Freezing to death: Cold threatens Decorah eagles' eggs - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Freezing to death: Cold threatens Decorah eagles' eggs

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The Decorah eagle mother settles in to sit on her first egg of 2014 The Decorah eagle mother settles in to sit on her first egg of 2014
WINNESHIEK COUNTY (KWWL) -

These cold temperatures are endangering the next generation of the famed Decorah eagles.

The pair laid its first egg Sunday evening.

Bob Anderson, director of the Raptor Resource Project and the man who runs the Decorah Eagle cameras and live stream, said Tuesday these frigid temperatures could freeze the egg and kill the embryo.

"That nest is totally frozen from the rain we got last week," Anderson said. "It rained and then it froze, so this nest is one giant ice cube."

Anderson added that the eagles "did bring in some grass right before they laid their eggs, which was good."

He said two more eggs are due later this week, and in his eight years capturing the eagles on camera, a pair has never incubated eggs in weather this cold.

"It's a chance this egg could freeze," Anderson said, pointing to the live Web stream, "and maybe tomorrow's egg, and then I'm hoping by Saturday, by the time we get the last egg, that maybe the temperatures have climbed a little bit and we're not in this sub-zero weather."

He said there's a possibility none of the three eggs will hatch, and the Decorah eagles will go without any new descendants this year.

"Fortunately, when we see (the mother and father eagle) do an exchange, they're only off (the egg) ... often less than a minute," Anderson said.

This is the eighth year the Decorah eagles have been captured on camera, and the sixth year of their live Web stream.

In all those years, Anderson said, some baby eagles have been killed in wind storms or by electrocution on power lines -- but never by cold.

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