Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bob Anderson

He gave us a gift from being able to watch the eagles at Decorah that is truly priceless.  He will be missed by people all over the world.  He can now be with the raptors that went before him.

From Raptor Resource Project:

Bob's Celebration of Life will be on Saturday, August 8, 2015 at the Trout Hatchery in Decorah at 1:00pm (link: Bob's celebration is public and all are welcome to attend. His obituary can be found here:
Bob's passions were his work with falcons and the Decorah Eagles cam. Bob loved the role the eagles played in education, and keenly felt the surcease they gave others towards the end of his own life. Although we are still working out... the details of a way forward, Bob's work and legacy will go on. We have more projects planned for this fall, including a Decorah North project, work on a possible catalyst for nest building in the area of the now-defunct N2, ongoing activities in the Philippines, and replacement of several nest boxes.
If you would like to make a donation to support Bob's legacy, please follow this link to paypal:…. If you prefer to send a check, please send it to:
The Raptor Resource Project
PO Box 16
Decorah, IA 52101
The Raptor Resource Project is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible. We respectfully ask that you not send flowers, although cards to the PO Box are welcome. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you at the hatchery as we celebrate Bob's life and legacy. Please feel welcome to share this post.
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National Night Out

Tuesday Aug 4th marks the 32nd annual Night Out Against Crime. Its a grass roots organization that started as a simple gesture of leaving your porch light on in an effort to cement neighborhood unity against crime. Now is a perfect time within your own neighborhood to get out and gel with your family, friends and neighbors in regard to issues that affect your neighborhood. Leaving that porch light on just after dark and well into the night is a symbol of unity and you might be surprised how much brighter and safer the block seems. Why lights and the front porch? Lighting is still the most cost efficent crime fighting tool we have and human interaction is a great deterent. Decades ago it was common for houses to be built with porches and it was not uncommn for folks to retreat to thier porches after dinner for socializing and enjoying the evening air, We have long since moved away from that, Back then that was "neighborhood watch" though nobody really called it that, it just happned. Now with our hectic schedules it not always easy to pal with the neighbors. But with a little effort and a common goal like National Night Out, your neighborhood will feel the difference, give it a try. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

RIP Bob Anderson

All the postings I do about the Decorah Eagles are because of Bob Anderson.  He is Mr Raptor Resource Project.  Thank you Bob for all you gave us and I know you are now soaring with the eagles.

Raptor Resource Project's photo.
I am deeply sorry to confirm that Bob Anderson passed away this morning. Out of respect for Bob and his family, we are asking that everyone respect their privac...y. Official announcements will be made here and on Ustream in the days to come. Our deepest condolences to Bob's family.
Although Bob was very proud of his work with the Decorah Eagles, his heart was truly in his peregrine falcon recovery work. This video tells the story of his cliff work and was a special favorite:
The photo shows him on Great Spirit Bluff. It was one of his very favorites - he loved to be on rope - and is how many of us will remember him. Fly on, friend and mentor. We will never forget you.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Decorah Nest Information

Camp Loopy Yarn July

This month we were to use 600 yards of yarn and make something we had spied somewhere.  I kept seeing this cowl on the front page when I went searching for patterns for various projects.  I like cowls as I don't like hats or scarves. SO in keeping with the safari theme and decided to do a zebra colorway and I have a black winter coat, I decided to make this.  I cut the cast on stitches in half and just knitted until it was as tall as I like. I used 656 yards.  Since some of the stitches are slipped in each row it is almost as if it is self-lined. 

Camp Loopy Fabric July

For this month of Camp Loopy we were to choose 1/2 yard of 6 fabrics and make something and have an embroidered or appliqued square in the item.  I am painting my bathroom a light turquoise and decided I wanted a wall hanging.  My tub is in an alcove by the window (seriously who puts the tub under the huge sliding window).  I have a wall at the front of the tub that needs something so I sat down and decided to do a wall hanging with a fairy garden theme. 

