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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note of any observations you have made of the world around you.  Rain, sun, wind...insects, birds, flowers...meteorites, rocks...seasonal changes...all are worthy additions to the bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.
That's the big news at the cottonwood in Decorah, Iowa, and for many of us who will be following the nesting season this year. There's a nestcam up in that tree:

         
Live streaming video by Ustream

Last year we missed out because the parent Bald Eagle pair built a new nest. They'd been using one for many years in a nearby cottonwood, but apparently decided it was unsuitable for some reason - too heavy? infested? - and the nesting season last year was unobservable, a disappointment for us...the previous season we watched daily the drama and shenanigans as eggs hatched, food was brought in (much of it fish from the nearby hatchery) and consumed, the face-planting, the wingersizing, the squirrel visitors fended off...We came to get to know the individual chicks with their different personalities. At times the weather was formidable: snowing, windy, pouring rain.

At this moment, the parents are taking turns incubating the eggs, standing up every so often to turn them. The weather right now is extreme cold. Here's a current map:

It might seem early to start the eggs, in the harsh time, but baby eagles need plenty of time to learn the ropes before next winter sets in. It's fascinating to watch them grow from helpless floppy lumps into powerful magnificent creatures, learning from their very experienced parents. The nestcam is a peek into their world, and it's impossible not to be impressed by their beauty and humbled by the skill of these wild creatures.

There's a pair of eagles that lives in my neighborhood, but I don't even know where their nest is. On private property somewhere. Last summer I saw them out and about with their two offspring, soaring, fishing, feeding on carrion on the beach. Not sure what stage of nesting they are in right now. A few days ago on a windy day, I saw them both at once out flying around and scavenging in the rocks. They were watching each other much of the time.

eagle 2/27

eagle 2/27

Do you watch nestcams?

What's up in nature this late winter day in your neighborhood?                                      

And -



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