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Monday, July 7, 2014

Decorah Eagles

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June 20th D20 fledged at 1:37 PM CDT. Lift off was just as sure and strong as both 18 and 19's. D20's fledge.

The camera will continue 24/7 for the next little while with chat running from 8 AM to 8 PM CDT

D19 decided to join its sibling on the evening of June 18th - maybe not so surprising, since the two hatched just a day apart. A fledge video:

If D18 and D19 don't come back right away, Mom and Dad will split their time between D20 in the nest and the other two on the ground and various trees. D20 hatched four days after D19, so it may be a little bit before he or she fledges. The next few days should be exciting ones for our little DDD's. We'll be looking for them in N2 and N1, where our eaglets spent a lot of post-fledge time last year. We know a lot of people are visiting Decorah this weekend, so if you see the eaglets on the ground, please stay back. To quote Sherri Elliott, "Whatta Day!"

At 3:41PM CDT on Wednesday, June 18th, D18 became the first Decorah eagle to fledge this year. Bob confirmed the fledge with a panning session around the tree and a visual check of the area.

We don't yet know where D18 ended up, but not to worry - grounding is part of fledge and Mom and Dad will know where D18 is even if human viewers don't. We look forward to seeing you, D18!

We know there are a lot of people in Decorah right now. If you see D18 on the ground, please stay back. Thank you!

RRP confirmed hatch at 10:42 AM CDT Monday, April 7, 2014

RRP confirmed hatch at 11:29 PM Thursday, April 3, 2014

D18 HAS ARRIVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RRP confirmed hatch at 9:22 AM Wednesday, April 2, 2014

EGG 3!
Third egg is here on Sunday, March 2nd at 6:43 PM Videos below.

EGG 2!
The second egg arrived Wednesday, Feb. 26th, at 5:33 PM Videos are further down in the Egg Record section.

Decorah's first egg of 2014 arrived on Sunday, Feb. 23rd at 4:55 PM CST Elf's video of 1st egg
Videos are also posted on RRP's FaceBook page. RRP FaceBook

January 19, 2014 The News You've Been Waiting For
Beginning Monday, February 17, 2014, we will move to our full day schedule of 8 AM – 8 PM,  7 days a week.

December 16, 2013
RRP has announced lodging information for the RRP ATF 2014 event. We have made arrangements with Luther College and have provided information regarding other possible lodging choices.Luther College Housing Arrangements
We will continue to provide breaking news briefs here with the details provided on RRP's Forum. You do not need to be a Forum member to read there.

December 4, 2013
Save the date! July 19/20, 2014.
The first ever RRP sponsored event in Decorah -- RRP After the Fledge 2014. Watch this space for details as they are confirmed.

October 28, 2013
The Ustream Chat Mods were busy on RRP Forum. They have their own boards now!
Ustream Mods Want You To Know - Education

Ustream Mods Want You To Know - Entertainment

Decorah Weather Forecast
Click for Decorah, Iowa Forecast

April 17, 2013: Nest Etiquette
For those of you visiting nests, here is a Nest Etiquette compendium. This is not intended to be an absolutely complete listing. Bald eagles can be very sensitive to human behavior, and what may seem innocuous to a human may disturb an eagle; humans are still the biggest threat to eagles. Remember, bald eagles are protected by Federal law in the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Protection Treaty.

1. Respect the landowners. Don't trespass or intrude on them in any way. If there are No Trespassing signs, heed them.
2. Federal law requires you to stay at least 330 feet away from any nest. This distance is also true for individual eagles who may be perched on a tree or standing on the ground.
3. Be as quiet as possible. Don't honk, play loud music, shout or make any other loud noises.
4. If you see an eagle, consider yourself lucky. Don't do anything that might stress the bird. They will see you. Move slowly and carefully and keep your gestures restrained.
5. Do not feed the eagles in any way. This includes leaving food on the ground. These birds are wild animals and should not become dependent on humans.
6. Keep the area free from litter. Pick up after yourself and take your trash with you.
7. If an eagle is on the ground, do not approach it. Also, when it flies away, do not attempt to follow it.
8. Stay aware of your surroundings. If the eagle is near a road, check for traffic before moving. Your safety is important.
9. Take your binoculars and/or camera with you whenever visiting a nest. That equipment will afford you the best view.
10. If others are watching with you, demonstrate eagle friendly actions by your own behavior. Be courteous to both the humans and wildlife.

