Harriet and M15 continue to strengthen their bond to each other and to their offspring. Their story began under less than ideal circumstances. M15 arrived in the territory as a young adult and diligently strived to win Harriet over which was not an easy task. He stayed by her side dedicating himself to her and Harriet gradually accepted him as her mate. It is believed that a solid bond is not forged until an Eagle pair raises young together. Harriet and M15’s bond successfully produced 2 offspring last season. Harriet and M15 remained together over the summer months and worked tirelessly building their new nest together when the previous nest collapsed. This may well have symbolized a new beginning of their life as a bonded Eagle pair. This season produced 2 eggs, one that is eaglet E9 and one that has not hatched and is not viable. M15’s eagerness to provide for and protect his family and sharing in the duties of caring for their young is endearing.
Harriet and M15 hunted for and delivered a variety of prey over the week. Fish is their meal of choice and many were brought, some still flopping. Harriet arrived with what looked like a pelt from a pig as there are feral pigs in the area. This provided several meals for all and since nothing goes to waste, Harriet was seen swallowing the large pelt whole. Items like armored catfish or large bones that are inedible are removed from or buried in the nest. Mom and Dad presented a united front in protecting E9 and defending their territory from visiting juvenile and sub adult Eagles and any intruders.
E9 is just over 3 weeks old, is growing at a fast pace, is over a foot tall and nearing 4 pounds. Appearance is changing quickly now that E9 is covered with thermal down to help regulate body temperature. Pin feathers are starting to sprout on the tips of growing wings that E9 practices flapping. E9’s legs strengthen as “hock” walking or walking on the tarsus (leg bone above the ankle) across the nest builds balance for upright walking. E9 picks at food and nest materials mimicking Mom and Dad and will begin tearing food in a few weeks. As E9 gains more independence, it may look as if E9 is alone in the nest but Mom or Dad is always nearby on another branch or within view. Harriet and M15 enjoyed some free time to perch together in the mornings with a beautiful sunrise backdrop. Their devotion to each other and E9 is evident as their bond continues to grow.
Nest Notes by dadsjazz
M15 and Harriet share an early morning tender moment. (wskrsnwings)
Ground Video by wskrsnwings
Video capture from SWFEC cameras by Lady Hawk