It appears that the Decorah eagles have chosen the new nest they started last fall for this year’s nesting season. If they were going to use the old nest, we should have seen them bringing in soft nesting materials and building a nest bowl for their eggs. While Bob observed them bouncing back and forth as late as the morning of February 13th, they appear to have a pronounced affinity for the new nest.
Although we haven't seen it in Decorah before, multiple nest building is a relatively commonplace activity: in most but not all instances bald eagles will have more than one nest in their breeding territory. According to Pat Schlaurbaum from the Iowa DNR: "Alternative nests are quite common for a species that exhibits compulsive nest building behavior. While many alternative nests are active immediately, there are instances where eagles relocate from the alternative nest and return to the original nest and vice versa."
While we are disappointed that the eagles have left the original nest, they are simply doing what eagles do. Pending approval and support from all landowners, we will install cameras near the new nest in the fall of 2013. Cameras at both nests will assure that the public will be able to follow these famous eagles.
The Raptor Resource Project has many other bird cams across the country. Our Bald Eagle Cam in Colorado has been operating for close to ten years and allows viewers to switch between two cameras. We also have Falcon Cams, Red-tailed Hawk Cams, a Vulture Cam, a Kestrel Cam, a Great Blue Heron Cam, and Owl Cams that can viewed fromwww.raptorresource.org. Click on ‘bird cams’ on the top of the page to view them. You can also get the latest news from our facebook page, read more about multiple nest building (and many other topics) on our blog athttp://raptorresource.blogspot.com/, or chat with other bird fans in our forum: http://www.raptorresource.org/forum/. We will update on the new nest on facebook as we are able.
We look forward to bringing to the Web a new species of eagle from another part of the planet. The Philippine Eagle is on the brink of extinction and we have been working with the Philippine Eagle Foundation to bring a live Philippine Eagle Cam to the world. We are hoping that we can use the power of the Web to both educate and initiate efforts to help save this species. This is everything that the Raptor Resource Project stands for.