Bald eagles tend to baby eaglet; second egg hatching now unlikely

FORT MYERS, Fla. (WSVN) — Two South Florida bald eagles became internet sensations as millions watched one of their eggs hatch on New Year’s Eve. But sadly, it’s looking more unlikely that the baby eaglet will have a sibling.

Harriet and her mate, M15 (short for Male-15), have been busy tending to their two eggs in their nest for over a month, when Harriet laid her first egg on Nov. 22. The second egg came three days later on Nov. 25. Since then, both mom and dad took turns incubating their eggs, turning them every few hours.

But while the second egg hatched a baby eaglet, named E9, on Dec. 31, there has been no activity with the first egg. According to moderators on the eagle camera’s website, M15 buried the first egg in the nest shortly after it had been laid. Harriet dug it out three days after she’d laid the second egg. This means the first egg hadn’t been actively incubated by either parent for several days, which could mean the egg is not viable and may never hatch. Eggs usually have to maintain a continuous temperature of 105 degrees.

Traditionally, eagle eggs have an incubation period of 34 to 40 days. It has been 41 days since the egg was laid. One moderator on the site noted that, if the egg does not hatch soon, the eagles may move it to the side of the nest, bury it, or even eat it since it contains calcium.

E9, however, appears to be flourishing, eating approximately every hour. The eaglet is expected to gain a pound every five days. By the end of the month, it will already be at half of its adult body weight.

Watch the live feed of the eagle nest below:

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