4 February 2022
Friday was a long and horrible day with Little Boots passing and all the unknowns about Harriet. More than 2400 were watching for any news of Harriet as M15 was defending his chicks against the intruder. This is a very difficult situation because our much loved Harriet has not been home for over 40 hours. My stomach is wrenching and my concentration is not always focused. The cries of M15 just are eating at me. As I write this, I have to be honest. I do not believe that Harriet is just off on a spin. I believe that something has happened to her – either injured or dead, she is not returning to her eaglets and M15. I do not believe that any female, as experienced as Harriet is, leaves their eaglets at this stage of their development voluntarily – spa days or not. And I want to be very, very wrong – the kind of wrong where someone would throttle me with a pile of rotten tomatoes.
Many of you have written wondering if there is an organised search party. Harriet’s status as missing has made all of the news outlets and is being broadcast widely. If she is injured or seen, surely we will find out something later on Saturday bearing in mind that it is a large area and nothing has been seen of Samson yet. Harriet is a Fort Myers celebrity and I can only image ‘everyone’ that knows the situation is looking for here every minute they are outside.
M15 up on the branch. His calls for Harriet really pull at our hearts. His mate of 8 years, raising beautiful eaglets together.
M15 fed both the eaglets from the rabbit in the morning. E21 ate first and, as is happening, 22 went into submission. After 21 went into food coma, M15 fed E22 and it wound up with a nice crop, too. So both eaglets had enough food for a crop and during the day slept and were oblivious to everything we are worrying about.
At one point, M15 flew down and mantled the eaglets protecting them from the intruder. That intruder stayed up high on the tree for several areas.
It appears more likely that M15 will have to do everything – and we must remember, M15 is hungry, too. He is now prey provider, nest security, eaglet feeder – and all the other things that two parents divide. It is not easy. It is especially not easy if there is an intruder about. Thankfully 21 and 22 are not wee babes.
E22 practising some self feeding after being fed some of the rabbit that M15 brought to the nest. The question in my mind is: can M15 be everything to these eaglets that they need if there is an intruder about? Can he not only provide security but, what about hunting for prey? Could carrion be left at the pond or somewhere as my friend ‘A’ suggested to me earlier this evening. We will simply have to wait and see. I cannot think of anything more extraordinary than waking up Saturday morning with Harriet on the nest. We just need a miracle. As I noted at the start, many will disagree with me because they believe that Harriet is just away for a day or two. This just seems so unlikely to me but, I will accept miracles and I hope she is on the nest in the morning when I wake up. Then you can start throwing virtual rotten tomatoes at me. I would love that.
M15 spent time sleeping with E21 and 22 before going up to the branch.
The official tweets:
M15 has only been away to look for Harriet and has not gone hunting as yet. Babies are not fighting. No food yet. We wait and hope, sending positive energy to this beloved eagle family.
Other Nest News:
The first of the Channel Islands Bald Eagles to have an egg for the 2023 season appear to be Jak and Audacity. Congratulations Sauces Canyon!
While people were voting on the name for Valentine’s younger sibling, 02, at the KNF E3 nest, Alex was busy bringing in fish – fish after fish after fish. More than 14 were delivered in a very short period of time. Andria often just stood staring at all of them! It really was a Friday night Fish Fest. I wish we could courier some of those fish over to M15 and the Es.
E02 is really, really good at the old snatch and grab. These two are so equal. At times it seems that 02 is actually bigger than Valentine. And gosh, nearing midnight, it seems that 02 will be named Nugget from the votes already submitted.
Just when you think there are too many..Alex delivers yet another fish.
It was a beautiful day over at the nest of Anna and Louis, too. Louis – where is your pile of fish? Alex thinks there is a fishing derby going on at Kincaid Lake. You better check and join in.
When you are watching the KNF-E1 nest, notice how 03 incubates Dudley and scoots it around. Dudley is in between 03’s talons while it is being fed by Anna.
Connick is doing great – just like the eaglets in Louisiana. Gosh, we sure did worry about this eaglet!
Clive is all wet. She has just delivered another fish for Connie and Connick. Connick is never hungry these days. Look at that nice crop.
Everyone saw the devastation that happened when Hurricane Ian made landfall on Captiva/Santibel. We worried out Connie and Clive and about Andy and Lena. Now that things have settled down, there is some good news — and gosh, could we use some good news.
Ringo at the Webster, Texas Bald Eagle nest continues to do well as we would have expected. It is extremely sad to have lost little Boots but, let us hope that this eaglet thrives and fledges. There is no reason to think otherwise. Paul White comments that Ringo is now picking up food bites that fall on the nest…great news and a move towards self-feeding eventually.
There is worrying news everywhere. Zoe has really taken a tour inland and she has been fishing at a creek. Now, there are streams or creeks in the UK that are stocked for osprey with hides for paying clients to take photographs of the ospreys fishing. With the recent floods it also seems that there could be fish in that stream. What we know is that Zoe needs to have some fish to eat.
