Mary Lou and I arrived at the nest site around 10:30 AM and were joined by others-- several family groups and a couple visiting from Titusville. The female was posted in the tree to the east and the male was in the melaleucas. Soon after we arrived, the male attacked a Turkey Vulture that was circling quite close to the nest. There was no physical contact that we could see, but both adults were calling. (Turkey Vultures have a keen sense of smell and undoubtedly detect the odor of decomposing prey in the nest. As the day warms up they often circle the nest, especially on windless days such as today).
Following the sortee with the vulture, the female took a roost on the horizontal perch above the nest, and the male eventually flew off and circled up high to the northeast.
The chicks were quiet during the action, perhaps knowing that the adults were giving alarm calls. They became restless around 11:15 or so, and both popped up their heads, providing great views for the spectators and some photo ops. We hoped to see a feeding, but it never occurred before we had to depart.
Judging from their size the two eaglets that are now visible in the nest are about three weeks old. Incubation of the first egg probably commenced on December 4, 2010, when the female suddenly settled deep in the nest and could not be seen over the rim for about a week. Since the first egg takes an average of 35 days to hatch, it is likely that this chick emerged on or about January 8th.
I made a poor video of the larger eaglet, my first-ever attempt, with help from onlookers who told me when the eaglet's head popped up, as I had trouble seeing the LCD monitor in the bright sunlight (view full screen to see the little guy better, and PLEASE DON'T turn the sound up!):
Male on guard:
Female roosting to east:
They came into physical contact and there was some wing flapping, but nothing violent:
This appears to be the older, larger eaglet. As (s)he ages, the white fuzz will diminish until there is only a top hat effect:
We were one of the families that came by today. What a wonderful sight to see. So glad I got to share with my son and parents the sight of Bald Eagles in the wild, and to see their babies was the icing on the cake. Thank you for providing so much info. We will continue to follow them and check on them. Great pictures!!!!!