JAN 6: immature #2 in nest at 9:45 AM as Pride looks on
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Just as we pulled up to the nest we saw an immature bird on the nest, standing up and appearing restless as if ready to fly. In a quick look with the binoculars I could see some white on its head but it seemed to be more extensive than that of the early 5th year bird ("Newfee"). I could not determine the color of its bill. Mary Lou thought its head looked very dark from her binocular view.
Alberto's photo of an immature on December 31 did not provide a good view of its bill. I now think it had more white on its breast and maybe more dark in its crown than "Newfee." Al's photo taken that same day definitely showed an immature on the nest that was not "Newfee," as it had the appearance of a 4th year plumage.
I got my camera out but the sun was so strong that I could not see the nest until my progressive lenses kicked in. Mary Lou was watching from the car and saw the eagle jump/fly to the nest supporting branch just to the right and about 5 feet from the nest. I got a couple of quick shots and almost immediately the eagle flew back away from the nest to the right (SW). I checked and there was no eagle on the Melaleucas to the west.
In the meantime, the adult male (Pride) was roosting along the road in the pine just left (east) of the nest tree. After about 5 minutes he flew off to the southeast, cut back towards the road and tried to roost on some flimsy top branches next to the roost tree, but immediately flew back out of sight to the south.
My photos do not show the entire head, but the lower neck is definitely dark and speckled with some white. The dark on its tail tips and undertail coverts seems more extensive than on "Newfee." Alberto, if you happened to get any shots of the immature's under-tail pattern, please post.
For comparison, here is a view of "Newfee's" undertail taken on December 9. Note her dark breast and clear delineation between white neck and dark body: