© 2024 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

One eaglet hatched at North Fort Myers nest; second not viable

 Latest views froim the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam shows possible hatch of one eaglet. Not yet confirmed by site.
Southwest Florida Eagle Cam
Special to WGCU
Latest views froim the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam shows possible hatch of one eaglet. Not yet confirmed by site.

Sunday morning's elation over the hatch of one of two eggs at the North Fort Myers nest of eagles M15 and F23 was later tempered by the assessment that the remaining egg was not viable.

Video on Sunday showed one fuzzy little eaglet being tended to.

Southwest Florida Eagle Cam co-founder Ginnie Pritchett McSpadden, confirmed the less than desirable news about the remaining egg: "Yes, we are assuming no longer viable and the chick did not survive."

The Southwest Florida Eagle Cam announced the hatch earlier in the day: "We have a Hatch! At approximately 7:03am F23 rose up and E23 was visible. Waiting on official Hatch time. We are evaluating the condition of Egg 2. "

The two eggs being tended by the bald eagle mated pair went into hatch mode starting on Friday.

The tiny hatchling could be seen moving amidst pieces of shell and remnants of the yolk sac Sunday while F23 tended to it.

A few hours later it became apparent that activity by the remaining chick inside the egg had ceased and it would likely remain unhatched.

Earlier, on Saturday, according to the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam web site: "Both eggs have started the hatching process! Egg #2 has the most visible progress & Egg #1 has a smaller pip/crack. While Egg #2’s hatching does looks different than we have seen in the past, you can see and hear a chick inside. We are watching and waiting to see what unfolds!"

"An "egg-citing" day at the nest! In a rare (not unprecedented) event, both eggs are hatching simultaneously. This is though the first time we have ever watched the second egg start the hatching process before the first egg."

However, McSpadden did have some concerns:

"Right now, many are concerned over the odd way Egg 2 is hatching, not a normal break of the shell, but more crunched look. We do see movement in the egg so hopeful for a successful hatch."

The pips heralded the start of the hatch watch as thousands viewed the nest, eggs and activities of M15 and F23.

The raptor couple earlier, in November, deposited two eggs in the space of four days. The first egg was laid at 17:54:37 p.m. the night of Nov. 24 with the second one coming the afternoon of Nov. 27 at 1:44.

The double pipping brought more drama and surprise to the North Fort Myers nest, which has seen its share of such activity in the past year.

The 2022-2023 breeding and nesting season was a tumultuous one at the nest of former mated pair Harriet and M15. It included rebuilding a destroyed nest, two more eaglets to raise, the heartbreaking disappearance of Harriet, and the stalwart dedication of M15 to shepherd E21 and E22 to fledge.

 Pips have been seen in both eggs in the North Fort Myers nest of bald eagle mated pair M15 and F23.
Southwest Florida Eagle Cam/Dick Pritchett Real Estate
Special to WGCU
Pips have been seen in both eggs in the North Fort Myers nest of bald eagle mated pair M15 and F23.

The cameras, called the SWFL Eagle Cam and installed by Dick Pritchett Real Estate at the Bayshore Road nest, documented the lives of the breeding eagle pair and were taken off-line after the 2022-2023 season for maintenance and repair.

Now the cameras are full-bore on M15 and his new mate, F23, as they shepherd their two eggs through the hatching process.

A good explanation of failed eggs and why they happen is available on a web site called elfruler.com. The site is devoted to American bald eagles.

Dial in to WGCU.org for updated information on M15 and F23 and the further development of what is now known as E23.

WGCU is your trusted source for news and information in Southwest Florida. We are a nonprofit public service, and your support is more critical than ever. Keep public media strong and donate now. Thank you.

Copyright 2023 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Michael Braun
WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.