"Aaaaand we have an egg!!"

That declaration came late Monday afternoon (along with camera still photos) on Facebook, announcing sight of the first egg in the eagle nest watched on the popular EagleCam. The parents take turns incubating eggs for about 35 days. Last year, the first of three eggs arrived Jan. 28.

The Nongame Wildlife Program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources manages the camera streaming live video from the nest in the metro area. The program occasionally updates followers on its Facebook and DNR pages about the eagle family.

An update Friday addressed the heavy speculation among online followers about the father – there is a Friends of Minnesota Nongame Eagle Cam group with nearly 8,900 members on Facebook.

"The female at our nest is definitely the same one we've seen at the nest for the last six years," according to the update, citing the identification band on the bird.

The update said mother eagle has favored a male that is thought to be a different bird from previous years. Lori Naumann, who manages the EagleCam, said last week that the male eagle has markings not seen before.

"His behavior is different, too," Naumann said. Photographs from interested parties have supported the program's suspicions about the identity of the father raptor.