Good morning, friends!
It’s Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, and that means it’s E9’s birthday! E9 was born at 7:33 a.m., ET on Dec. 31, 2016, making E9 8-weeks-old today. It’s hard to believe our little fluffy eaglet has turned two-months-old, but once you take a good look at E9 in the nest it becomes easier to believe. E9 has grown leaps and bounds all while under the careful guidance and watchful “eagle eye” of mom Harriet and dad M15. E9 has learned many new skills along the way and has proved to be an independent and sometimes aggressive bird with a huge wallop of cuteness in the personality department.
At the very top of this post, you’ll see a playlist with the official Southwest Florida Eagle Cam. The playlist consists of one video, but if you hover over the bottom right corner, you’ll see there is an option to switch between the three main cams situated at Dick Pritchett’s property where the cams are located. A third camera was added to the YouTube viewing stream on Feb. 24, 2017, (causing the cams to briefly go offline and resulting in near panic) that features a panoramic view of the property. Pritchett’s property features a horse pasture and pond and you can frequently see Harriet and M15 spending time in the water while horses are nearby. The eagle cam and nesting tree is located in North Fort Myers, Florida and is one of the most popular eagle cams available to watch. If you haven’t viewed all three cams, give it a try.
Underneath the top video is a playlist featuring some of E9’s most memorable moments on his or her journey in a playlist by Lady Hawk. The SWFL eagle cam streams live, but the official stream is not saved as a video on YouTube Many dedicated fans and viewers monitor the live stream and create their own derivative videos that are then saved and shared for many years to come. Lady Hawk is one user who has assembled a wonderful collection of SWFL eagle videos that allow watchers to relive the magic.
Now that E9 is two-months-old, we’re seeing many behaviors that will ultimately prepare the eaglet for an independent life. E9 is just about the size of a fully grown adult bird and really is just glorious in appearance. The “wingsercises” E9 performs are one of the day’s highlights and those brief moments when E9 stretches his or her wings then gets some air-lift off the nest are thrilling to behold. Self-feeding attempts have progressed mightily and E9 carefully pays attention to every lesson mom and dad have to teach. E9 is learning how to hold food down with his or her talons, unzip fish, defur small mammals before eating and more all while Harriet and M15 carry out hunting tasks and bring food to the nest for E9’s strength, nourishment and education.
New sticks and grasses are continually brought in and E9 has learned how to assist with taking care of the nest. It has been wonderful to watch E9 try and wrestle a stick from mom or dad and move it around the nest. Often E9 gives the appearance that he or she has just found a new toy to play with and really isn’t interested in learning how to build a nest with his or her future mate one day. There are many small moments that occur each day that highlights just how unique and special E9 truly is.
You may have noticed that E9 spends more independent time in the nest. This is also part of his lesson and he or she isn’t too afraid to get right up to the nest’s edge either. There have been more than enough moments to make you catch your breath when you ask if E9 has pushed the limits too far. But E9 has managed to escape any mishaps that might occur.
The next big milestone we’ll see is when E9 finally takes flight. That usually occurs at three-months-old, so we are definitely on a “fledge-watch” countdown. Everything E9 does is preparing him or her for that independent journey and nothing is more crucial than getting those remaining flight feather in and lifting off the nest for the first time.
That is one moment we all anxiously await and are looking forward to.
The day is young and we’ll add more photos and videos to this post so that by the end of the night, we’ll have a better picture of how E9 chose to spend his or her birthday.
Happy birthday, E9!