Second eaglet hatches; Harriett and M15 get down to the business of raising a family of eagles

It took a little longer, but the E21’s sibling, the E22, was, of course, fully rolled out on Saturday morning.

With thousands watching online, the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam E22 has shed the rest of its shell and joined the family. No official “hatching” time has been set yet.

Ginnie Pritchett McSpadden, owner and operator of Southwest Florida Eagle Cam, was pleased with how the season went.

“This is our 11th season and it’s already been an incredible journey to see the pair completely rebuild their nest after Ian’s hit,” she said Friday. “The E21s seem to be thriving and I think the E22s (once hatched) will do well with the watchful eye of experienced parents. It is a blessing and a true joy to be able to help tell our community and the world a happy story after repairing it as best we can, and at the last minute.”

For years, Harriett and the M15 have been visually entertaining bird lovers and others over the Internet. They are incubating her two eggs in a nest on Bayshore Road.

Harriet laid egg 1 on November 29th at 6:09pm and egg 2 on December 2nd at 8:09pm

The Bayshore Road site in North Fort Myers, where the nest is located, is owned by Dick Pritchett Real Estate, which also sponsored the pair’s live-streaming cameras, which began in 2012.

These cameras allowed about 184 million people to see the eagles during that time. On Friday nights, he sometimes had as many as 1,900 viewers.

Since 2012, not everything has been safe and healthy for the Eagles.

Most recently, the eagle was forced to rebuild after Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc on its nest.

“After Hurricane Ian destroyed the nest, they have worked hard to rebuild it from the ground up and now they are raising a new family in this lovingly constructed newly built nest. It’s starting.”

And then a bigger problem arose.

Harriet was initially paired with another eagle male, Ozzy, and has made the nest home every fall and spring since 2006. Ozzy was mortally wounded and died in the fall of 2015. Harriet and her M15 got married in the fall of 2015.

There was also the issue of Eagle.

In 2019, Harriet and M15 laid two eggs during the nesting season, one of which was non-viable. Her second eagle, named E14, later died of apparent poisoning.

But there were bright spots. In late February 2020, just over a month after his second eagle died, Harriet and her M15 laid her third egg. A fourth egg soon followed.

That second clutch isn’t unprecedented in the Eagle world. Several other eagle couples across the United States have also laid a second egg after the first egg was not tolerated.

The eagle pair’s second set of eggs continued to hatch and eventually fledged or left the nest.

And in the current brood, just one night, E21 was seen on camera near the ‘rail’ or outer edge of the nest and accidentally shoved there by the mother’s foot. A sleeping Harriet awoke to see her eagle in a precarious position and quickly moved it back under her.

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