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Amateur's Guide: Robins and Redpolls

Pat Adrain of Boulder Lake photographed husband Ed feeding a Redpoll through the window. The couple reports seeing lots of robins and a blue heron that landed on the beach last week.

The past week when time allows, I've been riveted to the Decorah Eagle webcam, watching three eaglets hatch in Iowa - along with 25 million others viewers.

The Raptor Resource Project gives a live view of an eagle's nest overlooking a fish hatchery in Decorah.

Three of the cutest "puff balls," to use the scientific term the RRP director used on NPR the other day, are just captivating to watch when the parents aren't sheltering them.

At night an infrared camera picks up their activities. Apparently this is not something the eagles can see or sense. The eaglets were born April 2, 3 and 6.

This pair of eagles has had multiple births annually, usually triplets, since mating in 2007. You can view the actual hatches, which have been earmarked.

Just a warning, you may not want to watch before mealtime. The nest is filled with the detritus birds of prey keep around. It isn't very appetizing to see them tear into a fish or some dead bird's remains. This is the link: decoraheagles. The site contains links to other nesting cams.


Lots of robin sightings, and Marlene Weber reported a chipmunk last month. Hope the little guy didn't get buried in snow.

Marlene also corrected a reader's sighting of a rose-breasted grosbeak. Couldn't have been, she said, unless the reader was in South

America, where the birds winter. Pine grosbeaks tend to have a rusty or rose-colored body. But they're fairly rare around here, so kudos anyway if it was one.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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