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Where's Harriett? Mom eagle gone from nest for over 24 hours; Dad M15 defends, feeds eaglets

Overhead photo of a male eagle with two eaglets to his right.
SWFL Eagle Cam
/
Special to WGCU
The female side of the North Fort Myers breeding pair of Harriett and M15 has not been seen around the Bayshore Road nest for 24 hours, raising a slew of concern, worry and comments from the thousands of online viewers of the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam. Shown above is M15 during a feeding moment with the nest's two eaglets, E21 and E22.

While Harriett is away, for whatever the reason, the male, M15, has been taking care of the two eaglets born weeks ago, E21 and E22. He has been feeding them and defended the nest from a larger, female eagle who tried to intrude.

Where's Harriett?

The female partner of the North Fort Myers breeding pair of Harriett and M15 has not been seen around the Bayshore Road nest since Thursday, for more than 24 hours, raising a slew of concern, worry and comments from the thousands of online viewers of the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam.

Ginnie Pritchett McSpadden, Southwest Florida Eagle Cam owner and operator, was cautious but concerned about Harriett's behavior.

"This is very unusual activity for our seasoned and dedicated mother eagle," she said. "We don’t have any answers or information to provide at this time, other than the most beneficial thing viewers can do is pray and hope for the best.

"We have been in touch with CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel) on potential next steps if an injured Harriet is found. M did an amazing job today defending the nest and the Eaglets. It’s a tough time but we hope for a return."

While Harriett is away, for whatever the reason, the male, M15, has been taking care of the two eaglets born weeks ago, E21 and E22. He has been feeding them and defended the nest from a larger, female eagle who tried to intrude.

The web site is a popular stop for many bird and nature lovers with more than 186 million views since it was put in place.

The Bayshore Road site in North Fort Myers where the nest is situated is owned by Dick Pritchett Real Estate, also sponsor of the cameras livestreaming the pair, which was started in 2012.

Second egg hatches and the eagles start raising a family

Some of those who have been watching the nest have been making suggestions, urging searches and the like. McSpadden and other moderators of the web site have asked for calm and caution since the area where the nest is located is quite rural and wooded and laced with likely venomous snakes, alligators and other injury-producing conditions.

Additionally, McFadden pointed out that there is no one place to even begin looking.

For now the site is keeping an eye on M15, E21 and E22 and hoping that Harriett makes a return. Soon.

Copyright 2023 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.