Over a million people a year have tuned into the reality shows being produced at the Alcoa Eagle Cam in Davenport, Iowa, and Eagle Cam in Decorah, Iowa, for the last two early springs. Avid fans have kept a running dialogue about sightings of couple copulation, egg laying, eaglet hatching and fledgling flights. It was previously reported that the Alcoa Eagles of Davenport were expecting a St. Patrick’s Day delivery, and they are only three days behind schedule, but we all know the first one can come any time.
Around 11 this morning, the first baby eaglet hatched at the Alcoa Eagle Cam in Davenport. Although eagle egg hatching is not an exact science, eggs are predicted to hatch in 35 days after they are laid. Based on last year’s information I used a calendar to compute that St. Patrick’s Day would be the first possible day the first egg might hatch based on that 35-day bit of information. However, based on the number of days it took Liberty and Justice to incubate their first egg last year, I surmised it most likely would arrive later, and possibly around March 21.
As I said, it isn’t an exact science, and the hatching began for excited viewers on Monday morning, March 19. It was a long vigil as spectators waited for the cracked egg to be totally breached by the emerging fluffy little grey eaglet. The first sighting this morning was actually of a curled up wet, scrawny little specimen who didn’t look strong enough to sustain life. However, the little guy or gal quickly dried out, turning into an adorable ball of grey, downy fluff with a tiny yellow beak that very much resembled Mommy and Daddy’s.
Again, based loosely on last year’s hatchings, I would predict the next egg to hatch around March 23 or March 24, and the third egg to hatch around March 26 or March 27. However, the Alcoa news release says they might come as early as tomorrow or the next day.
Decorah’s Eagle Cam, also is expecting eminent arrivals. Their first eaglet egg arrived on Feb. 17, so I’m predicting March 26 or March 27 for their first hatching. Their second arrived on Feb. 20, so I’m predicting March 29 or 30. Their last one came on Feb. 24 so I’m predicting April 1 or 2.
Baby eaglet No. 1 has officially been named after the god of Thunder, Thor. With five more eggs to hatch, I’ll cross my fingers you’re able to catch at least one of them. Good luck with your Eagle watching. Updates to follow as news of the next hatchings breaks.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Liberty and Justice had egg number 2 hatch at the Alcoa Davenport, IA web cam. As previously noted, eaglet hatching is not an exact science and even at 6:20 this morning a hole could be seen in one of the two remaining eggs. Liberty fed her first hatchling a breakfast of leftover raw fish. The feeding took approximately ten minutes, and then Thor snuggled down into the nest, seemingly sated. Liberty pulled loose straw around baby Thor, and settled atop her brood to wait for the arrival of baby eaglet number 2 who was not long in coming. Now feeding time that took ten minutes takes twenty minutes instead with two mouths to feed. There will be no rest for this young couple for the next few weeks because egg number three has a visible hole and crack in it as well. If baby eaglet number three doesn’t hatch before nightfall, it’s likely to be here by early morning light.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
After a tense twenty-four hours when cam watchers began to wonder if egg number 3 was still viable, this morning around 11:00 am eaglet number 3 finally hatched. It was a thrilling moment, and the eaglet is affectionately being nicknamed Trey. For about four hours the newborn will be a wet, curled up scrawny little speciment, but as he (she) begins to dry out and the grey downy fluff dries out, it may be a challenge to tell the new eaglet from the others. At the moment, Thor is the lighter grey eaglet with gold tones on his beak and eaglet number two is darker with a black beak. Even now, survival of the fittest is regularly displayed in the nest as Thor forces Dos (eaglet number two) to scramble for his dinner or go hungry. Cam viewers almost transfer human qualities to the little family, making remarks like, “Mom should send Thor to timeout so baby number two can eat too,” or, “Eaglet number two would have a better chance if Mom saw that they each had an equal helping of food.”
Apparently, Mother Nature doesn’t abide by our humanly defined rules of survival, however, Dos will step up to the plate or starve. This morning, though, for the morning feeding, Mom made them wait for breakfast until Dad returned to the nest so each eaglet had a sporting chance to a good start for the day. Eaglet number three will have a tough row to hoe, though, if the newly hatched baby doesn’t produce a competitive spirit, because baby Thor is going to make the two younger siblings fight for their share, as is already evident.
