Tick-tock hatch clock! When can we expect hatch?

Here are our best guesstimates on hatch dates at our nests in Decorah and at Xcel Energy Fort St. Vrain. Please remember that all of these could happen a little earlier or a little later than forecast, so keep an eye on our nests, our website, Explore’s website, or wherever you watch the eagles!

In Decorah
Mom laid her first egg on February 22nd. While we suspect it was the egg that broke, we can’t be sure. Since Mom has tended to go 38 days between first egg and first pip, with hatch coming right around 39 days, we’ll start looking on March 31st. If it was, as we suspected, egg number one, we probably won’t see anything until April 1st or 2nd.
You can watch here: https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-eagles/ and here: https://explore.org/livecams/raptor-resource-project/decorah-eagles.

At Decorah North
We don’t have any history on DNF, although she and Mr. North both appeared to settle down over the eggs as soon as she started laying them. We’ll start looking for pip on March 30, or 37 days after the egg was laid. This is a little on the early side, but we’d rather not miss it! You can watch here: https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/decorah-north-nest/ and here: https://explore.org/livecams/raptor-resource-project/decorah-eagles-north-nest.

At Xcel Energy’s Fort St. Vrain nest
The female here has a history of 39-40 days between first lay and first hatch – just a little later than Decorah. Why? In warmer years, she tends to spend more time off her first egg, which delays development, results in a slightly longer incubatory period of 40 days, and yields young that are closer in age. While it doesn’t always happen, we had two eaglets hatch on the same day in 2009, 2013, 2015, and 2016. Same day hatch is less likely to happen in colder, dryer years, although they hatched a day apart in 2014 and 2018. Given that this winter looks a lot like the winter of 2014 in terms of weather, we’ll start looking for pip on Saturday, March 23rd – 38 days after egg number one was laid. You can watch here: https://www.raptorresource.org/birdcams/xcel-energy-cams/ and here: https://birdcam.xcelenergy.com/.

We’re looking forward to hatch at all our nests!