Monday, March 20, 2017

Message from the Director

It has been a busy start to the year, but it has been productive and very enjoyable.  A warm welcome to our teachers and classrooms that are following along!  We have been working hard to get raptor cams ready for nesting season, training volunteers to operate them, and telling the interesting stories as we watch nature unfold and enter a new cycle of life.  If you are an educator and would like a classroom account, please visit

Two stories come to mind….the first one as each day starts is how to best share the raw beauty that comes with viewing our Decorah Eagles and other raptors as they do what comes naturally.  We are drawn to that connection with the natural world they represent.  Who could imagine that we would recently watch and wonder about the first vivid footage we have seen of Mom North vocalizing while sleeping and dreaming [video:]!  I also had to hunt down the video footage captured by our videographers when I heard about the confrontation between the first female peregrine falcon to arrive at Great Spirit Bluff with our resident female Michelle as she returned a week later to claim her nest and mate. It was not too rough, but I can honestly say I was rooting for Michelle and had to laugh as some of you joked about Newman having some explaining to do! [video:]

The second story is what a difference we can make by leading as an example and using our energy and talents to advocate for the raptors and nature around us.  Most of us have been touched by the example set by Bob Anderson and his RRP partners in raptor conservation and research.  It has been a time of reflection to watch the recent Iowa Public Television movie (The Eagles of Decorah) about the discovery of the Decorah Eagles and subsequent production of the movie “American Eagle”.  It is that passion that has brought us all together to carry on.

Our second annual fundraiser at the Celtic Junction in St. Paul was an event to remember and served as a kick-start to the year.  It was a donation of time and musical talent, one of the many you share, showcasing contributions that help us fulfill our mission.  This year we are focusing some of those efforts on kestrels, osprey, and telling stories of the unique Driftless Area.  I can’t wait to share our first newsletter with you all soon!  We now prepare to monitor peregrine falcons as they return to their historic bluff eyries.

There are exciting times ahead watching and experiencing Nature’s reality TV and sharing our love for the raptors who are only part of the bigger picture.  Spring is just around the corner and we have some exciting projects to share that are in process….stay tuned and need I remind us all to get outside and capture the outdoor experience! It won't be long until eggs start hatching!

John Howe
Director, Raptor Resource Project


Life in Neutral said...

Very nice post. had not seen the video of Decorah-North Mom dreaming, guess that answers the question " do Eagles dream?👍🏼 So glad to see Michelle Peregrine back to raise more babies this year, she was one mad Momma chasing that female away. Thank you for the informative post.

Nora H said...

"..... had to laugh as some of you joked about Newman having some explaining to do!" Now John, imagine a "new gal" coming to the house out of nowhere and your gal returning home. I'm sure she would take care of the new female in no time flat and you WOULD be explaining. :) Great blog, thanks so much.

Nora H said...

Oh and was going to add, I'm glad the battle with 66/A wasn't any worse. It was hard when we've witnessed some where one of the falcons ends up on its back in the nestbox with the other one on top and the feathers are flying.

Amy Ries said...

Nora, I agree! Perfectly normal for them, but still don't like to see fatal fights!

Mindy Meacham said...

Watched the sad video of the chick falling from the nest. I have been concerned about this possibility since I started watching this cam. I am very sorry for all of you for your loss. I watch a lot of nests on YouTube. I am concerned about your box. Would it be possible to build a new box with better ventilation and more landing room better crib rails? Please advise if you need donations for this? Thanks.