Around 2pm, Mrs Decorah North of the Bald Eagle Nest in Decorah, Iowa, brought two hawklets onto the nest. One was plucked and eaten (it was already dead on arrival). The other one was alive. Mr North arrived within half an hour and noticed that the hawklet was alive and began brooding it.
You can see the second hawklet hunkered down behind the legs of Mrs Decorah North. It must be a little stunned.
There – it is alive, peeking out.
After she feeds DN 13 and DN 14, Mrs North leaves. The two eaglets are curious about that white ball of fur.
Mr North lands on the nest and sees what is causing the curiosity.
Mr North walks all around the fuzzy white ball in the nest cup.
He stands over the hawklet as the eaglets look on.
And then…Mr North’s instincts kick in and he broods the hawklet! He is indicating to D13 and D14 that the hawklet is NOT food.
DN 13 and DN14 are only 7 weeks old. They are not hunting or killing for food yet. Dad’s behaviour indicates that the hawklet is not a food item.
Wonder what will happen?
Mr North leaves and the hawklet is alone. It is chirping for food.
The little hawklet goes to the edge of the nest and looks out. It is chirping for food. Will Mr North return and feed it?
There is, of course, the success of the Sidney Bald Eagle nest with hawklets brought in as food with one of them being raised by parents with the eaglets. The situation was different in that the eaglets were much younger than those currently on the Decorah North nest. It is unknown how this will unfold. However, Mr North indicated the hawklet is not food and the beaks match for feeding – unlike the crowlet that got into the BE nest.
Dad has just brought in a pheasant. Will wait to see if he feeds the hawklet.
You can watch this unfolding story on YouTube. Search for Decorah North Eagle Nest. This will not let me embed the URL today for some reason.
It has been a day full of dramatic nest events: the post-mortem collection of the eaglets in Estonia, the fish that almost killed The Bobs twice, and now a hawklet in a Bald Eagle nest! Surely that is enough drama for one day.
Take care everyone. Thanks to Explore.org and the Raptor Resource Project for their streaming cam where I grabbed these screen shots.
NOTE: Update. I believe the hawklet might have died of internal injuries. The juveniles did walk on it but only when they were curious. It has been by the rim of the nest and did not cheep when the pheasant was being eaten.