DECORAH, Iowa – The Raptor Resource Project had some sad news to share Monday, one of the three eggs in the Decorah Eagles’ nest has broken.
The RRP posted a photo of the nest, with the broken egg visible, Monday morning. They aren’t sure exactly when it happened, or how, but it was stuck to Mom Decorah’s feathers when she left the nest during a shift change.
According to the post, the RRP doesn’t think either Mom or her mate DM2 punctured the egg but they don’t know for sure how the egg broke.
“It may have been rolled against a hard stick and cracked. It could have cracked today, but it also could have developed a tiny crack early on that finally split as the egg was rolled and incubated by Mom and DM2,” the RRP wrote in the post.
The RRP says while this may be hard for eagle fans to see, it might be better for the remaining eggs in the long run. They think, based on the color, that the egg that broke may have been the first egg laid. Because of the eight days between the laying of the first egg and the laying of the last egg it, “would have resulted in a large size and weight discrepancy between the oldest and youngest eagles. The youngest eaglet would have had a very hard time defending itself from its much larger sibling.”
The first egg was laid Feb. 22, the second egg was laid Feb. 26th, and the third egg was laid March 2nd.
The RRP has provided live views of the Decorah Eagles’ nest online for more than a decade, garnering millions of views. But this year is a little different after Mom Decorah accepted a new mate, DM2, in late 2018.
Mom Decorah and Dad Decorah had been mated since 2007 but in April of 2018 – Dad Decorah disappeared. Because bald eagles mate for life, the RRP says it’s likely he’s dead.
After attempts from a few male eagles trying to court Mom Decorah, she accepted DM2 in October and they began preparing the nest together. It is located across the road from an Iowa Department of Natural Resources fish hatchery — providing the pair with a steady source of tasty meals.
You can keep an eye on the Decorah Eagles’ Nest live here.