America's beloved eagle E9 is not only growing up but is showing signs that it won't be long before he or she fledges the nest.
E9 is the surviving eaglet from the Southwest Florida eagle nest located on Dick Pritchett's property in North Fort Myers, Florida, after the first egg failed to hatch. Born on Dec. 31, 2016, E9 quickly captured the hearts of viewers who tuned in to watch hatch day and E9's most memorable moments.
Over the past three months, E9's feathers have grown in, the eaglet has mastered self-feeding and the next milestone is underway, flying. Today, E9 branched or flew briefly from the nest to the branch above showing that the eagle has learned all the lessons Harriet and M15 provided.
You may watch the Southwest Florida (SWFL) eagle cam live streaming online 24/7 in the video player below. There are three cameras set up with different views of the nest, the nesting tree and property.
Watch the Southwest Florida (SWFL) Eagle Cam LiveSWFL eagle cam watcher Lady Hawk captured the moment when E9 reached the milestone of branching. It's certainly been a busy day for E9 as the young eagle continues to practice flying with plenty of wingersizing and is beginning to get air-lift.
You can see E9 hopping across the nest, but today at 6:29 a.m. ET, E9 used those mighty talons to grip the branch before making it to the veranda branch at 7: 34 a.m. ET. You can watch the incredible moments in E9's development in the video player below. E9 is nine-weeks-old and exactly 65-days old. Most bald eagles are ready for their first flight at 12 weeks. E9 is right on schedule and those who tuned into the live eagle cam this morning were in for a treat.E9 works extremely hard at developing new skills. It isn't uncommon to see E9 hopping and winging for hours and then after eating, simply rests from exhaustion. Still, E9 is a strong, beautiful bald eagle who continues mastering each new skill and never backs down from a challenge. The weather in Florida has been chilly with high winds, but E9 has not been deterred. Surely it won't be long now before E9 masters those strong, sturdy wings and takes to the skies.You can watch another video showing E9 branching that includes slow motion photos that really capture the moment and highlight E9s thrilling accomplishments.
E9 continues to show incredible bravery as though the eagle has made amazing progress, he or she is not ready to take flight yet. E9 battles strong winds and spends a great deal of solo time in the nest with a seemingly strong preference for the nest's edge. One strong wind gust could mean disaster for E9 and it seems that Harriet and M15 are well aware of the potential dangers. They seem to fly back in the nest and give E9 individualized attention as soon as things get a bit too challenging.E9 looked amazingly strong and proud standing on the branch this morning. As E9 continues to gain independence, there is the bittersweet realization that soon E9 will fledge and become an independent bald eagle to make a life in the wild.
As E9 continues to reach milestones it's a sad reminder the day is coming when E9 fledges. As eagle nesting season runs approximately from October to May, there are more bald eagles that are still in the early nesting period. If you would like to watch more eagle cams you can find multiple cameras that are live streaming in the video player below.Watch Eagle Cams Live Streaming OnlineE9 Prepares to Fly
Are you an avid eagle cam watcher? Have you followed E9 since New Year's Eve when E9 hatched? Watch the live cams online and don't miss one moment of E9's development.
[Featured Image by Sandy Hedgepeth/Shutterstock]