UPDATE: Five eggs hatched, and all the little ones, encouraged today by parents honking far below, wandered about on the nest and then jumped over, or slipped as they sought a way down.
Decorah, Iowa eagle watchers had a most eventful and unusual spring season. The long-time eagle couple, which changed last season from using the usual nest of many years to a newly built one where they raised two young ones, did not sit to incubate this year. It left many Decorah watchers perplexed, some even sad.
Another pair of Decorah eagles–the ‘North family’–are super busy with two ever-growing chicks that eat 24/7 and are getting serious feather growth.
But it is the oddity this year of the nest vacated by the long-term couple last year that has everyone talking.
A Canada goose couple landed and stayed for long periods in the nest, and soon speculation abounded about the possibility they were scoping it out for their season’s nest.
The female laid her first egg on March 24, and then five more. Two days ago the yellow-downed chirpers made an appearance. Between those events the female incubated the eggs for about a month, leaving only for very short durations for food. She meticulously covered the eggs on each departure so nothing was visible.
The male is nearby for protection but never sits on the eggs. He gives a bad connotation for males worldwide!
The video below is stunning and remarkable and so worthy of a few minutes of your time. EVERY time the female left her nest this process repeated itself.
The next major event will be (perhaps today) when the goslings will have to jump from the 70-foot high nest, hurling themselves to the ground below. This reads far more dramatically than what happens since they are so very light in weight they will just softly plop on the ground and then follow the parents to the nearby river.
Yes, having a goose in an eagle’s once-used nest is not an every-year occurrence. And to have eagles flying about as the goose laid eggs and incubated does seem dicey. Yet, Mother Nature moved the process along and soon the Decoran fish hatchery area will have some cuties splashing about.
And so it goes.