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One North Fort Myers eaglet fledges; its sibling still on the brink of flight

By Staff | Jun 24, 2020

The latest eaglet brood in North Fort Myers’ world-famous nest at the Pritchett farm off Bayshore Road eye the sky as they ready for flight. PHOTO BY LIZ G PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF THE SOUTHWEST FLORIDA EAGLE CAM

They grow up so fast.

That’s especially true for bald eagles, in particular the eaglet known as E15.

Just 11 weeks after emerging from its eggs as a tiny ball of fluff, it has grown into a young eagle.

Last Monday afternoon, it reached the biggest milestone of all, fledging from the nest on Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers where, for the first time, the event was captured from multiple angles on the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam.

It is believed the fledge was accidental. E15 had hopped from the outer branch to the perch. In an attempt to go back to the nest, it ended up on a lower branch beneath the nest, eventually tumbling down to earth.

Curiosity took over, being on the ground for the first time. E15 took a tour of the farm, taking short flights along the way. It made its way to the fence line exploring the driveway leading to the Pritchett farm house.

Walking through the high grass followed by curious horses, E15 decided to take off, this time landing behind the pond to take a rest.

Just before dark, E15 made an attempt to get back to the nest but, because it had been such a long tiring day, wasn’t quite strong enough yet.

The eaglet ended up at the front pine next to the nest tree where it would spend the night. Late Tuesday morning, E15 arrived safely back at the nest.

The entire adventure was captured on the eagle cam, though edited down for time purposes.

As for its sibling, E16, it has finally started “branching” after E15 had spent most of its time hogging the branching areas. E16’s fledge is expected to happen shortly.

The very long nesting season is almost over for Harriet and her mate, M15. Their first clutch was unsuccessful. One egg was unviable and did not hatch while E14 died Jan. 15 after being fed a rodent that had ingested poison.

The eagles tried again, producing two new eggs in late February, with E15 and E16 being born March 31 and April 2, respectively.

To view the family in real time, visit www.swfleaglecam.com