This is the fabric I chose.
I did not think it would be so busy and should have got some plain fabric.  Also the fabric is so busy the embroidered panel is kind of lost.  I originally intended to only have a 12x12 panel with the mushroom house on the left.  After I washed and ironed the fabric I realized they had shrank and quite a bit so I had to redo all my math and recalculate.
I then had to increase the embroidered panel to a 24x12 panel.  So here is my wall hanging and as soon as I paint it will get hung.

There is a reason I don't quilt and this proves it.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

All the Eagles Are Safe

This morning it's all about Dad Decorah, and we can think of no better way to sing his praises than to share these extraordinary photos from Allen G. Johnson taken last month, doing what Dad does best ... providing!
David Lynch reports, "Early this morning we found Mom perched in the cottonwood tree in the horse pasture, D22 in the maple tree, D21 and D23 at the horse barn, and Dad perched in his favorite pine tree up in the bluffs behind the hatchery. The entire family is no...w safe and accounted for."
Dad wondered what all the fuss was about ... He never considered any of the fans missing ... he simply had a hectic Dad Day at the Nest Insurance Adjuster's office filing the downed tree claim, and a nice long Fly About!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Decorah Nest is Gone

At least the 3 juvies had fledged and one adult along with the juvies have been spotted today.  Hopefully the other adult is fine as well.  No viewing of the nest next year.

7-18-15 ~ Decorah Bald Eagles Nest 2 Tree Downed In Severe Thunder Storm
As you can see from the photo, our N2 tree took a direct hit and has toppled. We have t...he following information from Bob this morning, and with RRP folks and volunteers on site for the busy After The Fledge weekend we hope to be able to bring you more information as it is available.
“Greetings all, As if things could not get any worse, early this AM we had a severe thunder cell roll through Decorah and lightning/wind broke off the eagle nest about twenty feet below the nest. All three young eaglets are accounted for and we have one adult eagle being seen regularly. There are many other trees in the surrounding area that have been damaged. We are all glad that all three eaglets are accounted for and once again survived heavy lightning and/winds. Lots of damage to the wood surrounding the nest tree which is now just a stump.”
RRP would like to say, first and foremost, the eagles are fine!
As to other questions: What will happen now? Where will the eagles build a new nest? Is the camera equipment and infrastructure ruined? The answer is, we simply don’t know what next. But we know that the eagles endure all hardships and will build again. We’ll just have to be patient and see what happens as the months continue.
For right now, N2 was not really being used. The Juveniles are using other trees to perch, learning their lessons on how to fish and hunt, as well as flight and chase lessons, and it would only be a few more weeks before they will eventually disperse and head off to follow their own destinies. We’ll continue to bring you those ‘summer stories’ of our family, and update regularly here as we have more news.

Friday, July 17, 2015

D20 Update

first molt**6/14 Update - Now is the time for birds of many species to be molting out old feathers and growing in new feathers. Raptors molt one or two feathers at a time so that they can still fly and hunt. This is different from many waterfowl that drop all the flight feathers shortly after nesting, this keeps the adults on the ground to protect their young (waterfowl and shorebird young are termed precocial, meaning they stay on the ground and when hatched are able to move about and forage with the adults almost immediately).
Well, our boy Decorah is molting! Which again, is totally normal. This is correct photo-period that stimulates hormonal activity that says, "molt!" However, with Decorah and his tail feathers, this is a very important juncture in his growth. If you're like many of us, you've lost count of the number of times you've read that he's dropped tail feathers.
Given the situation with his tail feathers, we want to give Decorah every opportunity to have a no-stress period to grow in new feathers. This also means, for now, his training is on hiatus. Training can be stressful. He is not going to be moved from the 20x20 ICU room as moving can be stressful. He still gets daily interaction with Kay and interns, but no stress.
**7/17 Update - Several have asked about tail feather progress... Kay is maintaining Decorah's low-stress conditions to give his tail feathers the best opportunity to grow in all the way. Kay reports that none of the feathers have pinched off, but in an effort to keep his stress low she has not checked on tail feather growth. In order to properly check his tail feather growth, Kay would have to physically handle him. Handling raptors can be stressful for the bird.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cup of Joe

Ever Wonder Why Coffee is Called "Joe"?

