Southwest Florida Eagle Cam: Harriet's second eaglet hatches, family complete
The second of two bald eagle eggs hatched Wednesday evening at a famous eagle nest in North Fort Myers.
About 12,000 people were watching online Tuesday when an eaglet known as E10 broke through its egg shell. E11 followed Wednesday just before 4:30 p.m.
The tiny gray birds are still resting in the warmth of the nest.
"And I believe I saw a fish on the nest, so E10 got his first meal from M15 (the father). Over the next couple of days we'll see many more fish brought into the nest and both mom and dad will take turns feeding the little guys." said Virginia "Ginnie" Pritchet McSpadden, whose family owns the land where the eagles live and operates the stream camera system.
The lives of these eaglets and their parents, Harriet and M15, will be streamed online for the next several months as the eaglets, should they survive, grow from tiny little fluffs of eaglet to full grown but still unskilled juveniles.
Harriet and M15 are broadcast on the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam, which is in its sixth year.
The series started with Ozzie and Harriet, a long-time North Fort Myers pair that may have started breeding as early as the 1990s, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission records.
Thousands of comments have been written on the eagle cam's Facebook page.
"This is as good as gifts being opened on Christmas morning! It's new life! Another one of God's great gifts," Bonnie Newman wrote. "Thank you to all our wonderful friends who keep watch and keep us informed of all the happenings."
Other viewers were happy to see the eggs hatching as well.
"This is so exciting! I saw what I thought was a pip on egg 2 this afternoon but was not sure...it looked like a tiny beak trying to push a hole in the shell," wrote Karen Highfield. "That Harriet has certainly been stingy with views of the eggs. They are an amazing couple."
A pip is when an eaglet starts to break the shell, and it can take anywhere from two to 48 hours for the tiny birds to fully hatch.