Bird lovers are mourning the passing of a baby bald eagle chick that was hatched Thursday in Miami-Dade, just days after its two siblings were hatched at the beginning of the new year.
Zoo Miami communications director Ron Magill confirmed the news, saying the chick did not survive the evening.
"Though sad, this is not unexpected as it hatched out several days after R1 and R2 and was at a huge disadvantage being smaller and considerably weaker," Magill said in a statement.
Last year, the pair of bald eagles — named after Magill and his wife Rita — built a nest and laid three eggs atop an artificial platform constructed in Miami-Dade.
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Magill and his wife have been keeping a close eye on the nest via live steam, waiting for the eggs to hatch. The first egg hatched on New Year's Day, and the second hatched the day after.
"Though I realize this is very sad, it is important that all of you see nature as it really is and not some glorified fantasy," Magill wrote. "The struggle to survive is real and sometimes very difficult to watch but nature depends on survival of the fittest."
Magill added the two remaining chicks, identified as R1 and R2, have "many challenges ahead and there are sure to be many more chapters in this roller coaster ride of a story."