We are on hatch watch at N2B in Decorah and at Xcel Energy’s Fort St. Vrain plant in Platteville, Colorado. What happens within the egg shortly before hatching starts? The rapidly developing embryo:
- Grows large enough to take up nearly all the space in its egg.
- Positions its body so that its head is at the large end of the egg next to the air space.
- Begins to breathe with its lungs.
- Consumes most of the remaining albumen and yolk.
Altricial birds (including bald eagles) hatch with eyes that don’t function very well. So how do they recognize their parents and siblings? Pre-hatch parental vocalizations are an important part of helping children learn to recognize parents. As we wait for hatch, listen for parents softly ‘talking’ to their eggs…and for responses coming from hatching young.