Arrived at the nest at 1:15 PM and found a large female (early 5th year) on the nest eating an unidentified prey item. Her age was evident even with her back to us, as she had dark tips on her tail feathers and several dark feathers on her undertail coverts.
Top of tail:
She turned to afford a view of her head, which appeared to be almost entirely white except for several scattered dark feathers. There was no longer a suggestion of an eye line and her bill was bright yellow with only a hint of dark pigment near the base and culmen. Her gape extended over half way behind her eye, which along with her size confirmed she is the female, most likely the first new female ("Newfie") that has accompanied the male many times since early November.
She flew up to roost to the right of the nest:
Note a few darker feathers on head and irregular margin where white head feathers meet dark body:
The fact that she was eating on the nest raises the question of whether she had caught the prey or it had been left there by the old male (Pride) to attract her to the nest. They were photographed copulating yesterday and there may be a chance that they will breed, although it would be outside the normal time limits that have enhanced survival of south Florida eagles which matched the time of maximum prey availability for the growing eaglets and avoided the highest danger of heat stress, permitting them to migrate north in the summer when water is cooler and fish are closer to the surface and easier for young eagles to catch.