Today, March 11, 2010, the most anticipated event of the season became reality – the first eagle hatchling in the nest at Norfolk Botanical Garden. At 1:10pm the male stood up and gave us the first look at an empty egg shell as he stared down at his first chick of the season that was hidden from our view just below the lip of the nest (photo 3). Later at 2:30 the eaglet can be seen looking out from under its mom (photo 1). The female took a break from nest duties and at 5:08 the chick is being inspected closely by its dad (photo 2).
Now the big question. Was it the first egg laid on Jan 31 in the snow that hatched? We do not know that for certain and it will be several more days before that question can be definitively answered. Meanwhile, there are two more eggs being incubated. Another could hatch tomorrow or be 2 or 3 days from now. We will just have to keep watching to find out.