Tuesday, March 19, 2013

About The New Nest

We are getting a lot of questions about the new nest. Here are a few answers.

Where is the new nest? 
The new nest is still within the eagles' original territory. It is about 300 feet/100 meters east of the original nest, located between the bike trail and Trout Creek by Siewers Spring Road. We ask that anyone who goes to see the nest stay on the trail or sidewalk and avoid trespassing on private property. While these eagles are fairly tolerant of humans, visits to the nest tree will disturb them. All of our photographs are taken at long range.

New nest on March 12, 2013. This photo was digiscoped from a
few hundred feet away. 
When did the eagles start working on the new nest? 
The eagles started working on the new nest in October. They kept us guessing for a long time, but we announced that they had adopted the new nest on February 15, 2013.

Why did the eagles build a new nest?
We don't know why the Decorah eagles built a new nest, but nest building is a very common thing for eagles to do. Several studies have indicated that roughly 45% of eagles build more than one nest on territory. Some eagles that build new nests experienced failure in their old nest, yet even eagles that have experienced reproductive success will build new nests. The old nest had begun tilting as it settled on to the branches, so possibly that had something to do with it, but we don't know for sure. For more on alternate nest building, follow this link. This Connecticut study also has some interesting information on alternate nest building.

How many eggs have the eagles laid?
We don't know, but it seems reasonable to assume three, since Mom has a history of laying three eggs.

When will the eggs hatch? 
We have to estimate a lay date based on the eagles' behavior and history. We believe she laid egg #1 on February 19th, so we are guessing hatch on about March 24th. We will announce hatch once we think we have it.

Where can I find Decorah eagle photographs and news?
The latest news will be posted on our facebook page. You can also follow this blog, although it isn't usually as up to date as facebook. Photos can be found on facebook or at our flickr page (look in the 'New Nest' set). All photos are courtesy Jim Womeldorf unless otherwise stated.

Are you putting up cameras at the new nest? 
We are still working out the details, but we hope to put up cameras this fall, once the eagles have concluded this year's season and the young have dispersed from the nest.