With special thanks to Elfruler, Iverburl, Pagent, and RRP for suggestions.

For additional news and updates, see the links below:

Here are a couple of specific articles about the eagles:

RRP Moderated Chat is a structured environment to learn about eagles, particularly the Decorah nest, in a family friendly setting. Moderators (Mods) participate in discussions during the hours chat is open.

Chatting is a privilege not a right. Moderators will actively enforce the following rules.

1. Be respectful and polite. Keep your discussions focused on the Decorah nest.

2. No profanity, personal invective, or other inappropriate comments. Keep your language G rated and appropriate for family usage.

3. No comments touching on politics, religion, or sports. Respect the diversity of the room.

4. Limit personal information, either asked or given. Age, gender, location, and other such details are unnecessary or even may be inadvisable.

5. Be thoughtful in your choice of words when you post. What you intended to say may not come through clearly to others. In reading posts, give the poster the benefit of the doubt in what they were trying to convey. Disagreements might be unavoidable but should remain polite, and they should never become arguments.

6. Do not post strings of several emoticons, smileys, or random characters. Do not post in all caps; it's like YELLING. If you are visually impaired, please let a Moderator know. Moderators can be recognized as their posts appear in all blue.

7. While viewers come from all over the world, use English only to communicate most effectively with other chatters.

Moderators have volunteered their time and knowledge to make chat a family friendly place to watch the Decorah eagles nest with the added bonus of learning about eagles. Mods deserve your respect. Moderators are here to make sure all viewers have a good experience.

Moderators are: bellenurse1, Bob1603, BremerBirdFan, FaithHopeCure, FinnBMD, gardengirl1, GarrisonJ, glogdog, headdoctor1, hummingbird2011, izzysamlikeseagles, jfrancl, JoyC32, lgb1126, oregonian1944, Pagent, thinkingwoman, TX_Ninja

Moderators can timeout, kick, or permanently ban chat abusers and will delete inappropriate posts. If your presence is disruptive, mods will remove you from chat. Allow mods to deal with chat abusers. Do not engage them yourself.

Enjoy this chat about the Decorah Eagles.

Three great, dedicated videographers have their captures.
1st egg laid Feb.23 at 4:55 PM
Elf's video of 1st egg
priscillash's video of 1st egg
mochamomma's vid of dad's first peek at egg

2nd egg laid Feb. 26 at 5:33 PM
Elf's video of egg laying
mochamomma's vid of first peek at egg

3rd Egg Mar 2nd at 6:43 PM
Elf's video of 3rd egg
eaglewhisperer's video of 3rd egg
D20's arrival

Since nobody but Mom and Dad know for sure when the first egg was laid or the first egg hatched, and they don't have a clock, a calendar, or a way to convey the info to us, we have to go by the first observation.  
1st observed brooding on 2/19
1st observed feeding on 3/29.
1st visual confirmation of 3 eaglets was 4/5.
At least we know D15 hatched before or by 3/29, and all 3 were hatched by 4/5.

EGG! We have EGG! at 7:47 PM CST Feb 17th. Thanks to elf we also have video.
2012 First Egg Feb 17th
Hatching 3-27-12 D12 Arrives!
Branching June 9th 5:38 AM CDT D12 Branches!

Second egg arrived Feb 20th at 9:06 PM CST. Video of the process.
2012 Second Egg Feb 20th
Hatching 3-28-12 D13's Process

Third egg arrived Feb 24th at 8:05 PM CST
Video of third egg!
Hatching 3-31-12 Emergence of D14!