The third Kakapo to hatch in 2022 has now been given its official name on its first hatch day celebrations. Welcome, Kawa.
Right now I can use all the good news that can come my way…This next announcement comes from Hob Osterlund on Kauai.
Things are just about perfect over at The Campanile. The prey deliveries are now the way they should be and Annie is very appreciative of ‘the new guy’ as SK Hideaways shows us:
Window decals to prevent bird strike. Do you put them on the inside of the window? I bet you do! I do. But that is going to change tomorrow morning.Indeed, almost everyone I know places them inside and we continue to complain of window strikes. New research shows we must put them on the outside of the windows if we want them to work!!!!!!! So remember that and fix the ones you have. Migratory season is especially bad for bird strikes.
It has been a particularly difficult and long day for everyone. There are many more nests with eggs that are being incubated, parents mating, work going on getting nests ready. Ospreys in Africa are fattening up for their long journey home. None of those are forgotten in the midst of the worry and sadness of today. We must continue to send the SWFlorida Eagle nest of M15 and Harriet strong positive wishes – great energy – as we do to all of the nests.
Thank you for being with me this morning. Please take care. See you soon.
Thank you to the following for their tweets, notes, announcements, postings, videos, and streaming cams where I took my screen captures: ‘A’, FOX13 News, SWFL Eagles and D Pritchett, @SWFL Eagle Cam, Gracie Shepard and Raptors of the World, KNF-E3, KNF-E1, Window to Wildlife, Darleen Harris and Captiva Island Eagles and ospreys, Captivasanibel.com, Paul White and the Webster Texas Eagle Watchers, Fran Solly and Friends of Osprey, Kakapo Recovery, Hob Osterlund, SK Hideaways and Cal Falcons, and The New York Times.
On the chat last night, the cam operators said there were no plans for a search party – I can’t understand it! They seemed to think it was enough that locals knew to look out.
Hi Tavi. Thank you for writing in with a comment. Do not believe everything you read on chat. All of the news agencies in Fort Myers are putting out stories about Harriet. Everyone would be looking for her. You can count on it. Those eagles are a large part of the Pritchett’s family. They have always done everything they can to help them including stocking a pond for them. The problem with watching a streaming cam and a chat is that most everyone is out of the loop. They worry and love the eaglets and don’t realise that there are others there in Fort Myers on the ground searching. It is a big area and the fact that the eagles have been so good at growing their numbers only increases issues of territory and resources. It is quite sad. I know that we would all love to see Harriet fly into the nest tomorrow or to have her found and be able to get care. It is such a sad situation and my heart goes out to everyone who loves this eagle family….
I think that if Harriet was readily able to be found, M15 would already know where she is and would have indicated that by his behaviours. The fact that he does not know where she is suggests she is not in the immediate vicinity. Remember that Samson’s body has never been found, and it could be that this is what happens with Harriet. We do not know what has happened, and even if we assume she lost a battle with the intruder, we cannot even guess where she may be now.
The fact that the local news is full of this story means we have half of Fort Myers looking for her already. And just because a ‘formal’ search has not been organised does not mean that everyone associated with SWFL is not out there right now.
But I do agree that it is overwhelmingly frustrating to feel so helpless in the midst of this unfolding tragedy. The key at this stage is to provide large and easily accessible prey items for M15, or even deliver a large carcass to the nest every four or five days. It needs to be big so that E21 can eat its fill and still leave enough food for E22 and M15. This is the most helpful thing ‘they’ could be doing right now IMO.
I’ve been watching Harriet’s nest all day. E21 has become hyper aggressive and because E22 spends most of the time cowering M15 ignores him. E22, in desperation, has attempted to self feed, but he is only strong enough to get miniscule bits of food. The few bites he did manage to get from M15 will not be enough to sustain him. Without Harriet M15 will be hard pressed to raise these two eaglets. Although, I doubt it will happen, I suggest removing E22 from the nest; if not perhaps it’s best to turn off the cameras.
Dear Mario, Thank you so much for sending in a comment. It is much appreciated and I understand how you are feeling. It was a difficult day and difficult beakings to watch. The interaction was not good and 21 prevented 22 from getting any real food. I do applaud 22 for eating anything, including fur. It is such a sad situation. M15 is grieving and the two eaglets are his reason for being right now. E22 is – yes, very aggressive. And 21 is afraid to eat. M15 will bring good – he did bring that huge fish which was enough for 3 if they had cooperated. 21 did not allow that. The research shows that the oldest, the bully should be removed and the younger remain on the nest to thrive under parental care. The eagles are part of the Pritchett Family and 22 is Harriet’s last eaglet. The situation is being monitored. I do not believe that the Pritchett’s would allow 21 to starve to death on camera. They sought help for eye infections…we must wait and see. There are many, many people, I promise you, monitoring this situation with the same concerns as yours.