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Where have the Decorah eagles been?

Posted: Wed, Jan 13, 2021 11:14 AM
Mom Decorah on the Decorah nest N2B (Photo courtesy of Raptor Resource Project - 2021)

After several weeks of observing the eagle nest near the Decorah fish hatchery (referred to as N2B) and a relatively new eagle nest within their territory, Raptor Resource Project staff have concluded that the Decorah eagles have been busy working on a second nest in preparation for the 2021 nesting season. The new nest is within the typical bald eagle territorial area of up to 6 square miles, but unfortunately, not within view of any cameras they maintain and broadcast near the fish hatchery.  At this point the location of the nest has not been disclosed.
 
Raptor Resource Project staff and volunteers have spent hours watching the new nest with powerful spotting scopes and cameras. "We agree, as do several of our Decorah Eagle experts, that they look like Mom and DM2," said Raptor Resource Project director John Howe.

How are one pair of eagles distinguished from another? Howe explains they have based their findings on several observations:

  •  The eagles' head feathers, beak shape, and color are consistent with the current Decorah eagle pair - Mom and DM2.—It is reported that when the eagles are at the fish hatchery, they have not been seen at the new nest, and vice-versa.
  • Recent observations indicate when the eagles leave one nest area, they show up at the other soon afterwards.
  • Many eagle watchers have noticed on the live cam that Mom and DM2 are not spending as much time at the hatchery nest (N2B), the maple tree they typically perch on at the hatchery, or roosting near N2B as they did in late 2020 and other seasons.

The eagles will most likely nest on their new nest in 2021, although no one will know for sure until they lay eggs in late February. The Raptor Resource Project plans to continue observing the two nests and searching the area to rule out any other potential nest sites. 

So, what does this mean for the Decorah eagle live cam? "The eagles will make a choice which nest to lay eggs when the time comes and we sure hope Mom Decorah chooses N2B!" says Howe.
 
If you would like to watch bald eagles in Decorah while waiting to see what happens, the Raptor Resource Project broadcasts the Decorah North Eagles and they can be viewed on the live cam at https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-north-nest/ or https://explore.org/livecams/raptor-resource-project/decorah-eagles-north-nest. The Decorah North eagles, referred to as Mr. North and DNF, have been very busy preparing their nest for the upcoming season.
 
To learn more about the Decorah Eagles and the Raptor Resource Project visit www.raptorresource.org.

Mom Decorah on the maple tree (Photo courtesy of Raptor Resource Project - 2021)