NAPLES, Fla. - If you've been on hatch watch, like we have, the wait is finally over for one of the hatchlings! On Thursday, we noticed a crack in one of the eggs. Then yesterday, a hole opened up. Then Saturday morning, the new eaglet arrived! (Click here to watch the magic moment) (Here's another look)
You can see live streaming video of the growing family on the stream below. At this point, the second egg hasn't begun to hatch. We'll keep an eye on it throughout the weekend. (App users click here)
“Usually, the eggs are laid one day apart and they will likely hatch one day apart,” said Russ Ochs, with the Audubon Society and McGough Nature Park in Largo
Photos from Eagle Watch 2016
Once the eggs hatch, Ochs says the male and female will take turns going out to hunt, while the other protects the eaglets.
Ochs says the eaglets will eat anything that crawls, including squirrels, small rabbits, rats, moles or mice. He says they will stay in the nest with their parents until they're fully grown and can fly, at about three months.
PHOTOS: Majestic photos of bald eagles
PHOTOS: Majestic pictures of bald eagles
Two eggs were laid Nov. 22 and 25 and are closing in on the 35-day incubation period. And while incubation was delayed on the first egg, causing speculation on its vitality, only time will tell if both eggs will successfully hatch.
The eagle parents, Harriet and M15, have taken turns incubating their young by maintaining the necessary 105-degree temperature the embryos need for proper development. The eagles will continue to nurture their eggs until they feel movement and the chick scratches the inside the surface of the egg to break out.
During the last two to three days before hatching, the parents can hear and feel activity inside the egg and will watch the egg closely. Once the hatchling has begun to breathe, it might will make soft calls that the adults can hear.
Viewers can watch and track all the action of “Hatch Watch 2016” by following the official SWFL Eagle Cam website,the official Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram account, Tumblr page and YouTube channel. Teachers or groups looking to use the cam as an educational resource or class project, can contact the SWFEC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since its inception in September 2012, the Eagle Cam has received more than 60 million views from more than 190 different countries worldwide.