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Avian milestone: Two eaglet siblings ‘branch’ at Pritchett Farm

By Staff | Mar 1, 2018

The two eaglets born to parents Harriet and M15 took one huge step toward fledging this week.

Both babies “branched,” taking their first perilous steps outside the nest onto the surrounding limbs. The milestone means they are only a few short weeks away from taking their first flight.

The first eaglet branched on Monday, while the other did so on Wednesday. As they are so close in age, it is not known which eaglet was first.

Branching is considered a developmental milestone for the eaglets, which occurs at nine to 10 weeks after hatching, which, for these birds, is right on schedule, if not a little early.

According to the Pritchett Eagle Cam website, under normal circumstances, the eaglets are expected to fledge in late March or early April. .

Last year, with E9 being the only eaglet in the nest, it was able to fledge on March 14, the earliest recorded in the nest.

In 2016, due to the late mating between Harriet and her new mate dubbed M15, the eaglet didn’t fledge until late April and early May. That year, E8 was attacked in the nest and ended up being taken by CROW for rehabilitation.

The juvenile eagles typically leave for good around the first week of May, according to the Pritchett Eagle Cam website, which captures live the family’s doings for an international audience.

Harriet laid this year’s clutch in the nest on the Pritchett property on Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers on Nov. 19 and Nov. 22. E10 hatched on Dec. 26, while E11 came into the world less than 24 hours later.

The live feed may be viewed at dickpritchettrealestate.com/eagle-feed.html