 hatched in late

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

#Musings: Place, stories, and eagle intelligence.

November 7, 2017: Dad Decorah

Place, as writer Thom Van Dooren points out, can be understood as an embodied, lived, and meaningful environment. Bald eagles clearly have a sense of place. Their territories are woven with layers of attention, meaning, and experience: spots to hunt, perch, and hide from the weather, materials to build and replenish their nests, and mates and family to bond with and care for. Eagles have neighbors beyond counting – squirrels, mice, raccoon, rabbits, muskrat, mink, coyotes, deer, prairie dogs, trout,