After almost 2 hrs at the nest (11:30-1:15 pm) I can honestly say I left confused as to whether the eggs are hatching or not! When I arrived only 1 adult was present.....on the nest.....but up high with the wings visible, clearly not in an incubating position (but it was warm today) It was looking around, occasionally down in to the nest as Jim's pictures so beautifully illustrate!
For 1 1/2 hours there was no feeding....nothing. All of a sudden the nest adult began calling very loudly and flew to the maleleucas where the other adult flew in. They perched in separate trees very briefly....still calling. One eagle flew back to the nest and a few minutes later the other adult flew off towards the south. Tom was at the maleleucas and we never determined which adult flew back to the nest. We assume they changed shifts....but can't be certain and also saw no feeding behavior at the nest. After 2 hrs of watching 1 adult was back on the nest, up high, this time in the back as apposed to the front previously.
Several watchers stopped by and we filled them in on the activity and they observed for several minutes with us. They were thrilled to look at the images on our cameras and see the adult on the nest! I really miss seeing the old gang there together....we need to plan a time to all meet!
After reading that the newly hatched eaglets do not need the parents to feed them for 48hrs.....I feel really sure.....(and confirmed by the other watchers) that the eggs are hatching. I need to look back to the Sat when Tom, Kino and I felt the parents were incubating (but there was some question) to see how close this is to 35 days.
Hi Trish, yes I believe that the eggs or egg has hatched based on the behaviors that I saw on the 17th when I was there, in the rain. There was a lot of looking down into the nest, the whole time I was there the bird that was on the nest sat high in the nest, I could easily see its head and neck. I thought it unusual that the bird would sit that high when it was pouring rain.
When I arrived at 10:17am that day I saw the two eagles, one was in the nest and the other perched above and to the right of the nest, from my vantage point that you recommended. Great spot by the way! Then about 15 minutes after I got there the bird in the tree above the nest flew away. I continued to watch the bird on the nest, it sat high, and was looking down a lot. Then around 45 minutes later the other eagle returned, I heard them calling to each other, and it flew directly into the nest, it flew right over my car and into the nest. It was still raining, I bungled the settings on my new camera that I am learning to use, so I missed the shot and video that I took :( I was hoping to enlarge it to better see what went on. Ah well, next time.
I think that because the eagle that was above the nest, when I arrived, came back after a short time, it looks to me that there might be some feeding going on. I believe there was an exchange of duties at that time as well. I also thought that I saw the grown chicks from last year fly over the nest. Again it was raining and difficult to tell. Would the adults allow other birds to fly low over the nest, and if not, would they allow previous chicks to fly over?