So far meals have consisted of turtle, fish, and black squirrel (somebody called it a mole, but sorry folks, I looked a mole up, and the little black rodent-like critters with bushy tails weren’t moles). Already the hungry brood easily devours one of each a day, but Liberty and Justice are proving to be hard-working providers. Feedings seem to be taking place most often at 20 minutes after the hours and 50 minutes after the hour, but any time through daylight hours may be an opportunity for an eaglet sighting.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Decorah, IA eagle cam had a confirmed pip sighting at 2:00 pm CDT this afternoon. A pip is the first hole a baby eaglet pecks in the outer shell with its beak tooth. Friday was day 35 after the first egg was laid, so Monday is day 38, well within the hatching zone of from 35 to 40 days. The eaglet should hatch within 24 to 48 hrs. after this pip appears. After the baby eaglet breaks through the shell, it may bask in the rush of fresh oxygen, and take a much deserved rest. The egg yolk is still sustaining the eagle with nutrition while Mom and Dad chirp encouragement to the slowly emerging baby. This little guy didn’t wait for his hatching to make his new little voice heard. While still in the shell, this particular little eaglet could be heard chirping a greeting to Mom and Dad and to the outside world in general. There is high excitement at eagle watch this afternoon with over 48,000 viewers on hand to watch and the chat room maxed out.
At Alcoa Web Cam at Davenport, IA, three thriving baby eaglets squabble over every meal. Baby eaglet number 3 sometimes seems to get shoved aside, and seems to not get an equal share. While our human sense of fairness might like to prevail, and if we were in charge, we might send Uno (eaglet No. 1) to timeout for being so feisty in his pursuit of the choicest morsels of turtle, fish, or squirrel, we’re simply spectators in this real life drama, cheering Trey (eaglet No. 3) on to stand up and fight for his fair share.
Alcoa reports 2.25 million viewers from 68 countries have tuned in to check on the new family. Beware, eagle cam watching is highly addictive.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Decorah Eagle Cam finally had their first delivery at 1:16 CDT this afternoon. The news has created eaglet fever in the Decorah chat room, as viewers are waiting for hours to sign in and offer their congratulations and get their first peak of the new hatchling. The baby eaglet can be seen whether viewers are signed in or not, however. The live streaming is available for any and all to see. The first pip was officially reported yesterday around 2:00 pm so this first baby eaglet arrived in a timely manner.
Although, Dad usually covers the day shift, he graciously gave up his position on the nest so Mom could be present and on the nest for the hatching of her first born, so obviously both of them were aware the birth was eminent. Another interesting fact is that the nest has been immaculate until this hatching.
There is now a raw fish in the nest. Both eagles will eat away from the nest until they have a newly hatched eaglet to feed, and already they are providing for its first meal even though it can survive on what it ingested of the remaining egg yolk in its egg shell for the first 24 hours after it’s hatched.
There is still a huge sense of anticipation as viewers wait on pins and needles for the first starring and then for the pip to appear on eggs 2 and 3.
March 27, 2012
This March Tuesday is already the birthday of D12, the eaglet that hatched at Decorah, IA, this afternoon. Excitement was already high, and now a new pip has been sighted in egg no. 2. Within 24-48 hours it’s reasonable to expect there will be a second eaglet in the Decorah nest. Meanwhile, Dad has brought his first food offering to the nest, a fresh fish. Overnight, Mom will get some much needed rest in anticipation of her first full day keeping up with the newly hatched eaglet, who will most likely have a hearty appetite by tomorrow.
Things are proceeding quickly and pretty much on schedule.
March 28, 2012
Things are really popping or should I say pipping at the Decorah Eagle Cam at the moment. Last evening’s pip sighting hatched into eaglet number 2, better known now as D13. When I checked on the status of the nest early this morning, I was met with a spectacle that literally made me laugh out loud. Last evening Dad had brought a large cornhusk into the nest. Somehow, Mom had propped the cornhusk upright in the nest so if was providing a perfect wind break for the immediate vicinity of her tiny brood.
After baby eaglet number 2 hatched, Mom and Dad traded places on the nest, Dad taking over official eaglet watching duty, while Mom took off to hunt for breakfast. Dad managed to knock over Mom’s arrangement of the corn husk as he wriggled down over the nest. All are doing well, with baby number 1 having a first meal this morning while baby number 2 dried out and rested up from hatching exertions.
Friday, March 30, 2012
If you haven’t watched an eagle egg hatching yet this year, this could be your last chance of 2012. Decorah IA has a pip hole on egg number 3. It appeared last evening around 6:00 P.M. Since it can take from 24 to 48 hrs. for an egg to hatch, the last eaglet chick could appear as soon as later today. The two chicks already hatched are alert, active and hungry. The new babies are fed approximately once every hour by either Mom or Dad, and sometimes both eagle parents are on feeding duty together.
