MIAMI, Fla. – They’ve become stars on the live Eagle Cam installed as a collaborative effort between Wildlife Rescue of Dade County and the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment at the Zoo Miami Foundation.
Now, Ron and Rita are hoping to be proud parents.
On Wednesday evening, Magill announced on Twitter, “OMG!! Rita the bald eagle just laid an egg.”
[RELATED: Keep an eye on Ron and Rita on LIVE CAM]
Bald eagles typically lay two eggs so it is expected that Rita will lay another egg within the next few days, according to Zoo Miami. If all goes well, with an incubation period of approximately 34-36 days, eagle hatchlings could come sometime between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
OMG!! “Rita,” the bald eagle just laid an egg! Go to the nest cam created by Wildlife Rescue of Dade County and the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment to see this story unfold live! https://t.co/37lfiGbx89 - hit the “Explore” tab and connect to “Eagle Cam”. Happy Thanksgiving! pic.twitter.com/qeAFCZDfrR— Ron Magill (@RonMagill) November 25, 2021
The bald eagles have had quite a road to get to this point. The pair had difficulty in raising chicks due to an unstable next location. That’s when Magill teamed up with Wildlife Rescue of Dade County’s Lloyd Brown to construct a man-made nesting platform for the eagles who had lost their nest to a storm.
The platform was constructed at the previous nest sight in hopes that the pair would return and use the platform to rebuild their nest.
According to a release from Magill, Zoo Miami’s communications director, many experts believed that the eagles would not return due to the construction of the platform and installation of high definition cameras. But they did return, according to Magill, and after some hesitation, began to rebuild their nest.
“For weeks, we have observed the pair bringing in a variety of materials ranging from thick branches to soft grasses as they worked together to construct the new nest. The big question was whether or not they would actually get to the point of producing eggs,” according to the release.
While there is excitement over Rita’s egg laying, there are still things that could go wrong, according to Magill and Zoo Miami.
The eggs may not be fertile. They may be predated on by anything from small mammals to other birds. The parents may become sick or injured and not be able to care for the eggs. A severe storm could damage the eggs, or a number of other factors.
The fact is that there are many challenges still ahead for the pair, according to Magill, but “whatever happens, we must let nature take its course and will not interfere with any natural process.”