Zoo Miami Bald Eagles Welcome Rare Third Hatchling: 'These Beautiful Birds Continue to Amaze'

Bald eagles Rita and Ron hatched the third egg on Three Kings Day in their nest built on an artificial platform

Bald Eagle chick
Photo: Ron Magill/Miami Zoo

Zoo Miami welcomed another baby eagle to their family this week.

On Thursday, wild bald eagle pair Rita and Ron, who are monitored by Zoo Miami through a live stream, hatched their third egg of 2022, according to the zoo. While the first egg hatched on New Year's Day, the third egg happened to hatch on Three Kings Day (Jan. 6).

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It is rare for bald eagles, which usually mate for life, to lay and hatch three eggs. The bird species often only lays two eggs. According to Zoo Miami, the arrival of a third bald eagle hatchling is exciting but also comes with risks.

"Three chicks is incredibly rare as the chicks themselves will often be very aggressive with one another to the extent one or more may die. Though difficult to watch, it is a natural behavior where the dominant chick tries to eliminate competition for food," the zoo shared in a statement.

"This third chick has the odds stacked very high against it as it is significantly smaller and weaker than the other two chicks, which have already had a good head start in life. Though we have to prepare for the worst, we are hoping for the best as these beautiful birds continue to amaze us and prove that they are survivors," the statement continued.

Bald Eagle chick
Ron Magill/Miami Zoo

For months, people around the country have been keeping tabs on Rita and Ron's nest via Zoo Miami's Bald Eagle Cam.

In October, Zoo Miami announced the launch of its live Bald Eagle Cam on Facebook, sharing that the Florida facility worked with Wildlife Rescue of Dade County and Modern Day Tech Solutions "to install a custom-made platform along with a state-of-the-art camera system that will allow anyone to observe the nest any time, 24 hours a day."

The animal groups worked together to construct the platform for Ron and Rita to build their nest on after documenting several nests that failed due to unstable nesting sites.

Bald Eagle chick
Ron Magill/Miami Zoo

"This is one of the few eagle nest cams in the world that will allow you to see the behaviors that lead up to the actual construction of the nest, in addition to the hopeful laying of eggs and rearing of chicks! It is truly an intimate look into an amazing world that few have ever had the opportunity to see in real-time," the Facebook post introducing the Bald Eagle Cam in October added.

Bird lovers interested in a live look at the eagle couple and their eaglets can check on the birds 24/7 at zoomiami.org/bald-eagle-cam.

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