WILDLIFE WATCHING — The third eaglet has just hatched. It's unclear whether the latecomer — born nearly five days after the first eagle — will survive.
Stay tuned along with millions of viewers watching as a bald eagle family emerges in a northeast Iowa nest under the watchful eye of a web cam that's capturing the activity live at the Decorah Fish Hatchery.
I was viewing this site with my colleagues minutes ago as the adult felt a little tickle, stood up, and we watched as the third and last eaglet began wiggling out of its egg at 4:46 p.m. Its two siblings were watching.
I believe I got to see the first wobbling little white fluff ball get its first meal on April 2 after the other adult delivered a rabbit. The parent went right for the nutritious entrails. Since then, a second eaglet has hatched and the adults have delivered several birds, apparently ducks, to the nest dinner table.
I've seen the adults share the duties of hunting and sitting on the nest. One delivered a duck a few days ago. A few hours later I check in and saw that the sitting eagle had cleanly plucked the breast, standing up to feed the hungry eaglettes every 40 minutes or so.
One of the adults has just landed and added a fish to the nest smorgasbord at 4:55 p.m. There's at least three fish, two birds and a bunny in the heap. Yum.
This show will only get better as the eagle family grows.
The website has cool features, including short clips of major events in the nest. For instance:
First hatch 4/2/11.
24-hour collage of first egg pip and hatch
Second hatch 4/3/11.
First glimpse of second hatchling
Third hatch 4/6/11.
Close-ups of the third hatch
The overall website to check out is www.raptorresource.org .
Tune in, leave the computer on as you do your business around the house, and enjoy. The adult eagles will be raising their young under the camera for weeks.