The famed Decorah eagles that have a cam which is watched by many are facing a tough summer.
This spring three eggs were laid, and it was a pleasure to see each hatch and the birds grow healthy and strong. But several weeks ago the gants and biting flies that have proven to be a problem in so many places around the Midwest started attacking the young birds. At about the time the birds were to fledge from the nest to the tree branches and then back for meals and nighttime resting did not take place. Instead the young eagles just took flight and got the heck out of Dodge and never returned.
One of the eagles was so tired and unable to fly successfully it landed in a river area with a broken wing. It was rescued and had surgery this weekend. The prognosis is good but it will be a slow mend.
The other two have been located but their story is not completed as they are still in need of learning to hunt and make it as adults. The parent birds know of their location and that part of the story from the Decorah Eagles Facebook Page is well worth the read.
Bob Anderson writes the following.
“I was at the hatchery a little past 6AM this morning. David and Ann Lynch were down at the city compost site. The adult female eagle was perched in the maple tree. I lobbed a quail out on the cement and as usual the female did not respond. Every few minutes I would toss the quail high in the air hoping that the male would see the offering. After a few minutes I drove… down to the compost site and met up with David along with several other eagle people who ventured out early to see eagles. Soon, the adult male eagle came flying in to the site carrying the quail. He landed next to the immature bird (EWOT) who snatched the quail and mantled.
David and I then set off to track down the young eagle with the transmitter. She spent last night in a corn field. This AM we found her laying down tucked up against a wire woven fence. She must have spent quite a bit of energy trying to get through or over the fence. I was able to grab her and quickly put a hood on her head. David then drove while I held the young eagle (EWT) and we made a direct line to the compost site.
Once we got there, we tossed three quail up on one small mulch pile very near the mulch pile with the other eaglet (EWOT). As soon as I released her on the pile she began to devour the quail. She ate all three in short order. I ran back to the hatchery and set out two small trout, hoping the adult male would snatch one and return to the compost site. All of us that were watching were rewarded when we saw the adult male eagle arrive with one trout and deliver it to the eaglet without a transmitter. The adult male then flew over to another mulch pile. Before the adult male arrived with the trout the eaglet without a transmitter flew over to the bird with the transmitter. They interacted a bit and then eagle EWOT flew back to his mulch pile.
I returned to the city compost site around 2:30 to check on the eaglets. Both of them were perched together on the tallest mulch pile. The adults have visited and the adult male brought food. It has clouded over and with luck the eagles will remain for more feedings from the adult.”