Tomorrow is the 35th day after the first egg was laid, so we are very close. One year it hatched on the 34th day. I got to the nest at 10:30 AM. Al had reported that the female took over incubation/brooding at 9:45 AM and settled down looking to the west. Now she was in the nest facing east. Part of her back was visible, maybe a bit higher than usual and her tail was pointing up at about a 45 degree angle, which to me looked unusually high. Might she already be tenting by leaning forward and resting on her "elbows" to protect a newly hatched eaglet?
However nothing about her behavior suggested she was tending to a chick. She shifted position a bit, quartering towards and then away, but kept facing generally east the entire time I watched, until 11:48 when she pointed her bill up and called briefly.
The male finally flew directly in from the west at 12:20 PM. He immediately picked up a trashy looking object (prey remains?) and deposited it on the far left side of the outer wall of the nest.
The female sat tight for a minute or so, then she got up and flew off to the west at 12:20 to roost on a dead Melaleuca and preen.
She flew off to the SE at 12:31. Although it is possible that a chick is pipping the egg, I would have expected more attention being paid by both parents if one has hatched. Phil came by just before the exchange and said that he noticed the female pointing her tail high for the past 4 or 5 days, so I really do not know its significance. Lets keep a sharp eye out. When the eaglet hatches the male may tend to linger at or near the nest more than usual and there should be better evidence of tending to the offspring. Often both parents may come and look down at it.
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