We encourage people to use non-toxic alternatives to lead shot and tackle. We sent several eagles to S.O.A.R last year with lead poisoning. Wildlife face a lot of dangers we can't do anything about, but this one we can! For information about lead-free fishing, check out:


The following websites provide good information about bald eagles:


Established in 1988, the non-profit Raptor Resource Project specializes in the preservation of falcons, eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls. We establish and strengthen breeding populations of these raptors by creating, improving, and maintaining nests and nest sites. In addition to directly managing over 40 falcon, eagle, and owl nest sites, we provide training in nest site creation and management across the United States, reach more than 85,000 people each year through lectures, education programs, and our website, and develop innovations in nest site management and viewing that bring people closer to the world around them. Our mission is to preserve and strengthen raptor populations, to expand participation in raptor preservation, and to help foster the next generation of preservationists. Our work deepens the connection between people and the natural world, bringing benefits to both.


For 2013, we are fortunate to have Jim's video's. Here's the link to RRP's Youtube channel, Jim's 2013 playlist and Jim's late season 2013 playlist
We are also honored to present a whole series of stills from this year. SLP's 2013 Chronological Photograph's

Several active fans have captured videos from this cam from past years, including:

The Decorah eagle nest was featured in a PBS Nature series program, “American Eagle,” that premiered in November 2008. Filmed by cinematographers Robert Anderson and Neil Rettig in high-definition, the video is available on DVD and online.


Now that mom and dad have two nests, we will need to differentiate between them. The nest mom and dad used from 2007 through 2012 will be called N1, formerly known as The Nest. The nest mom and dad built for the 2013 nesting season will be called N2, formerly know as Yonder Nest.
Here is a handy map for you to see the nests and the surrounding area. Neighborhood Map.

Here's some basics about N2 which is 500 feet to the right of N1 when standing at the Hatchery.
How high is the nest? About 60 feet in a cottonwood.
How big is the nest? When the cameras were installed, N2 was about 4 feet across, 3.5 feet deep, approximately 460 pounds, and will gain approx 200 lbs every year
How old is N2? The eagles started building it in Oct. 2012. It was ready for the 2013 nesting season.

The following information is provided about N1.
How high is N1? About 80 feet.
How big is N1? About 6 feet across, about 5 feet deep; it weighs close to 1367 lb.
How old is N1? The eagles built it in 2007 and used it to successfully fledge 14 eaglets. A previous nest close by fell when a windstorm broke one of the branches. Which is the male and which is the female? It is hard to tell the difference unless they are both on the nest. The female is larger than the male. This female has an arched ridge above her eyes that goes further back than on the male, and her eyes are surrounded by a greyish shadow; the ridge above the male’s eye is shorter and seems a little closer to the eye. The male has a line around his eyes that makes them look “beady,” and his head looks “sleeker” than the female’s.
Here's a bigreddiggy video about the differences. mom and dad differences
What is the history of this male and female?
They have been together since the winter of 2007-2008. The female's markings at that time indicated that she was about 4 years old. The male was already mature in 2007. There is no way to know his age.

Once an eagle reaches maturity at 5 years of age, there is no way to determine their age if they have not been tracked prior to turning 5. Here's a link to the feather changes that occur in an eagle's first years before they mature. Plumage Changes in Sub-Adults

They successfully hatched and fledged 2 eaglets in 2008, 3 in 2009, 3 in 2010, 3 in 2011, 3 in 2012, and 3 in 2013. .

How did they capture D1?
Here's a link to how it happened. The Capture of D1
The transmitter has allowed us to see where she has been and where she is currently D1's Map What is the area around N2 and N1 like? The Nests are in cottonwood trees on private property near the Decorah Fish Hatchery (operated by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources), on the banks of the babbling waters of Trout Run in extreme northeast Iowa. N1 can be seen from the hatchery, but visitors to the hatchery should keep their distance from the nest tree, both to respect the private property where the tree is located and to avoid disturbing the eagles. Here is a ground-level video of the surroundings, taken in March 2010. This video shows the eagles’ point of view.
Here is a slide show of the cam installation in fall 2009.

Why are the eaglets called D##?
The first place is D for the Decorah, Iowa, nest site. Numbers following the D acknowledge the number of eaglets since 2008. For the 2014, the eaglets will begin with D18.

Traditional names can create an undue tendency to anthropomorphize. While the human emotion that may be attached to the eaglets is understandable, an alpha-numeric system for referencing them may help us distance ourselves to observe the wonder of wildlife and nature at work.

This reference system will allow RRP to integrate their findings more easily with other researchers.

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