As we continue to anxiously watch the third egg, we wanted to update you on our two chicks. Here is our eaglet scorecard:
Both chicks were close to a 40-day incubation, which is a little longer than we normally have at this nest, and we’re not sure if it had anything to do with the cold winter we’ve been having. As for our third egg, there have been many times where we were convinced there was a hole or mark on the egg, but we haven’t seen any definite hatching.
As our cam watchers from last year likely remember, we had a third chick hatch very late last year. We’ve never lost a third chick on the Eagle Cam, but we did last year. The chick just never seemed to be very strong once it finally got out of the egg, so he likely died of natural causes.
At the same time, we’ve never had an egg not hatch, so if our third egg remains unhatched, this would be a first for our Eagle Cam. It’s not terribly unusual for an egg not to hatch, and maybe it’s a sign that our female is getting a bit older, but we’ll have to wait and see if anything happens over the weekend. If the egg is still unhatched by Monday, we would not expect it to hatch and eventually either the parent will remove it or it will get buried under some of the nesting material.
Fortunately our two hatched chicks are doing well. You can already see a size difference between the two chicks, but fortunately there was a lot of food in the nest today (a couple fish and what looked like a duck or maybe a common loon in winter plumage) for the chicks to eat.
We wanted to share this video of our second chick hatching. One interesting thing to note is at the very beginning, the male eagle feeds a part of the fish to the female. We’ve seen males feeding females on other cams, but we don’t often see it on ours. It was a nice bonding moment.
And in the next video, notice the little eaglet peeking out from the parent’s chest. As the eaglets get better at regulating their own body temperatures, they’ll start to become more visible and start poking their heads out from under the parent. Also note in this video around 7:56, one of the eaglets falls on its back and has a bit of trouble righting itself.
Thanks to all those who have been sending in photos. I’ll try to get the gallery updated this weekend.
Also, in the next post we’ll talk about our upcoming 14th Annual Blackwater NWR Eagle Festival on March 15. If you’ve enjoyed watching the eaglets on the website, we wanted to remind you that in our Visitor Center we have monitors on both floors showing live video feeds from each of the cams, and if you come to the Festival, you’ll be able to watch our chicks in action on the monitors.