By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s not exactly a Christmas miracle, but it’s pretty darn close after learning a pair of Bald Eagles, which a live Eagle Cam has been focused on since mid-October, is expanding its family.

The female eagle, named “Rita” laid an egg on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving and it was all live on the Eagle cam.

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“Rita” the bald eagle lays an egg. (Source: Ron Magill)

Ron Magill, Zoo Miami Communications Director and founder of the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment, partnered with Lloyd Brown and Wildlife Rescue of Dade County to build a platform for an eagle nest and install live cameras after their nest fell 85 feet to the ground following a storm in March. One eaglet died and a second suffered a broken wing.

The surviving juvenile bald eagle was released back into the wild after five months of rehabilitation.

That’s when attention turned back to the parents, a bonded pair for over a decade who had very limited success in raising chicks due in part to the instability of the nest site that they kept returning to year after year.

Magill and Lloyd teamed up to construct a stable platform in the nest tree close to the original location of the nest that was destroyed with the hope the adult birds would return and rebuild the nest destroyed by the storm.

And they did.

WATCH: Clip of bald eagles beginning to build a nest on a custom-made platform with a “creative voiceover” of what they may have been saying that most couples may be able to relate to.


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Fast forward to the day before Thanksgiving and Ron Magill woke up to quite a surprise.

On his Facebook page on Wednesday, Magill wrote, “OMG!!! So this just happened!!! “Rita” the Bald Eagle that we’ve been watching on the eagle nest cam, along with her mate, “Ron,” just laid an egg!!!! I couldn’t believe it as I was watching it live!!”

Yes, the eagles are named after Ron Magill and his wife Rita.


Magill posted on Thursday that “Rita” the eagle should be laying another egg within the next few days.

“Though there are a lot of things that can still go wrong, with an incubation period of 34-36 days, if everything goes well, we may be having eaglets between Christmas and New Year’s Day!!”

Eagles usually mate for life and protecting them is important. After all, they’re America’s national symbol, and they were on the endangered species list as recently as 2007.

Magill said it’s been a blessed journey watching these beautiful birds conquer it all.

“I just thought it was so symbolic, especially on Thanksgiving. I mean I give thanks to my family and everything, but this was like a special gift. It was like the bird saying ‘thank you’ to us for providing her with this platform to show the world how magnificent these birds are. That they have made such a comeback,” Magill said.

November and December is their traditional egg-laying season so keep an eye on that Eagle Cam to see whether “Rita” lays another egg in the coming days.

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And if you’d like to help support the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment, click here. Team