Storm Damage and the Future
While on the site, I checked in periodically and did not see any chicks or feedings, and the nest was empty for most of the day. Last night and this morning I reviewed your observations and they confirmed that the birds had been absent from the nest both during the day and the night. This evidence indicates that the eaglets likely didn’t survive the storm.
This storm came at the most vulnerable time for the chick(s), during there first week of life. At this age they are very susceptible to exposure and need to be constantly fed small meals. The adults protected the chicks as well as they could in the hurricane force winds and driving rain, but the weather likely made if difficult for them to hunt, and the wind and rain worked its way under the adults sitting on the nest.
What is next? We will have to wait and see, and I will depend upon your observations. I would not expect the birds to renest, but these bird have certainly surprised us in the past.
I am off to a meeting for most of the day, but will write more later.
Wing Goodale, BioDiversity Research Institute