Has an Eaglet Arrived? (Video and Pics of the Adults Today, Jan 15)
I arrived about 7:45 and stayed for just over 3 hrs. I believe an egg has hatched or is in process given the change in behavior by both adults. At 7:45 both adults were in the nest tending to something below the rim at their feet level. I have yet to see any food in the adults mouths, although motions lead me to believe they do have some in the nest. These motions and time spent with the beak in the nest as they stand indicates much more attention / activity than I have witnessed the last couple weeks. Previously an adult was down low in the nest except for short periods of a minute or less, or "shift changes" with the other adult. Today, the adults have not been down at all (for the entire 3 hours). Instead the female has been in the nest most of the time except for about 30 minutes sitting in the dead trees to the west. After watching the nest for this 30 minutes, the male was perched in the Australian Pine to the east and then after about an hour left the area heading south.
Again, the entire time any adult has been in the nest, they have been very pre-occupied looking around, or looking down every once in a while in the nest. Note the picture of the two adults in the nest, one of them is straightening up "house," moving a twig. Making better room for the little one I'm sure. Also notice mom giving me a "fist" pump while perched in the sun -- obviously a proud Mom. Dad also means business it appears, he launched from his perch right toward me with a big smile (well I know it's there), before leaving the area.
I have posted some pictures below, but the videos of mom in the nest is at my web site as shown.
Jim, this is clearly the same type of behavior we have seen in the past two nesting seasons, indicating that the first egg has hatched. The newly hatched eaglet will be nourished by the yolk for another couple of days, so so not expect it to eat much, if anything. It will become hungry and will be fed tiny scraps at first.
Your photos and the video provide excellent documentation.
We dropped by around 3:05 PM and briefly watched one adult sitting higher on the nest, most likely brooding one chick and possibly still incubating one or more eggs. No other adult was in sight. Our grandchildren got bored rather quickly, as we had spent most of the day at the beach and they were tired.
I took photos, but they so pale in comparison to yours! I don't know how you avoided having the pine needles obscure the nest.