Conserve Wildlife Blog

Duke Farms Eagles-Waiting For The Hatch

March 16th, 2018

Has it Begun?

Guest Blogger, Diane Cook: NJ Eagle Project Volunteer & Duke Farms nest monitor

Egg 1 was laid on February 14th this year. Bald Eagle eggs are incubated for about 35 days. That means the first hatch could be next week, Wednesday, March 21st! What are the signs hatching has begun? As an observer for many years, viewing the live cam has taught me much. These are some behaviors I’ve seen in the past to alert me that hatching will soon begin or is already underway.

Believe it or not, the adult and chick can “talk” to each other through the shell. Watch for the adults to stand over the eggs with their heads bent closer to them. You may even see movement of the adult’s bill, as it “chirps” to its chick inside the egg.

If food begins to show up in the nest, the adults could be preparing for another mouth to feed. They are stocking the “pantry”.

Restless adults, with lots of moving around on the nest, or more frequent egg rolls, is another sign to watch carefully. When you get a clear view of the eggs, look for a tiny hole or a spider web-like cracking. This first hole in the shell is called a pip, and is made by the chick. The chicks do all the work!

Pips can be difficult to spot with protective adults blocking the view. You may wonder if you are looking at a spot of dirt or piece of grass on the egg or a real pip. Trust your eyes and keep watching, that pip will increase in size. This is exhausting and hard work for a little one. The complete hatching process can sometimes takes a day or two.

It is amazing to watch the progress once the first pip has appeared. Get ready for the most eggciting time of year for eagle watchers!


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One Response to “Duke Farms Eagles-Waiting For The Hatch”

  1. Nadia Salzer says:

    It’s so sad that there seems to be no new life at the nest.

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