Two eaglets die at Decorah North Nest - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Two eaglets die at Decorah North Nest

Posted: Updated:
DECORAH (KWWL) -

The month of May has been tough for viewers of Decorah's newest nest, the north nest.

Two eaglets have died over the past two weeks, but for two very different reasons.

DN3, the youngest of the eaglets, died on either May 11 or 12.  Before it died, there were noticeable differences in it's size compared to it's two older siblings.  It was also struggling to get food, after being bullied especially by the oldest.

"Just couldn't ever gain any traction," said David Kester, a Raptor Resource Project board member. "Just failure to thrive. It was the last one to hatch, it was small. So getting fed was hard, because the other ones had a head start on it."

Then on Wednesday, DN2 died suddenly after being fed.  Whatever killed that eaglet also caused the mom quite a bit of distress.

"We're really suspicious of poison. What type, we don't know. We considered maybe a choking situation, but the mother also showed signs of being sick as well, so that doesn't logically follow," Kester said.

It's been tough for viewers, especially after a relatively calm few years of watching their more famous counterparts across town.

But Kester said even though it's hard to watch, it's fairly normal.

"Nature is hard. And we, as the human species--we don't even consider ourselves a species almost any more, we're so far removed from nature--that when we see the natural world in action, it's a hard world out there. It's just that now with these cams, we get to witness that. It's tough," he said.

Kester and a team from RRP retrieved the body of DN2 from the nest Thursday.  He says they don't normally intervene, but they were worried whatever killed DN2, could kill the rest of the nest if they fed on it, as is usual with eagles.

The body has been sent to Iowa State University for a necropsy, and results should come back Tuesday, Kester said.

Meanwhile, mom, dad and DN1 all appear healthy.

Watch the Decorah North Nest at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/decorah-eagles-north-nest.

Powered by Frankly