Just when we thought all the birds had flown their nests, here's an eagle chick that just hatched today!
Image adapted from black eagle discussion forum at Hancock Wildlife Foundation
This nest belongs to a black eagle pair in Johannesburg: the matriarch of the area and her third (and much younger) mate. She laid her first clutch of eggs earlier this year, but they proved unviable and she dumped them and left, only to surprise everyone by returning and laying another two eggs.
The first egg has now hatched and the second is due 3-4 days from today, which brings us to the...
Black eagles practise Cainism, so if the second egg does hatch, the stronger sibling's first mission in life is to kill the weaker one ASAP. Some of the other nest cams and discussion boards carry warnings to that effect (as well as reminders that they will not intervene or otherwise interfere with nature taking its course), so that people can stay away until the deed is done.
Statistically though, the Cain and Abel scenario may well not happen - it seems that with the exception of two years, there's been only one chick on the nest every year since 2005.
UPDATE (October 8)
It doesn't look as if the second egg is ever going to hatch, so you can all come back now. :)
Discussion forum (not terribly busy at the mo - does anyone know of a more active one?): http://www.hancockwildlife.org/forum/viewtopic.php?showtopic=507676
Edited by rowan- - 10/8/13 at 10:42am