FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How high is the nest?
About 80 feet.
How big is the nest?
5-6 feet across, about the same deep; it weighs about 1½ tons.
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.
Are these eagles banded?
What is the history of this pair?
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, then 3 in 2009, and 3 more in 2010.
When were the eggs laid in 2010, and when did they hatch?
First egg was February 25, second on February 28, third on March 5. First hatch was April 3, second on April 6, third on April 9. All three eaglets fledged and are now on the wing but are not being tracked.
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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDzAh7trL2A
This video shows the eagles’ point of view:
Where can I see pictures and videos of these eagles?
An archive of daily views of the nest over the immediate 24-hour period, taken every 2 minutes, can be found at http://www.raptorresource.org/decorah_eagles/5am.php Click on Eagle Dailies.
RRP has a YouTube site with many videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/ries96
Who operates and maintains this cam?
The Raptor Resource Project (RRP) maintains the cams, of which there are two. Both are positioned on one of the nest’s supporting limbs about 4-5 feet above the nest. The main cam is automated and is trained on the nest. The other cam has pan-tilt-zoom capabilities (PTZ). The main cam switches to infrared night-time view at dark and is streamed online 24/7. To see pictures of the cam installation, go to http://tinyurl.com/6xbu7om.
Who does the panning, tilting, and zooming, and when does that happen?
Bob Anderson, Executive Director of RRP, switches to the PTZ cam most days between about 9 and 10 a.m., and when there appears to be interesting activity in the nest. He will be especially attentive when egg-laying and hatching begin, from late February.
Where can I find out more about this nest?
Some articles in local papers about cam upgrades, with photos of cam installation, have featured the nest:
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 a ridge above her eyes that goes further back than on the male, and her eyes are surrounded by a greyish shadow; the male has a line around his eyes that makes them look “beadier.” Some think that the male’s head is “sleeker” than the female’s.
Ask an Eagle Wildlife Biologist
The following website is a great place to post or look at answers to questions.