At Alcoa Eagle Cam you can really see the difference 5 days can make. One might think with 3 eaglet chicks in the nest it would be difficult to tell who was who, but so far the first born stands head and wing above the other two, and baby number 3 is still obviously the tiniest of the little flock. All three are receiving meticulous care from Liberty and Justice. Sometimes they are getting fed as often as once every half-hour, but usually it’s once every hour. Uno, as the first born is affectionately called, looks like he’d like to start feeding himself already, and he’s only 10 days old.
Pip watch at Decorah IA will likely be the eagle story of the day this last Friday in March, 2012.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Very early Saturday morning, around 3:15 Decorah Volunteers reported a first sighting of the third eaglet chick, D14, hatched over night while most of us were sleeping. There were a lot of cute moments yesterday as the occupants of the nest anticipated the new arrival. Mom and Dad were both frequently on the nest checking on the progress of their youngest arrival. And eaglet siblings seemed to respond to the interior pecking on the shell with some friendly pecking on the outside of the shell themselves.
An occasional close-up would reveal a tiny beak pecking at the ages of the pip hole so there was a lot of web activity yesterday as well. At any given time there were between 60,000 and 65,000 viewers checking up on the latest arrival’s progress.
At the moment, the tiny eaglet, who is half the size of his siblings, hatched Tuesday and Wednesday, doesn’t appear to have much appetite. He or she is content to enjoy the company of his family and taken in his new surroundings, but the new chick’s appetite will pick up quickly now, and Mom and Dad will be kept busy filling the pantry to feed the hungry trio.
This is unprecedented to have 3 healthy hatches at both the Alcoa and Decorah nests. While Decorah has a 100% survival rate, last year the Alcoa pair only raised one of their chicks, so history is being made here.
Monday, April 09, 2012
What a difference a week can make in the life of a baby eaglet. The firstborn is twice the size as the caboose at both nests, Davenport and Decorah. The older eaglet chicks have developed or are developing a second darker down coat, and on close observation it can be seen where the emerging feathers are beginning to form. Parent eagles at both nests have spent the week building higher elaborate stick fencing around the edges of the nests to form what looks like a baby eaglet playpen.
The firstborn at Davenport is already helping herself to portions of a fish carcass although this usually doesn’t take place until the fourth or fifth week in the life of a baby eaglet. Baby eaglet number two shows signs already of following in his siblings claw-steps and stepping up to the plate to feed himself too.
This timeis seeming to fly as the baby eaglets develop size, strength, differently gangly looks, and a degree of independence. Don’t miss it! You still have time to check in on eaglet development straight from the source at either the Alcoa Eagle Cam or the Decorah Eagle Cam.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
As in the way of all babies, these little eglets eat, poop, and sleep most of the time, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to see on the Iowa eagle cams. These babies are spending more and more time basking in the April sunshine despite the high spring winds that seem like they could blow a baby away. The oldest babies are easily half the size of the parent pair already, and teeter clumsily around the nest now on what look like clown claws.
Both male eagles, one in Deocorah and one in Davenport, can be seen sitting in the sunshine on their massive nests yawning while on eaglet chick duty. (Who knew eagles yawn?) It seems eagle parenting is as exhausting as human parenting can be. These babies have huge appetities, and it’s a full-time job just to feed them. Enjoy this idyllic view of the Iowa baby eaglets while you can. It will all be over too soon. In approximately 6 weeks these baby chicks will make their fledling flights.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
At almost four weeks old, the first born hatch at the Alcoa Eagle Cam in Davenport, IA is fast approaching the size of her dad. While nobody honestly knows her gender yet, I’m speculating due to her bulk compared to her younger siblings that she is a female. Still an awkward, gawky looking baby covered in dark gray down (the second down coat), she’s ready to feed herself. Her sibling, born two days later is still smaller than her. The third hatch, affectionately called PeeWee by many, is markedly the caboose by a considerable weight difference. PeeWee was born only 5 days after the first eaglet chick hatched, and it definitely shows.
There’s possible bad weather predicted in Iowa today, rain with the possibility tornadoes could form across the midwest. At both locations, Davenport and Decorah, a lot of care of the nest has been taken today, as if shoring them up for a possible blow.
