The purpose of showing the Decorah eagles on a live camera is to educate the public and raise awareness about the preservation of birds of prey. The Raptor Resource Project set up the live-streaming webcam to bring viewers closer to the natural world and to nurture a new generation of preservationists.
The Raptor Research Project is a non-profit organization focused on preserving eagles, falcons, ospreys, hawks and owls. The RRP set up the Decorah eagles live webcam in 2007, showing a bald eagle couple building and repairing their nest, mating and laying eggs, and caring for their young. A second nest was built in 2013.
The Decorah eagles nest in a cottonwood tree near the Iowa Fish Hatchery. Webcam viewers watch the eagles work on the nest in the fall and lay their eggs in February or early March. The eggs hatch 35 to 39 days later. After the eaglets leave the nest for good, the cameras are turned off as the RRP conducts repairs. The cameras are turned back on when the eagles begin to work on the nest again in the fall.
PBS featured the Decorah eagles in a documentary called "American Eagle" on the “Nature” series in 2008. As of 2015, more than 310 million people have watched the eagles in their natural habitat.