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February 19, 2020: DNF at the North Nest

February 19, 2020: DNF at the North Nest

Will we get an egg tonight at the North nest? Maybe…

A quick reminder – there is a reasonably good chance we could see egg #1 at the Decorah North nest tonight…although only DNF knows for sure. We’ve got some North Nestflix for everyone pacing the delivery room floor with us tonight!

Decorah North Eagles

February 19, 2020: Owl knocked Mr. Northhttps://youtu.be/oOYVluusSrw and https://youtu.be/ywywxo83cPw. This is a little startling. An owl – probably a GHO based on size and history – knocked Mr. North off his perch. We don’t see it here, but he ended up flying into the nest, where he stayed for maybe 10 or 15 minutes before flying back to his perch.

Why did he come into the nest and sit as though he was incubating eggs? He may have needed a little recovery time, but I have to wonder whether his protective instincts kicked in this close to egg-laying, triggering an urge to protect the nest. The feathers on his back were a little ruffled, but he appeared fine and joined DNF back on the perch ten to fifteen minutes after the hit.

February 19, 2020: Decorah North Food Deliveryhttps://youtu.be/etbURZbmcRg. Warning: this video includes close-ups of prey being eaten. Mr. North arrives with lunch for his hungry mate. She immediately moves in on it, mantling to make it clear that this meal is hers! Mr. North moves away to work on nestorations and she begins to eat the muskrat (muskrats do not hibernate). She tears into it and begins eating without much food prep at all! If it doesn’t bother you, observe how skillfully she uses her beak to separate flesh from fur and tease (or tear) out bits of meat. Eagle beaks are hard, fairly sharp, and extremely sensitive – perfect for feeding hatchling eaglets! https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/04/05/bald-eagle-tongues-and-beaks/

February 19, 2020: A good meal and beautiful close-upshttps://youtu.be/lCSqsA3QN_o. The video opens with DNF and Mr. North perched side by side on the babysitting branch. It looks like she might be soliciting bonding, but both are distracted by something we can’t see. All of the close-ups are beautiful – the two eagles are glowing with health and vitality – but the one at 7:50 is extraordinary! At 9:46, Mr. north arrives with a large branch. The two begin side by side nestorations, with more close-ups in the fifteeth minute.

February 19, 2020: Closeup of DNF and Mr Northhttps://youtu.be/g3u_yCIh50U. Stunning closeups of DNF and Mr. North (the changeover happens at 9:35). I especially enjoyed the extremely detailed look at the their feathers! From the tightly lapped coverts, to the rounded secondaries, to the sharply pointed primaries, the camera operator gives us a wonderful look at the beauty and utility of bald eagle feathers. To learn more about molt, follow this link! https://www.raptorresource.org/2019/05/19/what-are-feathers-what-is-molt/

Odds and Ends

Do eagles dream? We believe they do! Watching Mr. North and DNF slumber last night made me think of this blog: https://www.raptorresource.org/2020/02/20/sweet-eagle-dreams/. Sweet Eagle Dreams, everyone!