NOV 1: Electrical repairs completed in front of nest
I observed the FPL repair activities which were scheduled to take place in front of the nest this morning. When I arrived at 9:05 AM. No eagles were present on or around the nest. The FPL equipment was staged on the other side of Pines Boulevard on the shoulder of the westbound lanes. Mark, the environmental specialist assigned to monitor the nest, had been there since 6:45 AM when it was still very dark. When the light improved he saw both eagles on the nest. He said that one flew off but the other stayed on the nest until a little before 9:00 AM.
The equipment was not moved near the nest until around 9:15 when a worker was raised in in a hydraulic crane with a work platform ("cherry picker") to inspect the transformer on the utility pole in front of the nest. He replaced a small piece of equipment (I think some kind of fuse) and then checked the transformer. The problem was corrected without using heavy equipment which would have been needed to replace the transformer. The operation took only about a quarter of an hour.
The eagles never showed up until after all the equipment and workers drove away before 10:00 AM. I stayed on with Mark, hoping the eagles might return to the nest. One adult did finally appear from the SW at 10:15 AM and swooped low but bypassed the nest area to disappear towards the NE. It certainly showed no signs of distress. It may have been the male (Pride) as it appeared a bit small and its body tapered to the rear as opposed to the "big belly" shape of the female (Jewel).
I finally departed at about 10:35 AM. I think that the eagles often begin foraging after sunrise, as we often see them during our daily walks in the wetlands to the SE. Yesterday one flew over at 8:15 AM and two days before I saw one there at 7:30 AM and probably the same one at 8:00 AM. This has been the pattern over the years. Until the female gets broody and lays the eggs we might expect one or both adults to be away from the nest in the morning. We have found late morning to be a better time to find both on the nest during this part of the breeding cycle.
It is safe to say that this necessary repair was completed without any intereactiion with the eagles. Happy to report that power has been restored to the street lights, which the City must now raise up on the poles. (the lights are on rings which must be lowered during hurricanes).