One question that is playing over and over in my mind is:
How would this situation be playing out if PPO had chosen a 'normal' Spotted Eagle Owl nest i.e. a scraping in the ground, or a fork in a tree?
PPO would be closer to predators of all kinds if she was on the ground. Larger snakes would probably try to get the eggs. There may be animals such as dogs bothering her. In heavy rains, nests have been known to be washed away.
So if PPO had chosen a 'normal' nest, would she still be sitting on the eggs? She must know that there is no life in the eggs and therefore nothing is going to happen.
Is she staying longer on the eggs because of how safe her nesting area is - one storey up away from dogs and cats? No snakes have ever - touch wood - slid up the walls and onto the balcony before. We leave PPO alone so we are not a perceived threat to her at this stage.
As much as PPO and Pappa are left to their own devices on our balcony, the balcony is still an unnatural nesting site for them. When weighing up the pros and cons of taking the eggs away versus letting her continue to sit, surely we need to look at the actual site too?
Could this question suggest that the best thing to do at this point is to take the eggs away?