Many thought D27 was a girl and sure enough she is. They put a transmitter on her and now we can watch her. She was my fav this season, the crazy stuff she did like falling out of the nest, the refusal to fledge and her constat squeeeeeing for mom and dad to bring her food. May you soar the thermals and soar high and may we watch your travels for a long time.
A bit from RRP on her catch and putting the transmitter on her.
Persistence Pays Off - a post by Brett Mandernack about the fitting of D27's transmitter.
It is early August and I have one satellite transmitter (or PTT) yet to
deploy on a young eagle. Dave and Ann Lynch spent two solid weeks in
late June/early July perfecting their craft of artful presentation of
fish to the Decorah fledglings, yet the “kids” instead chose to food-beg
loud and often and insist Mom or Dad bring them food at the nest.
There was no evidence of any of the fledglings ever picking up a fish
during that time. In previous years we’ve had multiple fledglings
coming to the same spot – the mulch pile – for some easy meals, and
usually within just a few days of watching and waiting for our talented
trout tossers to appear.
When visitor attendance diminished at
the hatchery in late July, all three fledglings were still being spotted
with regularity by several of our sharp-eyed eagle watchers. Hatchery
biologist Brian Malaise and I kept in touch often and he and his crew
again put fish out in the same spot. Lo and behold, the female, D27,
began showing interest and eventually took advantage of these easy meals
each morning. One of the males was believed to have also helped
himself to the free offerings.
We chose Monday, August 7 to
attempt to capture whichever youngster decided to come to bait. My wife
Carole, Eagle Valley Technician Ryan Schmitz, and I arrived at Willard
Holthaus’s shop by 5:15 AM and quickly set the padam noose trap baited
with three nice hatchery trout. Weather was perfect: 58 degrees, mostly
clear sky, light wind. All equipment and supplies were laid out in the
shop in anticipation of a successful capture. Then we watched and
waited. A few adult calls were heard from near the nest tree by 6:05.
Then at 6:15 an immature eagle appeared from the west just above treetop
height. I speculated it was large enough to be female D27. She landed
in the maple tree briefly, then headed toward the mulch pile, looped
over that area, perhaps checking out what food might be there, then
circled back and landed on the mulch pile. We had placed a small trout
atop the mulch pile, which she decided looked like a great appetizer.
She rather daintily ate the fish and began eying the three trout just
two feet away. She walked inside the padam, grabbed a fish or two in a
foot, and tugged at them a few times as we all watched intently. When I
was convinced she had a noose around a toe or foot, I gave the call to
“GO, GO” and Ryan and Brian sprinted ahead to secure her. She was
captured at 6:18, hooded, and taken to the shop where she was weighed
(9.48 #) and had several measurements taken. The composite of those
measurements revealed she is a small female. The entire process of
getting measurements, banding, and fitting of the PTT was fluid and
Within an hour of capture we were ready to release D27
and begin what is likely the final chapter of the Decorah eagle tracking
story that began with our beloved D1 back in 2011. After placing her
back on the mulch pile, she quickly oriented herself and flew north
alongside the N1 Cottonwood tree to settle along Trout Creek.
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