Decorah’s eagles are much smaller, but they were also born a week after the Davenport eagles were born too. There is still plenty to see at both cams before the baby eaglets fledge. Sad to report that 40% of baby eaglets do not survive their first flight (what a staggering number), but these eaglets have had the epitome of excellent care from their hard working parents, and thousands of spectators are crossing their fingers and offering up prayers for their survival. Optimism is high they’ll all have a good outcome.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Decorah – Last night about 2:00 A.M. an owl attempted an attack on the eagle nest. Mom sounded a warning, and when that didn’t deter the owl, she opened up her wings and flapped them around the nest. When that didn’t work, she called for Dad to come and cover the nest, (which he promptly did) while she personally escorted the owl away from the nest herself. These parents are amazingly vigilant and the babies slept through the whole thing. A video link is posted at the bottom of the Decorah web page.
Davenport – It was a wild and woolly night in Davenport and Liberty has to be exhausted. Three different storm fronts pelted the nest, from dusk until the wee hours this morning. Liberty was hammered by pelting rain, hail, and strong wind gusts that forced her to fight for her perch on the nest, buffeting her around for long, dangerous hours. She stuck like velcro. Still, as dawn early light peeked over the horizon, at 6:20 A.M. she headed out to look for breakfast while Justice watched over the waking eagle chicks.
It was simply a relief to realize as the sun rose that the eagle pair and their little family of eaglet stars had weathered the storm, and had survived to see the first rays of an overcast dawn. The weather has cleared considerably as the day warmed up, but there are still chances of rain the in forecast.
Saturday, April 21st, 2012
Davenport Cam: The Davenport Cam is letting viewers vote for baby eaglet names this week. If you want a voice in what the babies will be called, you still have Saturday, April 21st and Sunday April 22nd to vote. The winning names will be announced Monday. At the moment, the Alcoa Web Cam is frozen, but they are contacting technical support in an attempt to get it up and running again. It being a Saturday, they makes it a tad more difficult than it might otherwise be, but for those of you addicted to baby eagle watching, they are working on it.
Decorah Cam: The weather turned plenty chilly two days ago, but the baby eaglets are now able to thermoregulate, (control their own body heat), and it doesn’t seem to be much of a problem. The stormy weather has much improved as well. The babies are spending more and more time in the nest alone which makes for some entertaining baby eagle watching. They seem to eat until they are almost drunk on food, and then they collapse in exhaustion wherever they finish the meal, even if it’s on top of their supper. They do stretch, and bump and startle each other, momentarilly. There seems to be abundant food supply and Mom or Dad is always perched a couple of feet away on a limb keeping vigil.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Davenport, IA – the vote is in and the baby eaglets’ names are Faith, Hope and Spirit, the firstborn being Faith, and PeeWee, the baby being Spirit. I had sincerely hoped that Thor would make the cut since I had shared that Uno, or the number 1 chick was already unofficially named Thor by a popular vote. However, I suspect Uno is a female eagle from the size of the eaglet and the rate of growth, so Faith might very well be a better name in the long run. The view at the nest is spectacular and both Faith and Hope are showing more dark feathers daily.
Web watcher are dreading that first fledge flight, and praying for a safe outcome. Nobody is ready for eagle watching to come to an end, even though long time viewers know it does. The nest is 80-85 feet off the ground in a cottonwood tree so it could be a harrowing experience. Yet, you can tell the babies are dreaming, already, about what it will feel like to soar off the edge of the nest as they creep closer and closer to the edge on a daily basis.
Decorah, IA – These eaglet chicks are between 26 – 30 days old now, and their second down is a dark, charcoal gray. They frequently walk around the nest in a gangly clown-like walk that mimics Mom’s and Dad’s, but without their mature control. The weather in Iowa today is idyllic, but there may be snow in the forecast for Friday. Hard to believe after the gorgeous spring Iowa has had.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
The weather is the big story this week at both eagle web cams in northeastern Iowa. What a difference a week in the life of a baby eaglet makes. If you have any doubt, sign in first to the Alcoa Web Cam in Davenport, IA. Then sign into the Decorah Eagle Cam. It actually kind of boggles the mind. The Davenport triplets are trying to learn the skill of ripping apart prey to get to the food. One would think with those massive talons and that sharp beak, it would be a piece of cake, but it must be a lot more difficult than it looks, because they keep trying, but they haven’t mastered the skill yet.
At both nests, Mom and Dad may fly to a nearby branch to do “Playground” supervision now, rather than hover at the edge of the nest to supervise baby eaglet activity. Oddly enough, the Davenport triplets actually seem to get along better than the Decorah triplets do. The Decorah trio can get really snippy with each other. It seems a little strange to be describing personality in reference to America’s national birds, but all personalities are not equal in the wild either.
