If you’re an eagle lover, chances are you’ve spent the last week or so glued to the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam. Longtime resident Harriet and her partner have been sitting on their two eggs for over a month, and the first chick hatched on New Year’s Eve. Thousands of people have been watching, commenting, and posting about their love for this eagle family. If you haven’t joined the fun yet, now’s the time!
This is the fifth season that the action at this nest has been streamed via eagle cam to the world. The original eagles were Ozzie and Harriet, but Ozzie sadly passed away in early fall of 2015. Within a few weeks, Harriet chose a new mate, named M15. They raised two chicks last year amid a variety of challenges. One eaglet had to be rescued from the nest by CROW after monofilament line wrapped around its leg cut off circulation. It was later brought back to the nest to continue growing. Both eaglets survived an owl attack shortly after fledging, again with some help from CROW. Thousands of people watched these developments live, and even more have returned to watch the action unfold live this season.
Harriet laid two eggs this year in late November. One egg hatched at the very end of December, a process that takes many hours from the first “pip” to the final hatching. The other egg has yet to show any sign of life, though the eagle pair continues to incubate it. It’s likely that this egg is not viable, and may eventually be pushed to the side to make room for the growing eaglet. Still, there’s no way to know what will happen without watching this eagle cam yourself!
Bald Eagle Nesting Facts and Eagle Cam FAQ
- Bald Eagles nest in the same location over and over. One nest in Vermillion, Ohio was used for 34 years, eventually weighing more than 2 metric tons. Harriet and Ozzie first used this nest in 2006.
- Bald Eagles generally mate for life. Since they live a very long time for birds (more than 30 years), they will take a new mate if their old one is lost. Harriet took M15 as her mate in 2015 after losing Ozzie.
- Eggs take about 35 days to incubate. Eaglets stay in the nest for two to three months before fledging.
- Juvenile bald eagles lack the distinctive white head of full-grown adults. They reach sexual maturity in about 4 years, at which time both males and females take on the white head and tail.
- The Southwest Florida Bald Eagle Cam is sponsored by Dick Pritchett Real Estate. The cam is available 24 hours a day and equipped with night vision. Find out much more about the camera setup and nest history on their website, http://www.swfleaglecam.com/.