Parking prohibitions expected and visiting nest discouraged
I visited the QWP nest with Al Griffin yesterday morning and we watched for about 1 1/2 hrs from 7:45 AM and saw no sign of adults or eaglet. The larger of the two eaglets disappeared about 10 days ago and is presumed to have been taken by a predator such as a bobcat or fox. Since there is only one eaglet there is less need for it to return to the nest for feeding. FDOT should be making plans for the next breeding season. The nest is on FDOT land and the agency is aware of its responsibilities to protect the nest during both breeding and non-breeding season (and even after/if the eagles fail to return next year).
We can expect to see parking prohibitions along the shoulder of the highway on-ramp as this is a high speed roadway and people pulling out or slowing down create a driving hazard. No Parking signs go up for the entire area around the nest and FHP will start issuing tickets to any vehicles illegally parked. For this reason and also because the viewing opportunities can be expected to be much less frequent, visitors are discouraged.
A couple of days ago a parent was seen feeding the eaglet a fish in a tree not far from the nest. The young bird carried it to the nest to eat it, indicating it already has a degree of independence.
Re: Parking prohibitions expected and visiting nest discouraged
Photo of nest tree. It is easy to see that a fledgling with limited powers of flight might have trouble getting back on the nest, as there are few smaller trees nearby to permit it to "ladder" up the nest.