The changes at both nests are dramatic. That downy gray color is disappearing as the new feathers begin to emerge. You can still tell they are babies, though, when a strong storm front moves through the ‘hood’, and the babies duck their little heads under Mom or Dad’s wings (usually Mom’s) until it passes. While the weather has sometimes seemed violent enough it could blow the babies from the nest, all seem to be safely riding out the storms, a little wet, a little tired, but still in excellent shape. And hungry, always hungry.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Davenport: The web cam has had some technical difficulties this week, but this morning, everything is working. However, I had to access it from my article, because the internet link I found in the search engine wouldn’t direct me there. It is a gorgeous day in Iowa, and perfect for eagle watching. Breakfast is fresh turtle. The eaglets are feeding themselves more and more. They are fast approaching there full-size. By the time they are 70 days old they will have all their feathers and be full-grown enough to fledge. Faith has already managed to lift herself into the air with a wide flapping of wings, and a little hop. First, if all goes according to plan, the babies will take a short trip of a couple of feet to a nearby branch. They may practice like this for several days before they attempt anything more risky. The first born will be 70 days old on May 28.
Decorah: These triplets are also feeding themselves now. Every day they more and more resemble what a full-grown eagle is going to look like. All six of these eaglets are spectacularly healthy and beautiful.
Oddly enough, the Davenport nest seems always to be littered with leftover food sources and the Decorah nest always looks licked clean. Obviously, though, the Davenport pair, Liberty and Justice, have honed their parenting skills in the last few years, and they are fully up to the task of caring for three thriving eaglet chicks this year. If you haven’t checked on them recently, you will be amazed at the changes a few days will make.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Davenport, IA: This trio of eaglets are spending their days perched on the side of the nest now, listening to Mom and Dad call to them. In Eaglease, one can only speculate the parents are encouraging their young to stretch their wings far enough to fly to a nearby limb now. The yearning is obvisouly there to do so. Nothing takes them back from the brink but the arrival of fresh food, or an exercise they practice, a flapping of wings accompanied by a little hop, that momentarilly makes them airborne. After that moment of excited ecstasy they try it again.
Decorah, IA: These babies, too, who no longer look exactly like babies, spend some time during a day perfecting this maneuver. While one can well be nervous for them, 40% of fledgings don’t survive their first fledge, an astronomically forboding number, the caution these babies are approaching their first fledge with would seem to attest to the fact they are aware it’s a risky proposition, and they need to wait for an opportune time to attempt it.
In the next two weeks one of these six eaglets, probably the first born, Faith at Davenport, is going to spread wings and fly to a nearby perch, and addicted cam watches are checking in at regular intervals so as not to miss the momentous moment.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Iowa eagles have made a dramatic comeback in the last decade, and there’s proof in Davenport and Decorah with a trio of baby eaglets thriving in each eagle nest. Only they now looks very much like their adult parents, and their reluctance to spread their wings for the fledgling flight is the major reminder to all of watching that they are still babies. Regardless of their reluctance, any minute now, Mom and Dad are going to begin to withhold food from these ‘eagle rock stars’ to entice them for that first take off flight.
Expect the first fledge to happen in Davenport because these eagles are a week older than the ones in Decorah. Monday the oldest baby eagle, Faith, will be 70 days old. At 70 days they have all their feathers. In other words, Mother Nature has fully primed them for flight. You can see the longing there to do just that as they perch on the rail of their eaglet ‘play pens’. If eagles day dream, they most definitely are day dreaming about how far they’ll soar.
The first trip may simply be to a nearby branch, but any minute now, one of them is going to thrill the watching world with that first flight towards adulthood. Expect similar growing pains (for the viewers as well) at Decorah the following week.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Monday, May 28, the oldest Alcoa Eaglet at Davenport was 70 days old. At 70 days an eagle has all of his or her feathers. Wednesday the 2nd born will be 70 days old and Saturday the 34d born will be 70 days. They can be expected to fly at any time now. Faith, the oldest managed to fly from the nest of the branch directly above it and perch there for a considerable amount of time, so take off is eminent. Next week the Decorah eaglets will reach this same milestone. This is the exciting next step, a dangerous one, since these nests are 80 feet off the ground, for these young eaglets to start becoming independent adults. It won’t happen overnight, and the vigilant parents will be coaxing and assisting with that development through the summer months as their offspring learn the skills that will enable them to survive.
