Famous Florida Bald Eagle Couple Welcomes Rare Third Hatchling
And then there were three!
Bald eagle couple Rita and Don, the subjects of the popular live eagle cam streaming out of Florida's Miami-Dade County, are now the proud parents to three adorable little eaglets.
According to Zoo Miami, which operates the livestream alongside Wildlife Rescue of Dade County, Rita and Don hatched their third egg of on January 6—six days after welcoming their firstborn.
While exciting, experts warn that things could get a little dicey for the rare eagle triplets.
"Successfully raising 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," Zoo Miami explained in a news release. "Though difficult to watch, it is a natural behavior where the dominant chick tries to eliminate competition for food. 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 zoo added.
Aside from the size of the clutch (female bald eagles lay an average of two eggs), the nest itself is yet another miracle. Wildlife Rescue of Dade County and the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment at the Zoo Miami Foundation teamed up to build it specifically for the bonded couple after their nest fell 85 feet in a storm last year, resulting in the death of one of their fledglings.
Fans of the feathered family can get a live look at the eagle couple and their eaglets 24/7 at zoomiami.org/bald-eagle-cam.
Congrats, Rita and Don! We have our fingers crossed for you and your little ones.