I was at the nest area from 3:25 PM until 6:00 PM. As I parked at my usual place, I noticed a large bird flying from E to W. I didn't know if it was an eagle or vulture, but it was flying so low and close to the nest, I figured it was probably an eagle. I walked to the dead tree area and there was one on top of a tree. I did not attempt to take a picture of it because it was not in a front tree and my camera has been focusing on the closest tree. The bird would have been a blur. It stayed for about 5 minutes and then flew away to the S.
On the nest was the usual. A head popping up now and then, but at 3:55, the eagle stood up preened for a few seconds and seemed to change positions a little before it disappeared again.
Mike arrived at about 4:25 and was there until 6. He focused his camera on the nest. I walked to the dead trees after a while and there was not an eagle to be seen. I returned to the nest area and I guess maybe 25 minutes or so later, I walked to the dead trees again and there was an eagle. I took some pictures but I don't know yet if they are going to be OK. I hope a few do, especially some with an added bonus of a woodpecker on a very close tree in the same pic as the eagle.
At 6, while I was getting my stuff into the car, I heard eagles crying out. It was pretty dark, but with my binoculars, I was able to see an adult standing on the rim of the nest. When I drove by the dead trees on my way home, the one that had been there for a very long time was no longer there.
Mike took quite a few pictures and he will probably post them tonight.
Here are some cropped pictures of the slacker (just kidding, she may have been there incubating all day before she flew away from the nest at 3:25 PM) tail feathers. I thought I could see fairly clearly with my binoculars that the tail feathers were all white.
And, here's a Great Egret trying to get away from me as I started to park. I cropped it a bit, mainly because it was out of focus, but the flight feathers looked like a white old-fashioned fancy skirt to me.
So, what's the verdict, Ken? The eagle tail is the female's, right?