Update: The second eaglet hatched at 10:21 Christmas morning!
After weeks of waiting, bald eagles Ozzie and Harriet saw the first of two eggs hatch in time for the holidays.
Photo courtesy of Dick Pritchett Real Estate
The eaglet, named E3 for now, hatched late Monday night in its nest off Bayshore Road and seemed to be doing fine from what could be seen on the Dick Pritchett eagle cam late Tuesday.
The second egg had yet to hatch, as it was laid nearly three days after the first one. The second egg is expected to hatch Wednesday.
E3, who had stayed undercover in the warmth of his mother overnight, came out in full force Tuesday morning, showing itself with Ozzie looking down proudly.
Another still photo showed Harriet squawk angrily at a potential threat to the nest shortly after 2:30 p.m. Another photo showed the baby sitting alone in the nest, which doesn't happen often as the eagles have split time keeping the baby and still-incubating egg warm and safe.
According to National Geographic, it can take from 12 to 48 hours to hatch after the first break is made in the shell.
As the eggs hatch, Harriet's vigilance will become nearly constant. Ozzie will provide the majority of the food needed by his family.
The eagle cam has seen a lot of traffic in recent days as the countdown began on Sunday. The few hundred simultaneous viewers grew to several thousand as the hit counter crept closer to the 20 million mark.
Meanwhile, those watching from the ground braved the cool, cloudy conditions late Tuesday afternoon to have a peek at the family in person from the church next door.
Ozzie and Harriet returned to Southwest Florida in late September after fledging two offspring, Hope and Faith, last year.
E3 was laid on Nov. 17 and came into the world a hair more than the 35 days it normally takes for an egg to hatch. The second egg came the following Wednesday.
There are currently more than 7,000 nesting pairs of bald eagles nationwide.
To view the eagle family, visit the live came at dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html