The world saw little E9 emerge from its shell cocoon.
Real-time video of the nest of two adult bald eagles and their two eggs has been streamed to computers and smartphones more than 70 million times across the globe.
Parents Harriet and M15 took turns warming the baby bird and the first egg laid sitting in a cozy, twiggy nest. A half-eaten fish was plopped nearby in case the little gray fledgling was hungry, which was often.
Day by day, we saw E9 bob its head and gain its strength as viewers across the world scanned the unhatched egg for any sign of a pip, or crack, in the egg.
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But E9’s sibling may never hatch.
On Monday, the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam’s Facebook page announced that experts doubt the egg, laid on Nov. 22, would hatch because it has reached 41 days of incubation. The average period for an egg to hatch is 35 days, according to the National Eagle Center. This was the first egg Harriet laid this season, with E9 laid three days later.
On Wednesday, one of the adult eagles warmed the unhatched egg, with little E9 close by. If it doesn’t hatch, the parents might move the egg to the side of the nest, bury it or eat it if it’s cracked, according to the post.
The camera has been streamed live by Fort Myers’ Dick Pritchett Real Estate, Inc. since October 2012. Since then, Harriet has had two mates: Ozzie, who died after fighting another eagle, and M15.
All of Harriet’s eggs had hatched over the years, with just two young birds dying before leaving the nest. On average, it has taken about three months for Harriet’s birds to leave the nest after hatching, according to data from the cam’s blog.