I arrived at 1:10 and searched the nest, the trees around it and the dead trees to the west. No sign of any eagles. I left at 1:30 and went to lunch at a wonderful restaurant called Amazing (it is Thai/Japanese). It is in the same shopping center as the McDonald's about 2 miles west of the nest area on Pines Blvd.
After lunch, I returned to the nest area at about 2:10 and searched the area for 20 minutes. Again, no eagles to be seen. Closest I got was to see a couple of Turkey Vultures flying around the area.
Maybe my timing was off, but I don't think there are any eggs in the nest yet. As I've posted before, my best view of the nest is when I'm sitting on the top of my car. I did not see any white head up there.
Yes, it sounds as if the first egg may not have been laid after all. With the cold snap I expect the birds would be keeping the eggs well-covered, so it will be useful to confirm your observation during the next few days.
As I mentioned yesterday, the eagle that sat in the nest did not crouch down low as we have seen in past years during incubation. This would be a little earlier than the past two years, when the first egg was laid on December 13 and 18.
Some eagles up in the Tampa area started incubating in late November this year.
That's a really interesting and surprising observation Jill! I would have bet a bunch that Sat. morning the female was on an egg on the nest. Every behavior was there like when she stood up peering down into the nest and that one time it looked like she may have pushed something and then she went down on the nest in the spot she was pushing towards. After over 3 hrs on the nest she just took a short flight to the tree and back and then went right back to the nest, looked down in 1 spot and then went down there so we couldn't even see her head when we left.
Kino and Tom never left the front of the nest (I walked around looking for the other adult.) They found a spot right in front of the nest with a great view and once they got the one shot of her head below the nest rim they watched closely.
One thing I thought of after reading your post is that this year the cold weather arrived so much sooner so maybe they are staying down really low if the egg is there. This is a real puzzle......we could have been mistaken on Sat. I guess, and if an adult wasn't on the nest for 6 hrs in this cold....it does seem to say that the egg isn't there yet!