Hatch watch 2017: Harriet, Florida bald eagle, welcomes two eaglets

Image: A baby American bald eagle and an unhatched egg in Fort Myers, Florida
A baby American bald eagle in Fort Myers, Florida.Dick Pritchett Real Estate Inc.

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By Daniella Silva

A second egg belonging to a bald eagle named Harriet hatched in Fort Myers, Florida, on Wednesday as eager web watchers waited for the baby bird to emerge from its shell.

The eaglet, named "E11," hatched Wednesday at 4:25 p.m. ET — less than a day after a sibling — according to the Southwest Florida Eagle Camera, which is live streaming the hatchings 24/7.

The first eaglet, called E10, hatched Tuesday night. A similar livestream a year ago racked up millions of views, and helped to turn Harriet and her feathered family into an internet sensation.

"We’re really excited, it’s great that they will be almost 24 hours apart in age together and we'll watch over the next couple of days and weeks as they grow and hopefully thrive," Ginnie Pritchett McSpadden, an eagle camera co-founder whose family owns the property where the birds nest,told NBC News.

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She said both eaglets pipped, or made the first crack in their shells, on the same day, Tuesday — a synchronicity "which is very rare."

"The closer that they can hatch together the more likely that there will be less sibling rivalry and hopefully a bigger success for their survival so it just shows how smart the the parents are," she said, referring to the way the eggs were incubated.

E10 and E11 are the offspring of bald eagle mates Harriet and mate M15. This marks the third nesting season for Harriet and M15 — short for Male 2015, according to the eagle cam website.

"Welcome to the world E10!" the eagle cam's Facebook page said in a post Tuesday. "This evening around 8:54pm ET, we could see the shell completely removed from the baby eagle, confirming a successful hatch!"

Two baby bald Eagles sit in their nest in Fort Myers, Florida on Dec. 27, 2017Dick Pritchett Real Estate Inc.

The hatching process reportedly began for the first egg around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday with a pip, or the first break in the shell. A pip in the second egg was visible at about 3:20 p.m. Tuesday. The hatching process typically takes 24 to 48 hours, Pritchett McSpadden said.

The progress of this brood will be live-streamed for the next few months.

"The next five, 10 and 15 days are going to be really exciting because these eaglets grow so fast, so there's so much for people to watch," Pritchett McSpadden said.

A bald eagle at the nest in Fort Myers, Florida on Dec. 27, 2017Dick Pritchett Real Estate Inc.

Harriet found her current mate in 2015 after her former one, Ozzie, died following a fight with another male eagle, the eagle cam website said.

The eagle cam is run by Dick Pritchett Real Estate and has been streaming Harriet and her mates since the 2012 nesting season.

"The whole reason we stared this cam and this process was to educate others on the bald eagle species for it to have such a great following and viewership — we are honored," Pritchett McSpadden said.