Environment

Two baby eagles hatch in Florida — and fans worldwide are trying to catch a glimpse

Eaglet E11 was born to Harriet and her mate, M15, on Dec. 27, 2017. The world watched the hatching of the pair’s latest baby on Southwest Florida Eagle Cam.
Eaglet E11 was born to Harriet and her mate, M15, on Dec. 27, 2017. The world watched the hatching of the pair’s latest baby on Southwest Florida Eagle Cam. Dick Pritchett Real Estate

Make room, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The world is watching another famous couple, too: Harriet and M15.

If one of their names is rather impersonal — M15, really? — the couple have enraptured viewers around the world as the pair welcomed two new eaglets in the days after Christmas.

Yep, eagles. Eagles having baby eagles in a tree on a real estate firm’s property in Fort Myers, under the ever watchful eye of the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam. At any given moment, some 10,000 people are watching live streams as Harriett tends to her nest, occasionally revealing an egg she’s incubating.

There’s even an app for that for iPhone and Android users who can’t get enough of Harriet and M15 and other birthing eagles in Southwest and Northeast Florida, Washington D.C., Berry College in Georgia and other locations.

On the day after Christmas, Harriet and M15 welcomed eaglet E10. Harriet showed her off on the eagle cam just after nightfall on Dec. 26, Tampa’s Fox 13 News reported.

Harriet then incubated her second egg, which hatched underneath her on Wednesday.

World, meet E11.

Before the births, the fine feathered family has spent about a month taking turns sitting on the two eggs.

Eagle egg
Harriet gives a quick view of the egg she’s incubating as the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam captures her activities on property owned by Fort Myers’ Dick Pritchett Real Estate. Southwest Florida Eagle Cam Dick Pritchett Real Estate

Viewers around the world have taken breaks from work, stepped away from TV reruns, and cheered the pair made famous by the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam that is set up in a tree on property owned by Dick Pritchett Real Estate.

Facebook congratulations comments filled the page:

“Congratulations to Harriet & M!!!! E10 is so cute! We are watching from the Cotswolds, England, for the second year.”

“Love you, baby eaglet! Be safe.”

“So precious, you did good Harriet!”

“Congratulations Harriet, M15, Pritchett family, moderators and everyone involved in making all this beautiful history available on live streaming, this is our 5th season watching and I hope it’s gonna be the best for the Eagles and their Eaglets.”

Eaglet SWF FB
Eaglet E10 is born to eagle parents Harriet and M15 in Fort Myers. Southwest Florida Eagle Cam viewers on the Facebook page can’t get enough of this eagle family. Southwest Florida Eagle Cam Facebook

According to the eagle cam website, the first egg was laid at 3:24 p.m. Nov. 19. The second egg appeared at 5:36 p.m. three days later on Nov. 22.

Eagle eggs are typically incubated, by both the female and male partner, for about 35 days, according to the National Eagle Center.

Last nesting season, Harriet laid two eggs, but only one hatched. The drama unfolded under the world’s watchful gaze as Harriet and M15 took turns incubating the eggs.

And then, on New Year’s Eve, as revelers partied to the sound of fireworks and Billy Joel played his oldies at his now regular NYE gig at Sunrise’s BB&T Center, the sound of a crack from the nest caught people’s attention. Harriet and M15, unfazed, delivered an eaglet, named E9.

E9 grew and flew out of the nest in March and was last seen in the Fort Myers area in May. Young eagles are generally ready to fledge, or take their first flight out of the nest, at about 10-12 weeks of age.

Eagles have been nesting in the Fort Myers tree since 2006. The real estate firm began live streaming during the 2012-2013 nesting season when Harriet laid two eggs with her first mate, Ozzie.

Ozzie died in 2015 after a fight with another male eagle, Fox 13 reported. That year, Harriet bonded with M15, and they hatched two eaglets in the 2015-2016 season as three cameras captured the lives of the growing eagle family.

Follow @HowardCohen

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