Southwest Florida eagle father M15 attempts ‘bond’ with female visitor R23-3

by duceditor

Leaders behind the popular Southwest Florida Eagle Cam say this isn’t considered mating, but it’s a possible sign of acceptance or dominance

Southwest Florida eagle visitor R23-3 attacked by owl |

For all the Southwest Florida eagle fans out there worrying about papa bird M15 missing his mate, Harriet, who’s been missing – there might be some shocking information for you.

We’re not saying M15 replaced Harriet, but a female eagle who has been visiting the nest throughout the week seems to have made an impression on the hardworking dad.

The two were caught on cam attempting a “bond” Wednesday evening. Leaders behind the popular Southwest Florida Eagle Cam say this isn’t considered mating, but it’s a possible sign of acceptance or dominance.

Harriet & M15, American Bald Eagle Cam - Page 348 - Looduskalender

“Only time will tell for our Eagle family!” a Facebook post from the eagle cam said.

And the female eagle, now named R23-3, seems to be warming up to the eaglets who are still spending their days relaxing in the nest.

Where's Harriett? Mom eagle gone from nest for over 24 hours; Dad M15  defends, feeds eaglets | WUSF Public Media

With M15 slowly accepting R23-3, a video showed the first time she allowed E21 and E22 to grab and eat some food that she was munching on. Even though the papa bird originally brought the fish for the eaglets and R23-3 stole it – it’s still a step in the right direction.

While eagle father M15 provides for the babies alone after mother Harriet’s disappearance, the eaglets have reached many milestones – including mastering self-feeding and becoming aware of their surroundings.

Fraser Point Bald Eagle Nest Camera - Santa Cruz Island, CA |

Leaders with the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam explain E22 is more confident and assertive at mealtime while E21 is standing on the nest rails to look out. 

Both are starting to exercise stretching their wings in the breeze.

They’re also having more bonding time with M15 with him feeding them and standing guard near the nest for protection from intruders – which there has been a good handful of.

From fighting off random eagles landing in the nest, one even kicking E22, to an owl aggressively knocking the papa bird off a branch – M15 is definitely going through the thick of it.

For anyone wanting to watch highlights from the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam, you can find them here.

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