It's been a long, tiring and exciting week for the Southwest Florida eagles (SWFL) Harriet, M15, and E9. The bald eagles are located in North Fort Myers, Florida, and the live cam began streaming this year's breeding season from Dick Pritchett's private property in Oct 2016. Hundreds of thousands tuned in to watch the sole eaglet hatch on New Year's eve. Named E9, it's unclear whether the eaglet is a boy or girl, but the bird has captured the heart and attention of countless people worldwide. On March 14, 2017, E9 fell from the nest in what appeared to be a harrowing event that would have disastrous results. Instead, the independent, curious and strong-willed bird, took flight before making an impact with the ground, flew to the horse pasture, perched on a fence and had an adventure. Since E9's accidental fledge, the eagle has learned to fly, continues to develop skills and leaves and returns to the nest at will. You may watch the SWFL eagle cam live streaming online in the video player below. There are three cams, and each shows a different angle and view of the pasture, the tree, and the nest.E9 is no longer the little ball of fluff waiting to be fed by mother Harriet. Though E9 still enjoys his feeding time, he continues to grow in strength, beauty, and wisdom. Here are some photos and a video that shows E9's wingspan, character traits and personality. The video was captured by YouTube user Lady Hawk from the live eagle cam.
https://www.facebook.com/SouthwestFloridaEagleCam/photos/a.432580926799168.99230.432568663467061/1334008083323110/When E9 fell from the tree on March 14, 2017, pandemonium spread across social media networks. Those who watched E9 from the beginning were petrified that something terrible would happen to the young bird. E9 not only survived the accident, but many of the eagle's first moments were captured live on the eagle cam. There are many YouTube users who make videos that chronicle the SWFL eagle's nest, but two video creators stand apart from the crowd. These are Lady Hawk and Wskrsnwings. Lady Hawk makes derivative videos from the live eagle cam, and Wskrsnwings visits the nest at ground level every day and captures her own footage. After E9 fell from the tree and explored the pasture, there was a brief moment where his or her whereabouts were unknown. Fear spread that E9 would be gone forever. Here are videos from March 14 that document E9's accidental fledge.
The official Southwest Florida eagle cam shared photos and updates, when E9 slipped, fell and then accidentally fledged the nest. You may see how the drama unfolded in real time in the Southwest Florida eagle cam Facebook posts below.
https://www.facebook.com/SouthwestFloridaEagleCam/photos/a.432580926799168.99230.432568663467061/1339099312813987/Many viewers were relieved to see E9 fly to the pasture fence, perch and then explore the new surroundings. You may see video footage as it was captured during E9's big adventure below.https://www.facebook.com/SouthwestFloridaEagleCam/photos/a.432580926799168.99230.432568663467061/1339096252814293/
https://www.facebook.com/SouthwestFloridaEagleCam/photos/a.432580926799168.99230.432568663467061/1339096249480960/On March 15, 2017, E9 surpried people by returning to the nest. Many people experienced a worrisome, sleepless night as they feared for E9's safety. E9 was practicing flying skills and could only travel short distances. After E9 was last seen flying into the trees, he or she was not seen. E9 spent the night away from the nest, and many feared the worst. E9 did not know how to hunt, had never interacted with predatory birds. What would happen to this young bald eagle out on his or her own for an entire night? Amazingly, the next day, E9 was seen in a tree, right across from the nest. The bald eagle's instincts had kicked in, and E9 was fine. With a lot of vocals, E9 took a leap and flew back to the nest. But now that E9 had returned home, would he or she stay put? At 10 weeks old, E9 was not old enough to leave the nest permanently. Here are some wonderful videos captured by Wskrsnwings and Lady Hawk showing E9's return to the nest. Notice how E9 braved the unknown to make the flight.
On March 16, 2017, E9 turned 75-days-old and continued to practice new flying, landing and perching skills. Now independent, E9 took two flights out of the nest and returned. M15 continued to bring food treats for E9, and though E9 is gaining in independence, he or she is still very much M15's and Harriet's eaglet. There is no keeping E9 down. Here are some videos captured on March 16 showing E9 flying and eating.
https://www.facebook.com/SouthwestFloridaEagleCam/photos/a.432580926799168.99230.432568663467061/1341329809257604/On March 17, 2017, Harriet attempted to teach E9 a new skill. Mastering flight and landing, E9 is growing into a big eagle. Comfortable branching and even sleeping on a branch like a grown eagle, Harriet tried to teach E9 how to eat while perched on a branch. There are many lessons for E9 this upcoming week. E9 will accompany Harriet and M15 on hunting and fishing trips, and it is only when E9 knows how to catch his or her own food that the eaglet will truly be ready for self-sufficiency. Here is a wonderful video by Lady Hawk showing E9 and Harriet showing the bald eagle lesson in action, unfortunately, E9 simply wasn't interested in the lesson. Maybe he or she would rather be flying.On March 18, 2017, E9 turned 11-weeks-old and what an adventure the eaglet has enjoyed. After falling out of the nest, learning how to fly and returning, E9 spent his or her birthday flying, playing with sticks and enjoying a birthday fish. Check out the videos by Wskrsnwings and Lady Hawk below.E9 has had many adventures and experiences in the past week and on Sunday, March 19, 2017, explored the pond on Dick Pritchett's property by walking on sand. This is a fishing spot for Harriet and M15, and E9 will learn how to fish there. Here are two wonderful videos captured by Lady Hawk and Wskrsnwings showing E9's pond adventure.There will be many new adventures for E9 this week, and Harriet's and M15's lessons continue. Are you watching the live bald eagle cam? Have you followed E9's journey?
[Featured Image by Rocky Grimes/Shutterstock]