“First Egg has Hatched”
After watching and waiting for a couple of days we can confirm that one of the bald eagle eggs at the Norfolk Botanical Garden has hatched. Almost 39 days since the first egg was laid biologists (and camera viewers) were able to see an empty eggshell at 1:10pm on March 11. Both adults had been quite restless while incubating throughout the day - often peering down at the eggs, letting us know that something was happening there.
It took a while for us to get a clear look at the young chick, but you can see it in the video below. The chick would have been wet when it hatched but has now dried out and is covered in fluffy white feathers called natal down. The young eaglet will need to rest for a bit before it is able to raise its head and move around. It doesn't need to eat right away, as it absorbed the yolk from the egg prior to hatching. When it does eat its first meal the adults will tear the food into pieces small enough for it to eat. The adults will continue to keep the hatchling warm by brooding it (keeping it tucked under their breast) because the young eagle can't yet control its own body temperature. Keep watching over the next several days while we wait to see the other eggs hatch.
Many thanks to Mrs Westlund's 1st Grade class at Yorktown Elementary School for letting me watch the hatching with them