Concerns over the viability of eagle cam egg

Posted at 9:35 AM, Jan 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-03 19:02:32-05

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Nest watchers now say that it is doubtful Egg #1 will hatch in the North Fort Myers bald eagle nest followed by so many online.

Bald eagle fans around the world have been closely watching as eagle cam stars Harriet and M-15 take turns tending to their new eaglet, E9, as they wait for the second one to come out of its shell.

However, a post to their Facebook page Monday night, those at Dick Pritchett Real Estate said that the egg has exceeded the 34-40 hatch window. Fox 4 spoke with Calusa Nature Center's wildlife expert Walter Cheatham, who agreed the egg will most likely not hatch. "It means that something either happened during fertilization in the actual fertilization process, but more likely what happened is something after fertilization, it could've been incubated improperly, it could have slipped out," he said. "Just like you have dogs that may only have ten puppies, there may have been a lot more embryos within the mother that did not make it after fertilization. It just happened inside of the dog, where as in nature we get to see the eggs."

If the adults decide the remaining egg is not viable, they might move it to the side of the nest, bury it or completely remove it from the area. Or if the egg is cracked, they might consume the egg as it provides much needed calcium.

E9 hatched Saturday morning just after 7:30 a.m.

Either way, the popular webcam has led to people gathering near the nest in North Fort Myers while millions of others watch the famous family on the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam.



Here's recorded video of E9's hatching:

The eagle cam was launched in October of 2012 and over 16 million viewers watched eagles Harriet and Ozzie raise their two eaglets.

Ozzie and Harriet continued to expand their family in the fall each year and the video camera was there to capture it all. In March of 2015, Ozzie was found by the FWC and taken to a clinic for rehabilitation after he showed signs of disorientation and injury. He was treated for 97 days and released back into the wild near the nest.

Ozzie was seen near the nest on Saturday, September 19 of 2015 and on September 27 he got into a fight with another male eagle in the area. Ozzie was injured and passed away two days later.

That's when M15 came into the picture. Harriett and M15 (male 2015) bonded in October in 2015 and Harriett laid two eggs which successfully hatched.

This season the pair produced two eggs laid on November 22nd and 25th. 



  • They live near water, where they can find their staple food of fish.  They also eat turtles, rabbits, snakes, and other small animals.
  • They develop their distinctive white coloration around age 4 or 5.
  • Can have wingspan of up to 6 feet.  Males are usually smaller.
  • Nests can be as big as 10 feet across
  • May live 15-25 years in the wild
  • They mate for life, typically laying 1-3 eggs once a year
  • Eaglets begin to fly within about 3 months, then are on their own a month later
  • The Bald Eagle Protection Act was passed in 1940
  • There were as few as 487 nesting pairs in 1963, but since then, nearly 10,000 nesting pairs are now reported
  • They are found throughout most of North America, ranging from northern Mexico up to northern reaches of Canada and Alsaka.

(Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife)