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Famous Southwest Florida eaglet E15 fledges, makes it back to nest

Many times when birds are learning how to fly, first they fall. You may see them leave the nest, fall for a bit, maybe fly in short spurts and then make it back up the nest.

“I knew she was either going to fledge on purpose, or she was going to fall. You could just tell,” said Marti Lord, an eagle photographer.

E15 made it back up to the family nest on Tuesday morning, which is comforting for a family of eagles that have already experienced so much.

Lord has been watching Harriet’s eagles nest for more than five years. She’s kind of enthralled. “You watch them and you cry. It’s just amazing,” she said. “Especially during everything that’s going on in the world, it just gave us hope.”

Many have followed along with the rollercoaster that is Harriet’s nest.

Lord said, “I knew if any eagle could do it, Harriet would be the one to do it, and other eagles in the area have had second clutches before, it’s just a first for her, and to us, it was a miracle.”

A lot of people in the community have been worried about E15. Breanna Frankel, Rehabilitation Manager for the CROW Clinic, said,  “There’s been a lot of concern about it being on the ground and, you know, was it an accidental fledging, is it supposed to be happening at this time?”

E15 hatched from her second time laying eggs this year after one of her first eaglets died.

Birds usually fledge when they grow feathers that are big enough to help them leave the nest. “So the fact that this happened is actually completely normal, so whether it happened because a branch broke or not, it is the perfect time for these babies to be learning how to fly,” said Frankel.

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
Writer:Drew Hill
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