This map shows the travels of D-1, an eagle born at the famous bald eagles' nest at the Decorah Fish Hatchery last spring. She returned to Decorah this week.
Decorah's bald eagle D-1 returned to the area this week, according to Raptor Resource Project (RRP) Director Bob Anderson of Decorah.
RRP is responsible for eagle cam which has provided live video of the famous bald eagles' nest at the Decorah Fish Hatchery.
D-1 was one of three eaglets that hatched at the next last spring. She is the only one fitted with a satellite transmitter.
When she decided to leave home Aug. 14, her movements were tracked through the device. She made her way to Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, then slowly began flying south over the course of five months and a journey of about 900 miles.
The eagle was spotted within 10 miles of Decorah during the holidays. This week, Anderson was joined by
David Scanlon from Fox28/CBS2 news from Cedar Rapids in tracking down D1. He is producing a story on the Decorah eagles and the now famous D1 for a program that will air in early February, according to Anderson.
Based on satellite data, D-1 roosted Monday night on the Little Turkey River southwest of Eldorado, Anderson said.
"Her VHF transmitter turns on at 10 a.m. each morning and at that exact time (Tuesday morning) I was standing on a bridge spanning the Little Turkey River and got a beep pointing downstream. I get a happy feeling each time I do indeed get a signal," Anderson said.
Anderson and Scanlon hiked through a heavily wooded area overlooking the river valley to get close to D-1.
"The signal was getting stronger with each step and I knew we were closing in. However, she saw us first and took flight," Anderson said.
The radio confirmed she was headed downstream, so Anderson and Scanlon returned to their vehicle and worked their way to the next bridge downstream where Anderson got a signal pointing upstream, indicating D-1 had perched again.
"Once again on foot we worked our way upstream very slowly and indeed found her perched in tree on the bank of the river. David got some nice footage with his long lens even showing her antennae.
"Imagine my surprise early this morning (Wednesday) to discover that she had spent the night at a roost back in Decorah only approximately two miles from my house. The GPS data indicates she was on the Upper Iowa River and once again not too far from the Decorah Walmart," Anderson said.
Satellite data showed D-1 left the Little Turkey River at about 2 p.m. Tuesday heading directly back to Decorah, Anderson said.
Sunday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. the National Geographic WILD channel will feature the Decorah bald eagles in a documentary titled "Wild Mississippi." It is a three part series (three hours) with footage from the Decorah bald eagles' nest shown in the second episode titled: "Raging Waters."