Florida Bald Eagle Cam Back Online as Famous Birds Rebuild in Wake of Hurricane Ian

by Suzanne Halliburton
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

If you’d like to check out the pair of bald eagles who hang out in Southwest Florida, there’s a live cam for that. It’s officially back on line after Hurricane Ian did some massive damage to where these majestic birds hang out every day.

The Florida bald eagles go by the names of Harriett and M15. And back on Sept. 28, when Ian brought its strong winds and significant storm surge to the state, the live-cam went dead. The pine tree where the birds nested still was intact. But the birds had evacuated. The winds blew away the nest and scuttled the technology that allowed nature lovers to take in the daily antics of a famous pair of Florida bald eagles.

Two days after Ian made land fall, the eagles returned and started to rebuild. They’re like the sturdy humans who lived in Ian’s path. You find a safe place until the storm passes. Then you return and pick up your life the best way you know how.

“Resilience is prevalent in every species,” said a post on the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam Facebook page.

On Monday morning, the Florida bald eagle cam showed the pair’s big nest. But they were away from home, doing what bald eagles do. You can check out what their activities by clicking here for the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam. Only one of the three cameras are working right now. The other two still need to be fixed.

This is the 11th season for the Florida bald eagle cam. And the cameras for the 11th season had only gone live two days before Hurricane Ian made landfall near Fort Myers. But the eagle fans shouldn’t have worried much. These birds are hearty creatures. They’ve survived other hurricanes. Besides, Harriett and M15 have made a specific Florida pine tree their home since 2006.

Florida is the home to about 1,500 nesting pairs of bald eagles. They start working on their nests in the fall. The eggs come in November and December. A typical mother bird, which is 25 percent larger than their mates, lay between one and three eggs. The incubation period is 35 days.

The eagles usually congregate around inland lakes and rivers located in the Florida peninsula. They need forests for nesting and rooting. And they’d prefer fresh or salt water nearby so they can catch their food. They dine on fish — the eagles love catfish — but will also go for smaller birds or mammals.