The bald eagles at the Decorah Fish Hatchery have been working on their existing nest near the Hatchery in addition to starting a new nest closer to the Hatchery. If they choose to use the new nest for the upcoming nesting season, the public will not be able to view them online since a new nest cam can't be installed while the eagles are building a nest. (Photo by Joyce Meyer)
Decorah's famous bald eagles may be tired of the spotlight.
The pair seems to be building an alternate nest in their Decorah Fish Hatchery neighborhood, according to Bob Anderson, director of the Raptor Resource Project RRP. The organization's nest-cam website of the eagles' current nest was visited more than 200 million times by visitors from 184 countries last year.
In addition to working on their existing nest, the Decorah eagles have begun building an alternate nest 70 to 80 feet high in a cottonwood on private property near the Hatchery. If the eagles choose to use their new nest, the public will no longer be able to view them online.
"We don't know whether the eagles will decide to use the current or new nest for the 2012-13 nesting season. We absolutely cannot risk scaring the eagles off by installing cameras while they are working on their new nest, so we may not see the Decorah eagles for the rest of this season. We'll miss watching them online, but it is exciting to see them building a new nest," Anderson said.
"Once again, Mom and Dad (eagle) are giving us new insights into the lives of bald eagles," he said.
It's not unusual for bald eagles to build another nest, according to Anderson.
"Multiple nest building is fairly common among bald eagles - studies have documented that roughly 45 percent of nesting eagles have two or more nests on their breeding territories. The Norfolk, Va. eagles have three nests they alternate between, and a pair of bald eagles in Lino Lakes, Minn. built two large nests in the same tree," Anderson said.
Updates on the Decorah eagles will be provided as the nesting season progresses. If the eagles choose the new nest, RRP will post images and possibly video to Facebook and the RRP blog: facebook.com/pages/Raptor-Resource-Project/103786266324668, blog: raptorresource.blogspot.com.