Just yesterday, the Inquisitr reported that E9 had branched, was gaining strength and independence, and was living life pushed to the edge (of the nest, that is). How soon those words came to be realized when on March 14, 2017, at approximately 7:22 a.m. ET, E9 moved to close to the nest’s edge, flapped his or her wings, and then began a descent down the tree. The accidental fledge was caught on the live eagle cam and has caused those who have watched the eaglet’s journey since hatching on Dec. 31, 2016, great alarm and concern. E9 is the sole eaglet that hatched during the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam fifth season. E9’s parents are Harriet and M15 and the live eagle cam has streamed online since October 2016. The eagle cam is situated on Dick Pritchett’s property in North Fort Myers, Florida, and there are three cameras in total. You may watch the live eagle cam in the video playlist below. It should be stated that though the fledge was an accident, E9 was not hurt, has been flying since, and has remained close to Harriet and M15 throughout the accidental adventure.
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All eyes are on the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam as viewers hope and pray that E9 makes a safe return to the nest. Harriet and M15 have brought E9 food and are keeping a close eye on their young eaglet. E9 appears to be enjoying the journey and has been exploring nearby trees in the pasture. You may watch the three cams provided by Pritchett in the video playlist as well as other live streaming eagle cams and nests we’re keeping a close eye on.
YouTube user Wskrsnwings (Vicki) was at the Pritchett property filming as she usually does and has remarkable video footage of E9’s accidental fledge. You can watch as E9 is in the nest with mom when Harriet suddenly flies away. E9 is quick to exercise his or her new skills and immediately hops to the porch (an area away from the nest). E9’s branching has involved moving from the nest to adjacent branches including the porch, the veranda, the attic, and the spike. While on the porch, E9 continued to make exercising or wingersizing movements and it appeared he or she would get lift and height. When trying to return to the nest, E9’s right foot slipped, causing the juvenile bald eagle to dangle upside down.
You can hear the panic and concern in Vicki’s voice as she watched and filmed the entire event. Within seconds, E9 was safe on the ground in the pasture and Harriet was on the scene with her newly fledged baby. You may watch Wskrsnwings’ video of E9’s accidental adventure below.
Lady Hawk, another YouTube user who follows the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam, also captured several videos from today’s accidental fledge. They include the nest cam view of E9 dangling from the nest and the descent down from the nesting tree, M15 bringing E9 breakfast in the form of fish, and Harriet feeding E9 and E9 flying to the fence. Through all the videos, it appears E9 is enjoying the newly found freedom and confidence. However, it is still important that E9 returns to the nest. You may watch the videos from Lady Hawk below.
E9 is 73 days old, and though the eaglet has made incredible strides with self-feeding, the bald eagle is not ready to be fully independent and self-feed. There are many lessons E9 still needs to learn and Harriet and M15 are staying by the bird’s side.
The official Southwest Florida Eagle Cam Facebook page shared photos of E9 taken on site after the fledge. They also provided an update stating they believe E9 will eventually return to the nest.
“E9 just took a long flight – up to a nearby tree but missed the branch and glided to ground out of view. It is a smart, strong Eaglet. We think it will eventually return to the nest tree when able.”
At this point, it appears that E9 is well and enjoying his or her first taste of freedom. The viewers who have come to love E9 are the ones who are suffering, feeling anxious and great concern. We’ll continue to bring you the latest updates on E9, Harriet, and M15, and hopefully, you’ll see the family together in their nest again.
Are you watching the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam? Did you see E9 fledge? What are your thoughts, comments, or concerns? Please leave them in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Collins93/Shutterstock]