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Eaglet E8 continues slow recovery

By Staff | May 17, 2016

The eaglet strongly believed to be E8, that was seen last week on video being knocked out of its nest tree by an owl, has continued to slowly recover from its injuries.

The eaglet, the younger of a pair of siblings in a nest off Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers, had surgery Saturday at the facilities of the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel to fix a fractured femur. A pin, to hold the bone in place, was insert and the fledgling was placed in strict cage rest while it continues its recovery.

In a statement, CROW said the surgery was a success, with no complications.

Andrew Pritchett, who is responsible for the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam, said any inquiries on the eagle’s condition would be directed to CROW.

But if the eaglet in question is E8, Pritchett said it is a huge relief.

“We’re relieved that it’s OK and it’s in the best of care possible. We trust CROW to do the best they can to release it happy and healthy,” Pritchett said.

The eaglet was missing for nearly a week before it was found Friday in critical condition in a wooded area near its nest tree. CROW officials said in a statement that the eagle “arrived thin, dehydrated and very weak.”

The 3-month-old eaglet went missing on May 7 after it and its older and larger sibling were pushed off a tree branch in an owl attack

There was great conjecture on what happened to the bird after that.

According to a TV report last week, a woman said she found the eaglet across the street, and he appeared to be injured.

Florida Fish and Wildlife came out to investigate, but the bird was scared into the woods and flew away, the witness said.

At the time, Pritchett said E8 was believed to have been found in someone’s backyard, having been scared into some thick brush.

After having disappeared for a week, Pritchett said the fact the bird is still alive is quite remarkable.

This is E8’s second visit to CROW. On Feb. 8, the eaglet had to be rescued from its nest after it got caught there, presumably in some fishing line.

The bird spent three days at the CROW facilities, where it was fed, had its injured foot treated and got over a case of dehydration before it was returned to the nest.

The live cam has been following nest activities on the Pritchett property since 2012, receiving millions of views worldwide and innumerable comments both via web chat and Facebook.

The mother bird, Harriet, and then-mate Ozzie raised two eaglets, dubbed Hope and Honor, the first year.

The pair hatched two eggs each of the next two nesting seasons, losing one each year to unknown causes, a fairly typical first-year mortality rate.

Then Ozzie was injured in March 2015, treated at CROW, and returned to the wild weeks later, only to later succumb to injuries inflicted by his replacement, M15 (for male, 2015) and the barbed wire in which he became entangled following the fight in late September.

This is Harriet and M15’s first brood.

The Southwest Florida Eagle cam may be viewed at dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html