Monday, 28 Mar 2011, 10:30 am....2 eaglets in the nest!
It was a great time spent watching them as the wind was really blowing with the bad weather of this morning coming through. When I pulled up a man was there taking pictures of the adult sitting high in the pine to the right of the nest over the fence. He said he only saw one juvenile in the nest so I took a few shots of the adult that flew off after about 5 minutes. I moved over in front of the nest just as another couple arrived.
We were surprised as the strong wind blew the maleleucas completely out of the front of the nest to see 2 eaglets. One was fully hidden behind the other just sitting down and still. As we watched, the forward eaglet began to trampoline and helicopter all over the nest.....really enjoying the strong winds that lifted it up quite high! The eaglet flying all over the nest seemed skilled even in the strongest gusts. The other one just moved to get out of the way but didn't attempt to get airborne over the nest. After about 30 minutes of observation we all left as it began to sprinkle.
Some of my birding friends are watching other nests in FL. An eaglet took its first flight from a nest near Orlando recently and went down to the ground with a thud just as ours have while watchers looked on with concern. The nest is in a very tall tree with clear ground underneath and only one other large tree nearby where the parents perch. They could see the eaglet was ok and made it back with some difficulty....crash landing back into the nest! I wish we could watch our youngsters as they take this very important step.......but the heavily vegetated area they chose for the nest precludes that!