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Second Florida bald eagle egg hatches

The second hatchling emerged from its shell just after 5:50 p.m. Tuesday.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — After getting to see a baby eagle hatch live on Monday afternoon, animals lovers across the Sunshine State were on alert for the second hatchling to break its shell the next day.

At 5:10 p.m., a deep crack was made in the second egg and viewers could see the hatchling begin to emerge. By around 5:54 p.m., the hatching fully broke its shell getting its first taste of fresh air. 

"Hatching is Hard Work! E20 is finally here and resting under mom for the night," Southwest Florida Eagle Cam said in a Facebook post.

Credit: Southwest Florida Eagle Cam
E20 hatched Dec. 28, 2021

The mother eagle, Harriet, called it a night at around 7:20 p.m. as she sat atop her two eaglets, or broods them. M15 stood guard from above the nest.

Parents Harriet and M15, the two eagles featured on The Southwest Florida Eagle Cam hosted by Dick Pritchett Real Estate, had been incubating the eggs for nearly two months.

The first hatchling, which was laid on Nov. 20, emerged from its shell just after 12:30 p.m. Monday. All eyes were on egg number two as it was expected to hatch within a day of the first.

The first signs of progress were made just before 10 a.m. Sunday when there was a pip, or crack in one of the eggs. 

"We have a confirmed pip in egg #1 this morning!" the eagle cam blog wrote. "This is very egg-citing to see a hatch in progress!"

Viewers witnessed the crack get bigger throughout the day Monday until the hatchling finally broke free.

Credit: Southwest Florida Eagle Cam
Credit: Southwest Florida Eagle Cam

On Monday evening, the site confirmed the second hatchling was on its way.  

"We have confirmed a second pip and hope to see two baby eagles in the nest very soon."

Credit: Southwest Florida Eagle Cam

According to the eagle cam website, it can take 12-72 hours before the chick breaks completely free of the shell, with most hatches taking place in 24-48 hours.

Viewers of the live stream have gotten to witness Harriet and M15 switch in and out of the nest, fighting off predators like owls and snakes as they vigilantly watch over their future offspring. This is their fifth season as a mated pair at this location. 

The Southwest Florida Eagle Cam has been live-streaming this nest since 2012. Today, it uses four discreet cameras that monitor the eagles around the clock.

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