The Decorah Eagles cameras near the Fish Hatchery and at the Decorah North Nest (private land) were officially turned off Sunday night. It is time for a much-needed break to do annual maintenance and upgrades, double check the broadcast equipment, and clean the cameras. The video streaming will resume by early October of this year.
The Decorah Eagles receive the majority of their viewers from the Midwest, but every major country in the world has people viewing the nest cameras. When it is time for the eggs to be laid or hatch, the Raptor Resource Project's eagle streaming averages 5,000--10,000 viewers at any one time. The Decorah Eagle cam went viral on the internet in 2011 and became the most viewed live video of all time according to Raptor Resource Project Director John Howe.
Howe says Decorah has a very unique situation, where people are able to visit in person and see bald eagles up close. Internet viewers can also watch the eagles up close at the Fish Hatchery nest and in the more remote area at the Decorah North Nest. "We can compare the differences of a more urban setting and a remote area nest on private land," said Howe.
Howe says there are probably three to four nests within a four mile radius of Decorah. If eagles are seen in our area, they may be from one of those nests, or a transient bird, just passing through. Eagles with a solid white head are four years old or more.
Bob Anderson, the original director of Raptor Resource Project and Brett Mandernack of the Eagle Valley Nature Preserve started monitoring the travels of the Decorah eagles with a GPS radio transmitter in July 2011. D1 is a female, second born in 2011. She was the tenth eaglet born to a Decorah pair. Anderson followed her travels and at one point, they tracked her close to the Arctic Circle. Transmitter batteries only last about four years, so there is no way of knowing if D1 is alive a well, but eagles can live up to 20-30 years.
Check out their facebook page for any further updates: https://www.facebook.com/RaptorResourceProject/