Rare double eaglet hatch caught on camera

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A rare occurrence in nature, the simultaneous hatching of two eaglets, was caught on camera Saturday.

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Harriet and M15, two South Florida bald eagles, became parents once again after E17 and E18 emerged from their shells, the Fort Myers News-Press reported.

The adults could be seen Sunday morning on the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam site tending to the chicks.

“This is the first time in the history of the cams that both eggs have started to hatch on the same day,” Ginnie Pritchett McSpadden, the founder of the cam site, said in an email to the News-Press. “This is due to the delayed incubation tactics the adults use to keep the eaglets as close in age as possible to minimize sibling rivalry seen in the first few weeks of life.

A rare and amazing accomplishment by these adult eagles to minimize the difference in age from 3 days to a few hours.”

A pair of eggs the eagles produced in 2019 ended with one eaglet unable to hatch and the other dying shortly later, likely by poison. In 2020, the pair produced two more eggs, which successfully hatched and left the nest. The couple then produced the two latest eaglets, which appears to be a success.

“Having the second clutch in the spring has turned their typical six-month nesting season into a full year for the pair,” Pritchett McSpadden said.