Southwest Florida Eagle Cam welcomes new eaglet
Harriet and M15, Southwest Florida’s most famous eagle pair, are parents again, and for the second time this nesting season.
The eaglet dubbed E15 hatched late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, following the average 35-day incubation period.
Its official hatch time is 5:29:25, the first confirmed sighting via the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam, which gave viewers the good-news update Tuesday morning.
A second eaglet, E16, is expected to hatch today or Thursday in the nest in a big pine tree off Bayshore Road on the Pritchett farm, with a “pip” seen at 7:06 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.
E15 “pipped” around 7:15 a.m. on Sunday, and took about 46 hours to complete its hatch, according to the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam.
The hatching process can take two days or even more and is very tiring for the eaglet.
As expected, traffic at the Eagle Cam has been much busier than usual.
More than 7,500 viewers watched on Monday morning, more than five times the number the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam has seen during the nesting process.
This is the second clutch of the season after the eagle parents, Harriet and M15, lost their first eaglet (E14) to a broken blood feather on Jan. 15. It was later found via a necropsy that E14 had increased levels of anticoagulant rodenticide or rat poison that prevented E14’s blood from clotting normally and led to its death. The second egg of that clutch never hatched.
Thirty-eight days after E14’s death, on Feb. 22, Harriet laid another egg, then another three days later for the second clutch.
Assuming the eaglets follow the natural progression to flight, which is around 12 weeks, they are expected to fledge in late June.
An article that explains the hatching process may be found on the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam website at dickpritchettrealestate.com.
The Southwest Florida Eagle Cam is hosted by Dick Pritchett Real Estate, which began the feed in 2012.
More than 16 million viewers worldwide tuned in to watch Harriett and her then mate, Ozzie, raise a brood of two.
As of Tuesday, the three-camera stream reported a total of nearly 146 million views.
Viewers of any age can watch and track all the action on the official Southwest Florida Eagle Cam website, the official 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.