NFM eagles: Ozzie injured; eaglet ready to ‘fledge’
Followers of North Fort Myers’ most watched eagles were waiting with bated breath Wednesday as the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel took X-rays to determine if the wounded eagle rescued Tuesday was the family patriarch.
Late Wednesday, vets determined, through photos and descriptions sent by people from the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam, that the injured eagle was very likely Ozzie.
That means it’s highly unlikely the male of the mating pair known as Ozzie and Harriet will be able to watch his offspring, “E6,” fledge. The eaglet is expected to take wing any day now, but Ozzie will be away from the nest on Bayshore Road for several weeks for rehabilitation due to a broken bone.
As of Thursday morning, Ozzie was in stable condition and eating, CROW?officials said, adding he is receiving pain and anti-inflammatory medication.
Ozzie was last seen at the nest in a large pine on the Dick Pritchett Real Estate property at about 2 p.m. Tuesday.
CROW confirmed the eagle it rescued later that day in the area of Palm Beach Boulevard in Fort Myers had a missing talon, as does Ozzie. They could not, however, tell for sure until the bird was examined late Wednesday.
CROW office manager Garreth Johnson confirmed the injured eagle suffered a fractured clavicle. Ozzie will need at least a few weeks of rehabilitation at the CROW facilities.
Ginnie Pritchett, co-founder of the eagle cam, sent an e-mail saying E6 is in good hands, even with Ozzie temporarily absent.
“At this stage Harriet should be able to care for E6 without any problem. While Ozzie has provided most of the food, Harriet has been a good provider too and there is no reason to think she won’t continue to feed herself and her young It might take a while for Harriet to adjust to Ozzie not being there to share nest duties and for her resume normal activities. But hunger will be a motivator and instinct to care for her young should prevail,” Pritchett said in a statement.
Many on the Eagle Cam Website expressed their appreciation by making donations to the private, non-profit organization dedicated to saving wildlife through veterinary care, research, medicine, education, and conservation from its 12.5 acre campus in Sanibel.
Meanwhile, E6 “branched” on March 8, the precursor to its first flight, which is expected to happen this weekend if all goes according to schedule. E6 has been in the nest flapping its wings and strengthening its wing muscles in preparation for that flight.
Harriet was perched above E6, not feeding the eaglet so it is lean and ready to fledge when that moment comes.
Since the eagle cam when live three nesting seasons ago, millions worldwide have visited the web site to watch the nesting pair and their young.
The live, two-camera eagle cam may be found at dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html