On May 5, 2017, it became apparent that E9 has finally left the nest. The sole eaglet for the 2016-2017 Southwest Florida (SWFL) eagle season, E9 has captivated thousands of viewers since hatching on New Year’s Eve. E9 is a beautiful, strong bald eagle who lived in the nest with his parents Harriet and M15 and entertained countless via the live eagle cam that streams from Dick Pritchett’s property in North Fort Myers, Florida.
The operators of the SWFL eagle cam announced that E9 has not been seen since Tuesday, May 3, 2017. You may see a Facebook status update shared by the official Southwest Florida eagle cam website below that reveals the news of E9’s departure. Though E9 has not been seen, Harriet and M15 returned to the nest they shared with E9 and were viewed on the live eagle cam together on Friday evening.
Watch SWFL Live Eagle Cam as Harriet and M15 Return to the Nest
On Friday night, Harriet and M15 gave new meaning to the term “empty nest syndrome.” E9 has left and is most likely no longer in the same area. Harriet and M15 returned to their nesting tree and even spent time repairing the nest. Eagles mate for life and though M15 is Harriet’s second mate following Ozzie, the two seem to be stronger and more bonded than ever. They worked hard to raise E9 to independence and they did a great job. E9 won over the hearts of millions with his sweet personality, adorable antics, and strong will to survive. It is a bittersweet and touching moment when an eagle that you’ve watched on live cam from the moment of hatching leaves. While many will miss E9, there is comfort in knowing he or she is a strong, healthy, and independent bird, capable of surviving in the wild.
Check out this video shared on YouTube that pays tribute to the beautiful and independent bald eagle E9.
— Christina Hernandez (@chernandez1776) May 6, 2017
Here are moments in E9’s life captured during his or her first 100 days since hatching on Dec. 31, 2016.
— Maureen Ebsworth (@ebsworthmomo) April 10, 2017
Here is a photo that was taken of E9 when he or she was approximately one-month-old, along with a photo of parents Harriet and M15.
— Gene J. Mikulka (@genejm29) January 26, 2017
Here is another video showing Harriet returning to the nest tree and Pritchett pond after it is apparent that E9 has left.
SWFL Eagles_Mom Returns To The Nest Tree & Yonder Pond~Thinking Of E9 05… https://t.co/teNTCg6mCQ
— Anne MacKenzie Ward (@AnneMackWard) May 5, 2017
Tributes to E9 are coming in from across the globe. It appears that people aren’t the only ones having a hard time saying goodbye to E9 as M15 went on a three-day journey with his offspring. M15 was spotted spending some alone time in the nest early Saturday morning.
— DawgPoundHound (@DawgPoundHound) May 5, 2017
There are several YouTube users who have followed E9, Harriet, and M15 since the start of the 2016/2017 SWFL eagle season. The YouTube user Lady Hawk has a vast collection of videos that she captured and edited from the live eagle cam. In addition to a tribute video, you can watch the full video of Harriet and M15 as they perched in the tree, seemingly well aware that they raised another eagle to a successful, independent life. You may access Lady Hawk’s YouTube channel here. Several people who watched the live cam Friday night remarked that Harriet and M15 made a heart shape while they perched on the tree. You can see the video footage Lady Hawk captured of Harriet and M15 here.
E9 has not been seen since Tuesday morning. With a fully belly (thx dad!) and instinct to explore, we know he's flying high and free!
— SWFL Eagle Cam (@SWFLEagleCAM) May 5, 2017
The other YouTube channel that has exceptional footage of E9 from the day of hatching until he or she left the nest for good is Wskrsnwings. Wskrsnwings doesn’t take footage from the live eagle cam and capture memorable moments but is the work of a photographer who is on the ground in North Fort Myers and makes original videos. You may view Wskrsnwings YouTube channel here.
One video in particular that has drawn plenty of attention in light of E9’s departure was taken by Wskrsnwings and shows E9 soaring high in the sky. The video was captured on April 30, 2017, and shows the progress E9 made in his or her journey to independence. The end of the video shows E9 flying high above the trees and disappearing.
SWFL Eagles_E9 Scores A+ On Flight Maneuvers & Soaring~Juvie Hawk Hunts Again 04-30-17 https://t.co/ZJuGqs8Lz7
— Thomas (@tf_william) May 1, 2017
Are you sad to see E9 go? Will you follow the SWFL eagle cam next season? We’re looking forward to the process and hope to see Harriet and M15 begin mating and egg laying somewhere around September or October. We have greatly enjoyed E9’s journey and though we are sad to see it end, we are ecstatic that E9 is a beautiful, healthy, and strong bald eagle that is fully capable of thriving in the wild.
[Featured Image by Michael-Tatman/Thinkstock]