March 30: Only one eaglet at nest this morning (P Piney 8)
We arrived at the nest a bit before 9AM this morning, to find the younger of the two eaglets (P Piney 8 or PP8 for short) roosting on a main branch about 4 feet up and to the left of the nest,exercising his wings. Soon he flew to a branch on the right, then jumped into the nest, where he flapped and helicoptered. The breeze was intermittent and variable, so it was difficult to find a good view of the nest with all the trees moving in front.
Neither the older eaglet (PP7) nor the adults were in sight. We watched for almost an hour, then went back to the car. We had just sat down when an adult came in from the west carrying indeterminate prey. Mary Lou stayed in the car while I grabbed my camera and hurried back to the nest. PP8 was on the nest eating, but the adult must have exited to the back of the nest after dropping the prey.
We then found the adult roosting on a Melaleuca snag to the west of the nest, cleaning its bill. I think it was the female. If PP7 had been in the area she would almost certainly have come to the nest for food, so I suppose she is somewhere else. In past years we have noted that the youngsters can fly quite capably within a day or so after returning to the nest. Generally, for the first week or two after fledging, we also would expect PP7 spend the night on the nest with her nest-mate.
PP8 should be taking his first flight within a day or so. If would be a good idea for observers to just drop by the nest now and then to keep track of the eaglets.