Egg Watchers: Wildlife in Real Time

Students love watching Harriet, an American Bald Eagle, on a live camera feed.

Meet Harriet, an American bald eagle who has become an internet sensation over the last few years. Ever since Pritchett Real Estate Inc. set up live camera feeds pointed at an eagle nest back in October 2012, thousands have been tuning in daily to watch Harriet and her family. Over the years, nearly 73 million viewers have witnessed the lives of these eagles in the wild, including the hatching of nine eaglets.

In November, Harriet laid two eggs. On New Year’s Eve, Harriet and her mate welcomed E9 into the world as it emerged from its egg.

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Harriet watches over her baby eagles

E9 is the third eaglet of Harriet and her new mate. Eagles typically mate with one partner for life however, in 2015 Harriet’s mate for over 20 years, Ozzie, died after getting into a fight with another eagle.

There are growing concerns for the second egg. The incubation period for eagle eggs is typically 34-40 days. It has been over 45 days since the egg was laid and some are beginning to think the second egg may not hatch. This isn’t that unusual though. Eagle eggs normally have a hatch rate of about 50 percent. The egg could be infertile or have some type of genetic problem. Either way, experts are saying at this point it’s unlikely that the egg will hatch.

Many students at Dunbar were also aware of this event and glad to see eagles living peacefully in the wild.

“I was really happy [to] see a healthy eagle family living in an undisturbed habitat,” said senior Yasuo Uno.

The behavior of the eagles was interesting as some of their behavior resembled a human mother taking care of her newborn baby.

“[The eagles] were taking care of each other a lot like humans would. The father brought in food while the mother took care of the new born,” said senior Michael Waggoner.

At the height of the eagles’ popularity, there were over 70,000 concurrent viewers watching the eaglet emerge.

“If only the eagles knew how many people all over the world were watching them,” said senior Zach Helmburg.

Over the next few months, people from around the world can tune in to watch E9 grow as Harriet and her mate teach the young eaglet valuable life skills.

You can find out more about Harriet and her family on Pritchett’s website.