Onset of incubation? Sat, 4 Dec 2010

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Onset of incubation? Sat, 4 Dec 2010

I arrived at the nest on a cool, beautiful morning at 8am. Tom was there and said he had seen no eagles. Kino arrived a while later. In the second hour we noticed what we thought was slight movement on the nest but nothing definitive. Finally Tom got a photo that showed a beak and a touch of white through the nest wall sticks on the far left. It's very hard with the trees in front to be sure....so we were thrilled to have the photographic evidence!

Shortly thereafter the adult got up and repositioned....moving more towards the center. She seemed to be perhaps pushing or turning the egg(s) as when she went low in the nest again it was more of a centered/slightly right position. I don't know if they do this.....but her position on the nest moved. She repositioned at about half hour intervals.

At about 11:30 she got up again and went to the right side of the nest....stood on the rim facing the center of the nest and "pooped" over the side into the woods. We thought she would lay back down but she surprised us and took off through the woods, landing on the favored perch to the left of the nest. She stayed there only long enough to turn around and then immediately flew back to the nest and went down so she was completely hidden again. We were hoping to see the nest exchange like last year when one eagle would fly in and the other take off. Four hours seemed like a long time for one to be on the nest without relief and I can't remember from last year the average time period for an incubation shift.

We stayed until noon with no more views or activity. I have been saying "she" as in our photos the right tail feathers did not have the brown tip that the male had last year. Perhaps until we see them together we can't be positive. Let the "hatch watch" begin!