Harriet, famous SWFL eagle mother, still missing - 96.9 WINK FM

Harriet, famous SWFL eagle mother, still missing


Growing concern for the two most famous eaglets in Southwest Florida after Harriet, their mother, went missing last week. M15, Harriet’s mate, is working hard to feed and protect the little eaglets since Harriet went missing.

There is a point where humans will intervene and rescue the babies however, that time hasn’t come yet. If that time does come, Florida Fish and Wildlife will be there to step in to assist M15 and the eaglets.

M-15 protecting the eaglets. (Credit: Southwest Florida Eagle Cam)

In the meantime, people are hoping and praying for Harriet’s safe return.

The creator of the SWFL eagle cam, Ginnie Pritchett McSpadden, spoke with WINK News about the situation.

“We don’t know if she’s injured and somewhere or if she’s passed on,” McSpadden said.

And even though people want Harriet to be safe, many wonder if the eaglets can survive without her.

“There have been success stories in the past where a solo adult has been able to raise their young, but it doesn’t happen often,” McSpadden said.

“It is up to them and in their resources and very well-educated staff,” McSpadden said.

Ginnie McSpadden’s family owns the land and the tree where Harriet and M15 make their home.

Steven Wickwire is an eagle photographer and said M15 clearly misses Harriet.

“He’s stressed out, and he’s perched in the tree an awful long time, and you don’t get many flight shots as you did before,” Wickwire said.

FWC told WINK News that they are working with partners to determine if and how intervention at the nest is necessary.

A view of the eaglets on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, less than 24 hours after they hatched.

But for those who love Harriet and the SWFL eagle family, the hope is Harriet will just come home.

“And if we don’t see that, then maybe in the future, we’ll see another pair mate in the nest and continue to eagle cam if we can,” McSpadden said.

“I’m praying, and I’m hoping just like everybody else in this neighborhood. You know, I’ve been following these eagles for years,” Wickwire said.

The McSpadden family told WINK News they plan to keep the eagle cam up even if Harriet doesn’t come back.

FWC wants to remind people that feeding eagles are illegal. McSpadden assured WINK News M15 knows how much food his eaglets need and will ensure they have it.


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