Is M15 looking for a new partner after Harriet’s disappearance?

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

It has been three weeks since the beloved eagle Harriet disappeared from her North Fort Myers nest. Since then, M15 has been busy taking care of E21 and E22.

There has been plenty of drama since Harriet was last seen. Three different lady visitors have been hanging out around the nest. One was bold enough to kick little E22 and tried to take his food.

Intruder kicking E22. (Credit: SWFL Eagle Cam)

M15, the dedicated father, quickly scared the other eagle away.

While the world watches, the question is, what comes next in this bird saga?

Ginnie Pritchett-McSpadden said these are wild animals, and their behavior is unpredictable.

On Thursday morning, an eagle flew into the nest with a fish, but it looked like this intruder was not there to share. A few moments later, M15 swooped to the rescue, and at first, their wings blocked the view from the camera at the nest.

Eventually, the wings clear, and M15 is seen fighting for that fish. Later the female eagle flies off, with M15 following suit.

Is M15 ready to move on? After three weeks without his beloved Harriet, the single dad deals with potential new mates and intruders flocking to his nest.

Pritchett-McSpadden founded the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam and spoke about the future of the famous eagles. “M15 has just stepped up and done an amazing job keeping the eagles safe and providing food and protecting his territory.”

Twenty volunteers operate the eagle’s nest camera 24 hours a day. Under their watchful eye, people locally and worldwide have been able to watch the unfolding story.

Those who check in on the nest in person are hopeful that M15 will be able to carry out his parenting duties first. As for any new female friends? They hope she pitches in around the nest too.

“I’m looking forward to a relationship. I’m hoping. In order for this relationship to move on. The females got to be bringing some food and feeding those babies,” said Steve Wickwire, a wildlife photographer.

Any new relationship is in its early stages with M15 in control.

“The male has to approve this. So hopefully, he will approve the female. They’ve been flying together, so hopefully, they’ll be OK. And he can she can help out,” said Heidi Helmus, a volunteer at the Animal Refuge Center.

There’s little chance Harriet will return, and M15 has proven that he is up to the task of raising his eaglets by himself.

While it’s uncommon that a female eagle will take care of another female’s eaglets, Pritchett-McSpadden said it does happen.

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