Sad news at the AEF nest today. Right after the second hatch, mom eagle Independence (Indy) killed the newly hatched chick. This leads them to believe that she also killed the first chick yesterday. The third egg has been removed to an incubator where it is hatching. Here is the statement from AEF (you can find it here also https://www.facebook.com/AmericanEagleFoundation:
April 2, 2014: Sometimes there are no answers, and this is one of those times.
Something obviously happened as to how Independence perceived the first two eaglets that were hatched in her nest this year. When the first eaglet was observed with no signs of life yesterday, one day after hatching, Al Cecere went to the nest and confirmed the baby was deceased. He removed the baby from the nest and examined it carefully. No signs of injury were visible, and the baby was perfectly formed.
Today, immediately after the second egg hatched. Indy, who has successfully raised 29 eaglets, attacked and killed the baby instantly. That leads us to strongly suspect that she was also responsible for the first eaglet’s death.
The third egg has been removed from the nest and placed in an incubator, where it is now pipping. A wooden egg was placed in the nest to replace the 3rd real egg. The wooden egg will remain there for several more days.
The eaglet that will hatch from egg 3 will not be placed back in Indy and Frank’s nest. It will be fostered in another nest.
We are grieving over the loss of these two perfect babies, and we are struggling to understand why Indy did this; it has never happened before. Indy and Frank have been perfect parents for many years.
It is too early for long-term decisions to be made about how the cam will operate for the remainder of the season, but updates will be posted as soon as possible