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.
November 5th, 2013
Sunday Fireside Chats will begin on a regular basis this Sunday!
Be here Sunday, November 10th, 2013, from 2 PM to 6 PM Central (Nest Time) armed or winged with your observations from the prior week in case mom and dad are out for a Sunday fly or watching a football game (They know better than to bring sports into chat).
July 7, 2013
RRP has decided not to attach a transmitter to any of the 2013 Decorah Eagles fledglings. We are concentrating on other projects, including our successful pilot kestrel program, camera deployment at the new nest, and our ongoing Philippine Eagle project.
We are exploring some options for next year, including attaching a very small transmitter to deck feathers on two or more eagles, which would give us 6 to 8 months of data before they molted off. While we wouldn't get the deep data set we've drawn from D1, we could answer a number of questions about dispersal, including whether or not siblings disperse together.
Light 'moltable' transmitters must be attached to hard-penned feathers. Growing feathers are still attached to a blood supply and can be easily damaged, unlike fully grown hard-penned feathers.
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.
March 27, 2013: Decorah Eagles News and Updates
There may have been a hatch at the Decorah nest on March 25. This video, taken by camera operator Jim Womeldorf, shows them working on the nest.
For additional news and updates, see the links below:
Thanks to camera operator Jim W., we have photographs and video of the new nest.
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 MC is open.
Chatting is a privilege not a right. Moderators will actively enforce the following rules.
1. Be respectful and polite. If you bring up an event at another nest, be sure to label each post with that nest's name to minimize confusion.
2. No profanity, personal invective, or other inappropriate comments.
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 MC 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 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.
2013 EGG LAYING AND HATCHING OBSERVATIONS
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.
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 fishing, check out:
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.
Check out the links to cams of many of the raptor nests that RRP manages.
RRP has a Facebook page where we post updates. Use Social Stream or Moderated Chat or visit our forum to talk about birds. Visit our merchandising page if you are interested in purchasing eaglecam merchandise.
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.
Raptor Force is another great video. It will show how raptors fly. Raptor Force
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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 The Nest. The nest mom and dad built for the 2013 nesting season will be called Yonder Nest.
The following information is provided about The Nest.
How high is the nest? About 80 feet.
How big is the nest? About 6 feet across, about 5 feet deep; it weighs close to 1367 lb.
How old is the nest? The eagles built it in 2007. 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. Her markings at that time indicated that she was about 4 years old. They successfully hatched and fledged 2 eaglets in 2008, 3 in 2009, 3 in 2010, 3 in 2011, and 3 in 2012.
What is the area around The Nest like? The Nest is in a cottonwood tree 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. The nest 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 D15, D16, and D17?
The first place is D for the Decorah, Iowa, nest site. Numbers following the D acknowledge the number of eaglets since 2008.
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.