Thursday, February 19, 2015

Eagle Eggs

Thinking about "Egg Rolls" today?
Let's learn and/or refresh our memories about eagle eggs...
[Illustration [below] from “Bird’s Eggs” by Michael Walters]
How Many Eggs do Bald Eagles Lay & What's to come......
[Info. from Hancock Wildlife Foundation]

Number of Eggs Laid: Average 2 per nest.
Eagles can lay only one egg but can also lay three eggs and there are some rare records of 4 eggs being laid.
Incubation Period: 35 days.
Most eagles only lay a single clutch of eggs. Each egg is laid about 3 days apart and incubation, the process of the eagles sitting on the egg to bring up the eggs' temperature, starts with the laying of the first egg. The eggs take almost precisely 35 days to hatch. Since the incubation starts from the time the first egg is laid, this means that the eggs hatch 3 days apart.
Both the male and female bald eagle will incubate the eggs however the female bird, being much larger, takes the longer incubation periods overnight or during cold storms. It is believed that her larger body weight gives her more endurance.
A second clutch of eggs, of usually only 1 or 2 eggs, can be laid if the first clutch is lost within the first week or possibly two weeks of the first egg being laid.
Egg Turning:
The eggs are rolled over by either parent about every hour to 2 hours during the incubation period. The purpose of this roll is to make sure that the lighter yolk does not rise to the egg surface and the delicate blood vessels that cover the yolk touch and stick to the shell surface, killing the developing chick.
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