NORTH FORT MYERS
The mother eagle, Harriet, has not been seen since Thursday, and many are worrying if the eaglets will be able to live a normal life without their mother.
An expert told WINK News she thinks they’re going to make it and admires the job M15 is doing to protect and feed his eaglets.
The biggest threats are intruders, other birds, and even other eagles looking for new homes because of the hurricane.
M15 with his eaglets. CREDIT: PRITCHETT EAGLE CAM
And while it’s only February, some say M15 is the father of the year.
“I think at the age these eaglets are.. and as good a job as he’s been doing so far, I think they do have a strong chance of survival,” Shawnlei Breeding, a manager from the Audubon EagleWatch program, said.
M15 might be a single father who must protect and feed his eaglets with their mother still missing and possibly never returning.
Everyone can watch their progress thanks to the eagle camera put up by the Pritchett family. They admire the job M15 is doing, but can he keep it up?
“While he’s doing an amazing, amazing job at providing food. Many wonder what will happen over the next couple of days,” Ginnie Pritchett said.
M15 in a tree. CREDIT: WINK News
Shawnlei Breeding, an EagleWatch program manager, told WINK News with the eaglets being a little over a month old, they still have between five and eight weeks left in the nest. She is one of the believers thinking M15 will beat the odds.
“I guess if I had to give a percentage, I’d say 50/50, just to hedge my bets. I feel like he could easily feed them well enough for them to fledge successfully. The unknown factor is, you know, how much time he’s going to have to spend defending and what’s happening while he’s out catching food and so on,” Breeding said.
And it’s an increased threat because of Hurricane Ian.
“A lot of eagles in your area, as the people you know, were lost, their homes were displaced. So, a lot of the Eagles have had to rebuild, they’re trying to find new locations to rebuild. So, I’ve seen a lot of territory fights in general in the areas that were affected as the Eagles are moving and trying to reestablish territory,” Breeding said.
Breeding told WINK News that because of the protective nature of eagles, especially mother eagles, the odds of Harriet being okay or hiding are very slim.