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Southwest Florida Eagle Cam back in action

By Staff | Oct 1, 2019

Since 2012, more than 140 million viewers in more than 200 countries have watched the exploits of Harriet, her mates and her babies in a nest off Bayshore Road on the Pritchett Farm in North Fort Myers.

On Tuesday, the Pritchett Southwest Florida Eagle Cam returned for another season of watching these majestic birds raise their young and their exploits in and around the nest.

The Southwest Florida Eagle Cam site announced live streaming of the nest area officially began Tuesday, the first day of Florida’s bald eagle nesting season. And already there has been some drama.

Ginnie Pritchett-McSpadden said the eagles, Harriet and M15, have been back at the nest since August, with eagle enthusiasts setting up shop at the church next door to watch the action.

“Everything looks awesome. The eagles have had some bonding time and they’re putting sticks on the nest, so we’re hoping for another successful year,” Pritchett-McSpadden said. “I can’t believe it’s been eight years. We’re happy we can still provide this for everybody locally and globally. Every time we see the viewer numbers rise it’s very humbling.”

This season’s streaming will use a similar set up to last year with three high definition cameras placed throughout the nesting area.

Cam 1 will again pan and zoom on action happening in the nest, giving viewers an up-close view into an eagles’ ecosphere. Cams 2 and 3 will provide a wider angle look into the eagle home.

Eagle Cam 360 will return for a second year. Using virtual reality technology, viewers have the option to control their live view by using a mouse, virtual reality headset or finger (if on mobile devices) to get the 360-degree perspective.

“We recommend people check that out because they can control the camera themselves. We’re hoping it gains popularity because that’s one thing people wish for and we’re trying to make that happen with one of the first nature cams,” Pritchett-McSpadden said.

Dick Pritchett Real Estate launched the cameras that observes the eagles in their natural habitat in hopes of providing an educational and learning experience.

More than 50 schools have utilized the live streams in classroom learning, made possible by the volunteers who moderate and manage the chat rooms, record videos, provide ground reports and post their daily observations of the eagles.

Pritchett-McSpadden said there has already been some drama, as a group of great horned owls, which frequently harrass eagles, have knocked Harriet and M15 off their branches in recent days and are now making the nest tree their resting place.

You can follow all the action on the official SWFL Eagle Cam website, Facebook page, Twitter feed, Instagram account, Tumblr page and YouTube channel.

Teachers or groups looking to use the cam as an educational resource or class project, can contact the SWFEC at info@southwestfloridaeaglecam.com.

The SWFEC has worked with wildlife officials and local biologists to ensure the eagle’s safety and will not interfere with any natural events in the nest. The stream shows Mother Nature in its true form and some content may not be suitable for all audiences.