It’s hatching time for the bald eagle eggs

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It’s Hatch Week at the EagleCam
So, will there be chicks?
It is “hatch week” in our beloved eagle’s nest.  Will we see chicks?

Unfortunately, inconsistent incubation and wet, cool spring temperatures are unfavorable conditions for a successful hatch. We know that eggs are composed of mostly fluid and many factors affect hatchability.  Just like in humans, there are genetic, nutritional, physiological, and behavioral features of the incubation process that all need to transpire in order for the eggs to hatch into healthy eagle chicks.  Temperature and humidity are important environmental conditions that have not been consistent at the nest.  Prolonged absence from the eggs we have witnessed make it likely the remaining two eggs will not hatch.  Thirty-three to thirty-five days from laying is average hatch date.  Monday the 26th of March was 35 days from the first egg lay.

While the female continues to incubate, she is not doing so consistently, as most of you have noted.  The inconsistent incubation eggs does not bode well for proper development of the chicks.  On 3-28, one of the eggs appeared to be missing.  We have seen egg fragments in the nest, so we assume one egg has broken and will not hatch.

At this point it is very unlikely the female would lay another egg, even if both remaining eggs don’t hatch.  She has laid three eggs and has expended her calcium and energy reserves in her body for the nesting season.  The male has not been providing much needed support to the eggs or the female.  This suggests this new male may be young and inexperienced in nest brooding.

Frequent close-up images of the eggs do not provide reliable insight into the viability of the eggs.  There are some spots on the eggs that appear to be a pip.  Wind, grass in the nest and other factors make it difficult to tell a dirt spot from a true pip, but we remain watchful.

We hope you continue to watch with us and share the exciting tale of life in a bald eagle nest!  Thank you for all of your continued support on Facebook and emails.  Donations keep our program afloat and help us to continue providing this viewing for you.  If you forgot to donate on your taxes, or if you are not a Minnesota taxpayer, please consider a donation to our program.  The important work of protecting wildlife in Minnesota is broad and severely under-funded.  Any donation you provide is helpful and so appreciated.  Not only that, but ALL donations are matched one-to-one from the Critical Habitat License Plate fund!  Making a double donation knowing you are personally helping bald eagles, trumpeter swans, loons, blue birds and other species thrive is a gift that rewards for future generations!  We thank you, and our family of eagles thanks you!

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