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Right on schedule this week, the Davenport eaglets began branching, Faith first, and then Hope. Any minute now Spirit will be too, because he’s 70 days old today and now has all his feathers. It’s slightly heart-stopping to sign into the cam and see one or two of the trio missing from the nest, but as of this moment, none of them has taken a long fledgling flight. The anticipation of it is pretty intense at the moment though. It’s obvious they are yearning to do so.
This coming Monday will be 70 days for the firstborn Decorah eagle, so similar behavior came be expected from the Decorah nest by the first of the week. The babies don’t look like babies anymore with their ruffled feathers speckled with intermittent white. Their behavior still demonstrates their immaturity yet though. They are still sometimes timid about tearing into breakfast on their own, as if they are not quite sure how to do it yet. At both nests the oldest eaglet is the most confident about attempting new skills.
With sound on the cams you can hear Mom and Dad calling to the babies, urging them to fly to the nearest branches. These veteran parents demonstrate amazing parenting skills every single moment of every single day! There are lessons to be learned here, life lessons for human beings as well as eagles.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Eagle watchers, while it may be startling to sign into the web cam and discover an empty nest these days, there has been no fledgling flight yet. The eaglets are stretching their wings, and they are moving from branch to branch in their cottonwood trees, but these are simply little sprints to practice their flight maneuvers before the big solo flight. While the nest may be empty for short periods of time, the eaglets are still returning to the nests for food and naps. These short branching experiences, though, are preparing them for the real thing, which could happen at any time now.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
This morning, the Alcoa Triplets in Davenport, were not in their nest! In Decorah, only the youngest eagle juvenile remained in the nest. Five of the six youngsters is branching. Decorah’s cam is set up for panning, and volunteers man that camera, so there were some awesome shots of D13 branching this morning. She can only be compared to a toddler who has stood up and let go of the coffee table for the first time. She knows she’s strutting her stuff, and she daringly flits from one branch to another, practicing her newly won skills. The Davenport eaglets are doing the same thing, but the camera set-up doesn’t allow the same vantage point so viewers can watch the eaglet youngsters practicing for take-off. I thought I was prepared to see that empty nest, but after tuning in to the daily antics of these eagle families for three months, I suffered a few moments of melancholy. Expect D14 to be branching by this week-end, possibly before that, maybe Friday. He’s definitely hopping around the nest stretching his wings.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
In Decorah IA, this morning around 8:00 A.M., two fledge flights were confirmed. D12 and D13 were both confirmed to be flying in the sky over their cottonwood tree. If the Davenport eaglets have fledged, nobody has sighted a flight or confirmed one. Truthfully, I was surprised the Decorah eaglets fledgling flights were confirmed first because they were born exactly a week after the Davenport eaglets. However, there may be better surveillance at the Decorah sight too. Today is a huge day, though, in the life of these young eagles, because only 40% of eaglets survive their fledgling flights, and obviously this pair have both had their first successful solo lift-off in the air. Way to go, eaglet chicks! This is a graduation day or sorts for both of you!
Saturday, June 16, 2012
As of this morning, both the Davenport eagles at Alcoa and the Decorah eagles have been declared successfully fledged. Friday, one of the eaglets was spotted circling over the cottonwood tree, another spotted sitting on a branch in a tree not far away, and the third still in the nest. It’s hard to catch them on the nest now. Mom and Dad are still keeping close watch on the young chicks and offer encouraging chirps to them. They are also still continuing to feed them, but will withhold enough food to encourage them to start hunting for their own food. If you’re lucky, you will be able to catch them on the nests occasionally this summer if you have time to be patient, but all six eaglets have now successfully fledged.
Friday, July 6, 2012
Wow, I thought I had posted the last post I would leave here on June 16. I never expected to be back here, the bearer of bad news, but D-12 was electrocuted on Tuesday, July 3, near the nest at Decorah, IA on an electric pole that wasn’t protected. This year had been a record breaking year in Iowa. Both the Decorah and Davenport nest had hatched, nurtured, and fledged 3 eaglet chicks in 2012. When all 6 of these birds successfully fledged, cam viewers breathed a collective sigh of relief. This is indeed sad news, but there continue to be many risks to these large predators. The electric company has been checking poles in the neighborhood and righting some wrongs since the corpse of this young eagle was found, and continues to do so. Anybody who knows of unprotected utility poles can notify the electric company and request that they put a shield on them, and you are urged to do so.