Eagle watch under way
Harriet the eagle as of late Tuesday night was on the verge of again becoming a mother.
The first egg, called E10, pipped early Tuesday around 8 a.m., with it being fully visible at 8:33 a.m. The second egg, E11, pipped at around 3:21 p.m.
Ginnie Pritchett of Pritchett Realty said, just like Christmas, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, with the fact that the hatchings usually happen around that time making it more sweet.
“We’re really excited. It’s the pinnacle of the season for us because everyone is excited about the guys in the nest,” Pritchett said. “People love to tune in and see it.”
People began to head over to the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam (SWFEC) web site on Christmas Eve to view the progress of the births as the due date came and went.
E10’s pip finally came Tuesday morning, two days later than expected, but certainly within the time frame for hatching.
At 2 p.m., the eagle cam gave viewers a good look at the egg tooth and the tiny hole the eaglet produced. At 3:21 p.m., the camera gave a close-up view at the small crack on E11’s shell before M15 went back to incubate the eggs.
Traffic on the website, which has been around 3,000 under normal circumstances, nearly quadrupled by mid-afternoon and was expected to climb much higher as the hatching approached. Last year as many as 75,000 viewers tuned in at once, thanks to coverage by national news outlets, Pritchett said.
Harriet laid her eggs on Nov. 19 and Nov. 22, respectively, both in the mid to late afternoon.
Harriet and M15 took turns incubating their young, maintaining the necessary 105 degrees temperature the embryos need.
Harriet and M15 have now felt the movement and the chick scratches the inside the surface of the egg (scoring the inside) to break out.
During the last few days before hatching, the parents can hear and feel activity inside the egg and watch the egg closely. Once the hatchling has begun to breathe, it might will make soft calls that the adults can hear.
With the eggs expected to hatch hours apart, Pritchett said it will allow the siblings to be on an even playing field, which should subside the sibling rivalry.
In the past people have complained about seeing the violence and even death in the nest. Pritchett said even the disturbing parts of growing up are shown, so watch at your own leisure and risk.
“Things should be tamer because if one eaglet is bigger than the other it can get pretty violent and it gets people upset,” Pritchett said. “It’s all part of the process of development.
Since its inception in September 2012, the SWFEC has received more than 115 million views from more than 190 different countries worldwide.
To watch, go to dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html