Watch the Decorah Eagles!
We have a stream here, but check out **our NEW ADS-FREE STREAM ** at our website: https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/. We will be chatting there as well, so be sure to follow the link to see an ads-free stream and to chat with us!
This is the Decorah Eagles nest, which is located just south of the city of Decorah near the trout hatchery. For more information about the eagles and their nest, please follow this link: https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/.
We hope you enjoy watching in 2017 and 2018! We also welcome you to chat on our forum: http://www.raptorresource.org/forum/ and check our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/RaptorResourceProject/) for news and updates.
The Weather Forecast
Thanks to A2Z Security Cameras for their help and support with our new HD cameras and to the City of Decorah MetroNet for their help bringing the Decorah N2B nest to the world!
About the Raptor Resource Project
The Decorah Eagle cam is brought to you by the Raptor Resource Project, which specializes in the preservation of falcons, eagles, ospreys, hawks, and owls. We create, improve, and directly maintain over 50 nests and nest sites, provide training in nest site creation and management, and develop innovations in nest site management and viewing that bring people closer to the natural world. Our mission is to preserve and strengthen raptor populations, expand participation in raptor preservation, and help foster the next generation of preservationists. As a nonprofit environmental organization, we depend on donors, research, and our other programs for our entire budget. Your support will result in direct impacts and improvements for birds of prey! Donate via Paypal.
For those of you who prefer donating via US mail, our address for donations is:
Raptor Resource Project
P. O. Box 16
Decorah, IA 52101
Teachers and Educators
Are you looking for bald-eagle based lesson plans or activities? Visit our Eagle Education Board for activities, lesson plans, and more! Our online educational classroom can be found at www.raptorresource.org/classroom
Raptor Resource Project Links
Our website: http://www.raptorresource.org
Our facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RaptorResourceProject/
Our blog: http://raptorresource.blogspot.com/
Our forum: http://www.raptorresource.org/forum/
Bob Anderson, director of the Raptor Resource Project, passed away on July 27, 2015. We remember his legacy here.
BALD EAGLE NEST ETIQUETTE
This is not intended to be an absolutely complete list, please remember to use common sense—these are wild raptors with a natural fear of humans, let’s keep them that way!!
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, Federal law in the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Protection Treaty protects bald eagles.
Respect the landowners. Don't trespass or intrude on them in any way. Heed all No Trespassing signs.
Federal law requires you to stay at least 330 feet away from any nest. This distance is also true for individual eagles that may be perched on a tree or standing on the ground.
Use your car or a tree as a blind putting it between you and the eagles. They are less sensitive to those objects than a free-standing or moving human.
If an eagle stops what it is doing to watch you, you are disturbing the eagle—move on!
Be as quiet as possible. Don't honk, rev your engine, play loud music, shout or make any other loud noises.
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.
Do not feed the eagles in any way. This includes leaving food on the ground. These birds are wild and should not become dependent on humans.
If an eagle is on the ground, do not approach it. When it flies off, do not attempt to follow it.
It is illegal to possess any part of a Bald Eagle; this includes any feathers you may find. If you see a feather—leave it alone.
Be aware of your surroundings. If an eagle is near a road, check for traffic before moving. Your safety is important.
Binoculars and/or cameras will afford you the best view while visiting a nest.
Demonstrate eagle friendly actions by your own behavior. Be courteous to both other eagle observers and wildlife.
Keep the area free from litter. Pick up after yourself and take your trash with you.
Enjoy your visit to Decorah or to wherever you might go to view these magnificent raptors!!
Thanks to the UStream Decorah Eagles Chat Room Moderators for these guidelines
FISHING AND HUNTING LEAD FREE
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 hunting and fishing, check out:
The following websites provide good information about bald eagles:
VIDEO AND MULTIMEDIA RESOURCES
RRP's youtube channel can be found here. 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Eagles' Nests
Mom and Dad have built three nests on the property, and we built one. N0 or the first nest, built sometime before 2006, was built by Dad and his original mate, OM. The location can be seen in the map above. N1 or the second nest, built largely or entirely by Dad and his current mate Mom, was started in late 2006. Mom and Dad left N1 in 2012 and started working on N2, about 500 feet away from N1. In July of 2015, N2 was destroyed in a storm. Neil Rettig came up with the idea of building a nest not far from N2's old location to see if the eagles would adopt it. Bob was thrilled by the idea, but passed away before it began. We named it N2B in Bob's honor.
How high is N2B? The bottom limbs are 70 feet off the ground.
How big is the nest? It was roughly 5 feet wide by 4.5 to 5 feet high when we stopped building.
How old is N2B? We built N2B in August of 2015. It is in its second season!
How high was N2? N2 was about 60 feet off the ground.
How big was N2? When the cameras were installed in 2013, N2 was about 4 feet across, 3.5 feet deep, and approximately 460 pounds in weight.
How old was N2? The eagles started building it in Oct. 2012. It was ready for the 2013 nesting season.
How high was N1? N1 was about 80 feet off the ground.
How big was N1? N1 was about 6 feet across, 5 feet deep; and weighed roughly 1300 pounds.
How old was N1? The eagles began building 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. They left N1 after the 2012 nesting season.
What is the area around the nests 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.
Which is the male and which is the female eagle?
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 is a bigreddiggy video about the differences: Telling the difference between Mom and Dad.
What is the history of this male and female eagle?
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, 3 in 2013, 3 in 2014, 3 in 2015, and 2 in 2016.
The Raptor Resource Project attached transmitters to six bald eagles: D1 from 2011, D14 from 2012, Indy from 2014, Four from 2014, and D24 and D25 from 2016. D14, Indy, and Four were all electrocuted: tragedies that raised awareness of the issue and led to greater protections on wires and poles from the companies that owned the lines. D1's transmitter stopped talking to us in 2014, although we have no reason to think she died. D25 was struck and killed by a vehicle.
Follow this link for maps of their travels, a video of D1's capture (includes Bob's happy dance!) and information about the transmitters we used: https://www.raptorresource.org/eagle-map/
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 2016, the eaglets will begin with D24. 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.