After spending the summer near the Arctic Circle, Decorah's D-1 eagle has once again returned home.
Bob Anderson of Decorah, director of the Raptor Resources Project (RRP) responsible for making Decorah's Fish Hatchery eagles internationally famous over the Internet with the RRP eagle cam, reported last week D1 had returned. The eagle spent the previous three months in Polar Bear Provincial Park in the far north of Ontario, Canada.
Anderson and Cedar Rapids Gazette reporter Orlan Love tracked D1 to the north side of the Upper Iowa River not far from Gundersen Lutheran Clinic early Thursday morning.
"When we first created the Decorah eagle cam I was often asked by people 'where are the eagles from last year and the year before?' By placing a very expensive solar powered satellite transmitter on this eagle we have learned so very much. I don't think anyone would have speculated that this Northeast Iowa eagle would spend her summers high above the tree line in the land of the polar bear, only to return to Decorah each autumn," Anderson said.
Fans of D1's parents were disappointed last year when they moved their nest 400 feet from old one at the Hatchery. The new nest is now wired with cameras so the eagle's activities can be monitored online at either nest. RRP started the eagle cam in 2009.
D1 is one of three eaglets that hatched at the Fish Hatchery nest in the spring of 2011 and the only one fitted with a solar-powered satellite transmitter that allows Anderson to track her travels.
The eagle's first summer was spent in Northern Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin, and she returned to Northeast Iowa by the first of the new year. Last summer she spent three months in Polar Bear Provincial Park and returned to Decorah last fall.
She remained in Decorah until early June, and then began making her way to the Canadian park. In September, D1 began flying south.