I've been calling coffee "Joe" my entire life, and I never really asked why. My initial thought would have been that it was a variant of "the average Joe", maintaining that the average person drinks coffee. The answer goes a bit deeper than that.
The image above is used quite frequently with coffee-related posts around the internet, and for a good reason. Coffee wasn't a big deal until the first and second World Wars, when soldiers were allotted less and less liquor by the US government. In 1914, Secretary of Navy Josephus Daniels banned alcohol completely and soldiers were left with coffee to pacify the craving. One story suggests that soldiers began to refer to coffee as "Joe" as a form of mockery. 
Whether or not this story is completely true, it is no secret that the military has had a huge impact on coffee culture in the US. Next time you call it a "cuppa Joe", remember the people who did first.

I found this on the Death Wish Coffee website which is really good coffee.

This Explains A Lot

Lisa Marie Kathleen Cooper's photo.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Thursday, July 09, 2015

And So It Ends...

In a few minutes the last chat of the season on the Decorah Eagle website will be conducted.  Since the camera was damaged a few weeks ago during a bad storm there has only been chat with links to pictures of the eagles captured by individuals who happen to visit the nest area.  It is always sad at this time of year to say goodbye to another season.  I know we will be back before we realize it to start a new season of watching the eggs being laid, the eggs hatching, the changes of the eaglets to the time they fledge.  Be safe and I hope you live a long eagle life.  Godspeed D21, D22, and D23.  I hope you know how much you are loved by the millions who watched you this season. 

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Decorah Eagle Nest Sightings

