Bird watchers say Harriet the eagle capable of protecting herself, egg from owl attacks

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Marti Lord is no stranger to eagle watching.

“That’s Harriet hollering— it sounds like it’s squeaking,” she said.

She’s been coming to view Harriet the eagle at her North Fort Myers nest for the last five years.

She was one of the few eagle-watchers, along with Norman Wei, that got up early Wednesday morning to catch a glimpse of Harriet after laying her first egg of the year.

Harriet laid that egg a little earlier this year than last. Bird watchers believe she’ll likely lay her second egg in the next few days.

“There wasn’t much activity when I first got here, but later on she started to fly and it’s always exciting to see the birds fly,” said Wei.

They aren’t eagle experts, but Lord says this year she’s noticed that owls have been more aggressive toward the eagles.

“I’ve seen them hit him a couple times through at night,” she said. “I’ve seen them with the mom in the nest protecting the eggs and I’ve seen the owl slam into their backs so they still will try.”

And it wasn’t too long ago that a great horned owl knocked Harriet off her branch while she was sleeping back in October. Lord says although the owls have been aggressive, she’s not worried.

“Harriet and them are pretty tolerant of other birds around until there’s a baby. Now it’s a different story. Now it’s on,” she said.

Bird Rescue volunteers we spoke with say it’s not uncommon for these owls to attack the eagles. Although there have been attacks, they don’t believe an egg will increase or decrease the chances of the birds fighting again.

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