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The shell is porous, allowing for air exchange, and the chick begins breaking inside the egg. Through internal movement, a special pipping muscle, and breaking the shell chip by chip, the emerging chick creates a larger window in the shell (Brooks & Garrett, 1970).
According to raptor biologists at the Raptor Resource Project, it can take a hatchling between 24-48 hours to go from pip to hatch!
Heavy, consistent rainfall may have factored into the male's time away from the nest due to increases in time hunting food and the female’s need to mantle the eaglet to maintain optimal body temperatures.
While such weather is not atypical for birds, these components along with any present biological challenges may lead to nest failure (Mc Donald et al. On Friday, March 31st, the amount of rain was significant, resulting in 0.8 inches of rain!
When the pair switched incubation roles that morning, a small pip in the shell was evident!
Due to circumstances unknown to us, the adults did not begin feeding the new chick.They have shown that incubation temperatures, timing, green nesting material, and weather conditions play a role in limiting infections across the shell and inside eggs.We may never know if an infection impacted our eggs, but this is another factor in the nesting success equation.Before it hatches, it needs to absorb the egg yolk inside for energy to push and pick at the egg shell.It has to start breathing inside the egg, and immediately after emerging, it has to inflate its lungs sufficiently enough to breathe on its own.