7-4-15 ~ News from the field – "Independence"
By David and Ann Lynch
Photo by Lynch Photography
As Darlene and Glenn Miller stated, what a difference a year makes. At this time last year, we were observing eaglets FOUR and INDY at the Decorah Yard Waste Facility, which is over a mile away from the Hatchery and the nest area. In 2015, we have been treated to spectacular weather and the sight of juvenile eagles that are busy learning their eagle lessons in and around the Decorah Fish Hatchery and high in the sky!
The last couple of days have been slow as far as activity from the eagle family, which is great news for the eagles, but bad news for those of us who are trying to watch and photograph. On each of the last two days, all three of the eaglets have been spotted just after dawn near the original N1 nest and Dad Decorah has been observed fishing very early to feed the hungry mouths. However, most of this action is taking place in low light and foggy conditions, so photographs are hard to come by. By mid-morning, the eaglets are being observed in the original N1 Cottonwood Tree and as far as a mile away in and around the farms that surround the hatchery.
The afternoons here in Decorah grow hot and hazy, partly due to the smoke from the massive wildfires occurring in Canada, which keeps eagle activity to a minimum, but the juvenile “screes” can be heard when boredom sets in or hunger begins to call.
Another thing we have noticed this year is the abundance of song birds, which were sadly lacking in 2014. Without the freezing cold, heavy rains and storms we had last year, the smaller birds have flourished (and the gnats have not!). The great number of song birds also includes an explosion in the population of Red-winged Blackbirds, which are not fond of our eagle family. Virtually every raptor in North America are nest predators of Red-winged Blackbirds. Even the small Saw Whet Owl, which is scarcely larger than a Blackbird, has been known to predate on the eggs and nestlings. This has caused the Blackbirds to adapt in several different ways, including nesting over water and nesting in loose, but large colonies. In these colonies, the males can then work together to stave off a predator acting as sentries and by “mobbing” a potential predator. We have seen the Decorah eaglets being “mobbed” almost every time they fly around the hatchery or the trout stream area, and this points to a healthy population of Red-winged Blackbirds that are very busy nesting. The Red-winged Blackbirds are nothing more than a nuisance to the eagles, so there is no need for us to worry about their behavior toward our eagle family! So, next time you see this behavior, remember that the Blackbirds are just doing their best to raise a family, just like our eagle family has done since February!
During the Decorah evenings, the activity level increases as the temperatures drop a bit. We have watched Dad Decorah fishing in both the hatchery retention pond and in the fish runs (where they raise the trout) each evening, making spectacular turns and dives, mere feet above the eagle watchers’ heads! He is a master fisherman. Most nights, Dad has been seen catching 3-5 fish in a matter of minutes, being met by the screes of delight from the eaglets. As the eaglets progress with their flying lessons, they are now seen chasing Dad as he delivers dinner, just as we have seen in other years. We are very happy to not be watching a pile of mulch in 2015!
It’s also been FANtastic to see so many wonderful folks at the Hatchery and around the nest area this year. Another drastic and welcomed change from last year. Everyone has been respectful and so excited to see the Eagle Family. For many, this has been their first visit to Decorah and the Hatchery area to view the eagles. What a spectacular year for their first visit given the perfect weather and expected eaglet behavior. Fans are still traveling from far and wide, but many Decorah “Freshmen” are from Iowa but have not made the trip to Decorah before now. Many of the experienced Decorah Eagle followers have been more than glad to provide “tours” of the area, educating about the eagles, the Decorah area and RRP- a true testament to their devotion and their kind natures and giving hearts. We have truly all reunited as an extended family and it has seemed to do our spirits well.
As a special treat, “Little Bit” (the miniature horse from the farm behind the N1 nest) made an appearance at the hatchery with his owner and family, going out for an evening stroll and ride for the grandkids. We are truly in our version of Utopia sitting on a beautiful lawn with a Bald Eagle sitting over our head in a beautiful maple tree and a gorgeous steel-gray mini-horse walking by with a small child on his back taking its first ride, all with the magnificent fish hatchery in the background bustling with excited children and families.
With today being July 4th, the day that the United States of America gained its independence, we can draw similarities to the newly acquired independence of the Decorah eaglets. The sight of a soaring Bald Eagle in America reminds its citizens of the true freedom we have, as we imagine the freedom that is felt while jumping from the nest, knowing that your body is built for the sky. In 1782, the Bald Eagle was adopted as the symbol on the Great Seal of the United States, and as the national bird AND national animal. On July 4, 1776, the United States gained its independence as a nation, and on July 4, 2015, we watch as the eaglets have signed their own “Declaration of Independence”. The picture shown here is of Decorah Dad (landing) and Mom (perching) in their favorite Maple Tree at the hatchery, and we think it is a great representation of the word “Freedom”.
We wrote this field report for all of you tonight while seated under the Maple Tree pictured here, while the eaglets came and went, and with the parents flying around the nest and hatchery area, thinking of just how lucky we are to be able to witness these scenes, in the heart of America, on our Independence Day.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Who Needs A New Headband?

I'm not much of a headband wearer because I don't like the way it hurts my head but I would definitely wear these, the hardest part would be picking the fabric.

Calvin Coolidge

Family Research Council's photo.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Happy 4th

I know I am a day early but the RRP posted this on facebook, so I wish you a safe 4th of July. May we remember why it is so important to us as Americans.

July 4th ~ Independence Day
In the United States we commemorate Independence Day, July 4th, as a national holiday, and are reminded on this day that in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was signed.
As we reflect on that recognition, we are once again reminded of the Bald Eagle, the symbol of the United States of America. Bald eagles represent strength and courage, beauty and inspiration. We are forever in awe of what we have learned and admired through our eagle cams abou...t our nation's symbol.
On behalf of all of us at RRP, we'd like to thank all of you for your wonderful support toward our research and work, and for those celebrating the Holiday, may it be a safe one. Please remember pets and wildlife if you will celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks, and pick up all firework debris that birds or other animals could ingest, and be mindful of fire hazards in your area.
Thanks to our RaptorResource Mod for creating this beautiful holiday graphic of Mom & Dad Decorah.