Remember the three bald eaglets of Decorah, Iowa, who won the hearts of millions of people who watched them hatch and grow into fledglings last spring?
One of the young raptors appears to be coming home, according to a satellite tracking device placed on the bird by the Raptor Research Project, the same group that had installed a high-definition web-cam to monitor the eaglets' treetop nest at the Decorah Fish Hatchery.
(A new camera has been installed and fans can watch the eagles' parents rebuilding their nest in the Ustream feed below.)
D-1 surprised project director Bob Anderson by traveling on such a lengthy journey beginning in late August, first about 200 miles to Yellow Lake in northwest Wisconsin, then to Lake Superior in northeastern Minnesota.
Anderson had expected the eagle to stay closer to Decorah or stake out territory along the Mississippi River. After a stay at Lake Superior, D-1 returned to Yellow Lake and on Oct. 15 left on a course toward Decorah.
Anderson was quoted as saying he he believes the raptor will spend the winter close to the Mississippi River, where open water will allow for suitable hunting.
Meanwhile the bald eagle parents, who did such a remarkable job of rearing all three eaglets to a successful fledge, are rebuilding their nest. By December they'll be in full courtship, and if that goes well more eggs will be laid in February and fans can enjoy a second season of what undoubtedly became the world's most popular nature reality show.