Second eaglet hatches

March 16, 2011 • 7:05 am

I’ve been remiss in announcing that, as revealed by the Virginia EagleCam, a second eaglet hatched yesterday. The third and final chick should hatch within a few days.  One reader was concerned about the older bobblehead “attacking” the younger one at feeding time. According to the EagleCam moderators, this behavior is normal:

You will see some sibling rivalry at times which is perfectly normal. You also will notice the older one receiving more than the younger one – that is normal too as the needs are greater for the older one. The younger one will catch up and the sibling rivalry prepares them for the tough world they will eventually live in.

Note that every year for the past three years, this pair has laid three eggs and successfully fledged all three chicks.

I just went over there and saw the two bobbleheads; here’s a screenshot of one of them:

34 thoughts on “Second eaglet hatches

  1. Ah good, I guessed there would be a certain amount of sibling rivalry, it is pretty common after all.

    So the older one was preventing the littler one feeding, but good to hear that it is normal and typically doesn’t impact survival chances, just a good oldfashioned squabble.

    (Sounds familiar somehow…)

  2. I love this whole EagleCam thing. It’s the second thing I check each morning.

    cubicle mate: How are the eagles this morning?

    me: I haven’t checked, yet. Atheism first, eagles second, work last.

  3. You will see some sibling rivalry at times which is perfectly normal.

    There is something vaguely Punch-n-Judyish about watching two wildly weaving fluff monsters bash one another in the head. I’m trying to capture video of it – it’s quite amusing. One focuses unsteadily on the other, then lurches forward and delivers a peck (with all the power of two ounces wielded with great imprecision) and the other disappears down below the stage of the nest, taking several seconds to determine what more-or-less-upright is again. Who needs Jackass?

  4. I like keeping it on during the day. I have 2 monitors so it’s easy for me. So first thing I can do eagles and atheism.

    Not so easy for met to take a screen shot. Both screens show up in the shot. Anyone have any ideas how I can overcome that without changing my monitor set up?

      1. Crikey, you scared me! I think the younger bobblehead is unable to sit upright. This morning the older one was perky and vertical, but the little one was floudering around on his side.

        1. You can see that right at the beginning of the 2nd hatch video. You can easily tell the two apart because the 2nd one pokes his/her head up, wobbles for 2-3 seconds, then falls out of shot again. Hilarious and beautiful at the same time.

      2. Please dont do that to me Ophelia… I only just got over the sight of the two of them fighting! (well one of them picking on the other one!)

        I must admit it looked like a small mammal or something, similar kind of grey, but you had me worried!

          1. I know; sorry everyone. I scared myself witless. I saw only one eaglet, and Daddy tearing at what was visibly a headless non-piscine carcass, and just at that moment the moderator left, saying no questions would be answered for a bit.

  5. Pretty sure I saw a third fuzzy head in there during that last feeding about 30 min ago. My kids and I were looking this morning when they were doing a close-up of the eaglets, and the third egg was between them and looked like it was damaged. That’s why I’ve been looking closely, anyway.

    1. Hmmm…I don’t think so, not yet. Still two eaglets and an egg. The mod just said there’s no pip or crack in the egg yet as far as they know.

      We just got a really good full-frontal view of both bobbleheads eating lunch. You could see them gaping! Very very cool.

  6. Gotta hand it to the moderators. Recent question:

    [Comment From HaroldHarold: ]
    Do I understand you correctly that there are snakes roaming free throughout the gardens?

    Oh noes!

      1. They are amazingly patient–no doubt to encourage curiosity in all the school groups watching…

        Sometimes it seems to get to them, though. From today:

        Q. What happens when it rains?

        A. (Congowings) They get wet.


  7. I was watching the eagle nest webcam near Sidney BC a couple of years ago. There were three eaglets that year, and one of the older ones would grab the youngest by the neck and shake hard, like a terrier and a rat.

    But #3 even survived falling out of the nest, fledged successfully, and eventually headed off into the wild blue yonder in early August.

    OTOH, there’s a National Geographic video on youtube of eagles in the Philippines, and one section shows a dead eaglet: killed by its sibling.

  8. If anyone is still hanging around this thread, have you been watching the eagle cam from the US FWS National Conservation Training Center? It’s a very sad but educational contrast to the Norfolk eagle cam: The first of 2 eggs hatched yesterday, but so far it doesn’t look like the mother has been able to feed it. The situation is unclear, but the dad hasn’t been seen on the nest since at least last night, and there might be an intruding eagle threatening the mother and/or nest. Everyone’s glued to the camera, and there have been many calls to Fish & Wildlife to intervene and save the baby. To their credit, they have sworn not to interfere, but it makes for difficult watching.

    1. Sorry, I’ve been hanging around their forum too much! “dad” “mother” “baby” should be read with no anthropomorphizing intended!

      1. Had a look when you posted this earlier today–indeed, very sad. And there seems to be less in-the-know moderation there, too.

        In such a case it’s terribly hard not to anthropomorphize about the “poor mother,” etc. From a biological standpoint it’s an interesting datum, though.

        It’s also interesting to compare the eagles’ single clutch per year with the 4-5 clutches the CA hummingbird produces!

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