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It's Hatch Day in Decorah

Michael Leland
An eagle's nest at Gray’s Lake Park in Des Moines on March 26, 2017";

Large migratory birds, including turkey vultures, sandhill cranes, great blue herons, and bald eagles, are on the move in Iowa this spring. One eagle in particular is trying to hatch out of its shell in a nest just north of Decorah.

[See live feeds of eagles - both the "Decorah Eagles" and the "Decorah North Nest"]

The Raptor Resource Project in Decorah is expecting to see an eaglet in their nest just north of Decorah today, host Charity Nebbe talks with John Howe, the executive director of the Raptor Resource Project. The project maintains the Decorah eagle cam live streams.

"As they come out - it takes several hours to half a day - we'll see the fuzzy down of the eaglet show up," says Howe. "And they're kind of weak at first. They pop their heads up, and we'll see some of that first feeding. It is pretty amazing."

Howe says that at both nest cam locations near Decorah, the males are the ones who bring in food for the eaglets, what Howe calls "stocking the fridge."

"The fish will start appearing in the nest, and then the first tender feedings of those little bitty pieces of fish or whatever prey has been brought up to that eaglet first. I'd say this is probably the most watched and sought after time to watch the eagles in their life cycle."

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Howe, as well as wildlife biologist Jim Pease, who talks about large migratory birds in the Midwest, where they're traveling to and from, and how to tell them apart by silhouette and flight pattern. 


Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa