It’s official! The Duke Farms eagles have two eggs! The first egg was laid at 4:21 PM on February 14, 2018 (on Valentine’s Day! How cute). The second egg was laid on February 17, 2018 at 5:07 PM. Eagles can typically lay anywhere from 1 to 3 eggs, but they are spaced out over the course of several days, typically 3 days apart.
Timeline of What’s to Come
- The parent eagles will take turns incubating. Brood patches develop to aid in incubation. They are areas of bare skin with many blood vessels to help with heat transfer. Both the male and female eagles develop brood patches.
- Incubation typically lasts about 35 days, and hatching takes place at the end of March.
- After hatching, the chicks will only be about 4-5 inches and weigh a few ounces.
- In May, at about 6 weeks old, the eaglets will be banded.
- After about 10 weeks, the eaglets will be nearly fully grown, with only some bulk and muscle development needed.
- Fledging (first flight) takes place at about 10-12 weeks.
- The fledglings will stay with their parents until they are about 17-20 weeks old.
- The young eagles will not develop their white head until the reach sexual maturity at about 5 years old.
Last year, the only year the Duke Farms eagles has not laid an egg since the creation of the nest 14 years ago, was disappointing for many, but it was actually an incredible sign that conservation and restoration efforts of bald eagles have been successful. In the not so distant past, there was one nesting pair in all of New Jersey as a result of DDT use and habitat loss. After 40 years of conservation, the population has rebounded so much that competition now exists for mates and nesting space.