03 April 2011

The Decorah Eagles

Allow me to to introduce you to The Decorah Eagles.

These two mature American Bald Eagles have been partners since the winter of 2007-08. The female's markings indicated she was about 4 years old when the two became mates. The pair have hatched and fledged:
  • 2 eaglets in 2008;
  • 3 in 2009; and
  • 3 more in 2010.
Since the first egg of this year was laid in February, the streaming video of the Eagles has been viewed by 11 million people from 130 countries. At the time of this post, there are two eaglets, and one unhatched egg. The third egg is expected to hatch any time.

Daughter:Why is this so interesting to watch?
Me:It's meditative. And I learned that eagles yawn.

The Decorah Eagles nest in a cottonwood tree near the Decorah Fish Hatchery. The nest, resting 80 feet above ground, is 5-6 feet across and about the same in depth.

The Raptor Resource Project maintains two cams in the cottonwood tree. The feed from the cams is streamed 24/7.

The bald eagle is a magnificent evolutionary adaption. Eagles are economical killing machines, but kill just enough prey to maintain caloric equilibrium and to feed and fledge their young.

In my post Bald Eagles are Pissed, I recounted a headline I read in The Onion:
Bald Eagle Tired Of Everyone Just Assuming It Supports War
The American Bald Eagle has become emblematic of US military aggression around the world. Yet the over-reaching wars, and gratuitous nation-building carried out by the US government, along with the cacophony of small-minded, patriotic loud-mouths in the US, WILL NOT not taint my awe for this majestic bird.

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