Search Underway for Decorah Eaglet After Possible ‘Unintentional’ Fledge

D32 eaglet. (Courtesy: Raptor Resource Project)

DECORAH, Iowa – The Raptor Resource Project is searching for one of the Decorah eaglets after it left the nest Tuesday night.

D32 is one of the two offspring of Mom Decorah and DM2 and had made its first foray into branching Tuesday, with a short flight to the “skywalk” branch in the same tree where its nest resides. The Raptor Resource Project says D32 also left the tree completely for a flight Tuesday night but returned.

Later in the evening, the eaglet took flight again and according to a Facebook post from the RRP, they don’t know whether it was “a purposeful flight or an unintentional fledge.”

The RRP immediately assessed the situation on the ground and according to an administrator of the Decorah Eagles chatroom made this post Tuesday night:

Our latest update:There have been boots on the ground but the search is now suspended for the night.The growth below the tree is about 5 feet tall. They did not find D32 and could not see him in the trees. They think he’s probably hunkered down somewhere. They also checked the creek. We hope to have more information in the morning. Have a good evening everyone.

D32 is 62 days old as of Wednesday and the RRP says that is an age “at which eaglets have been recorded leaving the nest and (eventually) successfully fledging. We need to trust the eagles and give Mom and DM2 a chance to find and care for their fledgling.”

D33, the other eaglet that hatched this season, is 59 days old and remains in the nest. D32 and D33 are the first offspring from the new pairing of Mom Decorah and DM2. Dad Decorah, the previous male in the nest, disappeared in April of 2018.

The Raptor Resource Project has cameras trained on the Decorah Nest, which is across the street from the DNR Fish Hatchery in Decorah.

Watch the Decorah Eagles’ Nest Cam LIVE here.

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