NORTH FORT MYERS
The first of the two eggs laid by Harriet, Southwest Florida’s most famous mother eagle, poked its beak out of its egg for the first time in the North Fort Myers nest on Wednesday.
Neither egg has hatched yet, but the eaglet could break through the egg at any time now.
Harriet laid the first egg on November 29 and the other on December 2. Typically the eggs have a 35-day incubation period.
Those 35 days brought us to where we are now. The first pip, or break in one of the eggs, happened Tuesday morning. The crack has grown as the eaglet uses its egg tooth to break away at the shell.
It will normally hatch one to two days after a pip appears, but Harriet’s longest pip-to-hatch period was 59 hours with E16.
The current eggs are E21 and E22. Bald eagles typically have 20 egg-laying years, with an average of two eggs a clutch, meaning Harriet should have nine egg-laying years ahead.
Marti Lord, who has followed the eagle family for nine years, is grateful for the special look the cameras at Dick Pritchett Real Estate give to an eagle’s behavior and life.
“I think more people are aware and more cautious of how they approach wildlife now. I think there’s a lot more people that are interested in this live camera, thanks to the Pritchett’s. Extremely educational. I mean, I know elementary schools follow along. And it’s just. It’s a really great educational tool. And I think a lot of that helps,” said Lord.
After hatching, it’ll be 10 to 12 weeks before the eaglets leave the nest. They often stay around for a couple of months, learning from their parents and honing their flying and feeding skills.