MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A third round of congratulations goes out to Miami’s most famous bald eagle, “Rita” who has laid a third egg.
According to Zoo Miami Communications Director Ron Magill, who also founded the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment, “Rita” laid a third egg on Wednesday in the nest atop a custom-built platform for her and her eagle mate “Ron.”READ MORE: Demand For Nurses Grows In South Florida
“Until this year, she has only been documented to lay a maximum of 2 eggs! It must be that she likes her new digs,” wrote Magill on his social media pages.
“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,” said Magill.
“Rita” laid her second egg several days later.
Magill partnered with Lloyd Brown and Wildlife Rescue of Dade County to build a platform for the nest with five live cameras after “Rita” and “Ron’s” original 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.
WATCH: Bald Eagles Begin Building Nest On Custom-Made Platform
After the juvenile eagle’s release, attention turned back to the parents, a bonded pair for over a decade who had very limited success in raising chicks. The instability of the nest site, which they kept returning to year after year, was part of the problem.
The hope was the new stable platform, built in a nest tree close to the original location, would help the mates succeed.READ MORE: Trump Plans 2,300 New Homes At Struggling Doral Resort
And it worked!
On his Facebook page on Wednesday November 24, 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 Magill and his wife Rita.
Magill posted “Rita” the eagle should be laying another egg within the next few days. And Magill was right! Just a couple of short days later, Rita laid her second egg.
“I have goose bumps and tears in my eyes as I am writing this!! This is an incredible journey that we are all privileged to be part of thanks to Wildlife Rescue of Dade County and the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment,” Magill wrote on his Facebook account.
Though Magill notes plenty of things can go wrong, he asks “that all of you will hope and pray along with me that Rita and Ron will be able to successfully hatch these eggs and fledge their chicks!”
Assuming it all goes well, Magill said the chicks should hatch 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.
November and December is their traditional egg-laying season, so keep an eye on that Eagle Cam because you never know what might happen in the coming days.MORE NEWS: Lufthansa Group Cancels Frankfurt-To-Miami Flights Due To 5G Rollout
And if you’d like to help support the Ron Magill Conservation Endowment, click here.