Standley Lake rangers believe only one eaglet has hatched — The Know

Evidently only one of the famous Standley Lake bald eagle eggs has hatched after all, and park managers now suspect the other one is not viable.

Two days after posting an entry last week on Facebook saying “we believe there is a second eaglet,” based on video images from the Standley Lake Eagle Cam, park officials backtracked on Saturday.

RELATED: Long-awaited Standley Lake eagle egg finally hatches; another may soon be on the way

“Making observations of the eaglets can be challenging with our view of the nest cup,” they reported in Saturday’s post. “After spending (Friday) observing the nest for signs of the second eaglet, we believe that SL1 is the only eaglet at this time. Since egg #2 is nearly at the 40-day incubation mark, it’s unlikely it will hatch. It looks like SL1 will be living the life of a spoiled only child after all. Sorry, folks, for the confusion!”

Park naturalist Lexie Sierra-Martinez said it’s difficult for rangers to be sure what’s happening with the eggs because the camera doesn’t show images below the walls of the nest.

“The people who observed what they thought was the second eaglet are now questioning it, and we haven’t seen sight of a second eaglet yet,” Martinez said Friday afternoon after other Eagle Cam observers expressed doubt that the second eaglet had hatched.

Eagle eggs fail to hatch if they are infertile or non-viable, according to the blog post on the Raptor Research Project website. Possible reasons for non-viability can include insufficient incubation, pierced or cracked shells, insufficient nutrition for the female who laid the egg and contamination (bacterial or chemical).

It’s believed the first egg hatched Tuesday or Wednesday of last week.

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