CROW says SWFL Eagle Cam eaglets are in good shape

E17 and E18, the two eaglets removed from the SWFL Eagle Cam nest, are in good condition, according to a Facebook post from the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife.

CROW, on Sanibel, removed the week-old eaglets from their nest on Friday afternoon to examine them after noticing the eaglets’ eyes were crusty and only partially opened.

The two baby birds are well-fed and in good shape, CROW said.

The eaglets, E17 and E18, hatched on Jan. 23 to Southwest Florida’s notorious eagle couple, Harriet and M15. Harriet is a long-time Southwest Florida animal celebrity once partnered with another eagle named Ozzie. Ozzie died in 2015 after a fight with M15.

Veterinarians with CROW were unable to determine the cause of the crusty eyes, but both eaglets received antibiotics and anti-inflammatory eye drops.

“They were having issues eating because their eyes were kind of crusted shut,” said Missy Fox, a vet tech with CROW. “So I headed on up here to get the chicks.”

Their eyes will continue to be monitored as they receive more feeds, CROW said.

The removal of the two eaglets was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after experts noticed a change to the eaglets’ eyes that could have been Avian Pox or another type of infection, CROW reported.

Ryan Ishley, a manager at Joshua Tree, Inc., helped remove the eaglets with their bucket truck.

At the nest, a crowd of people gathered to watch the removal.

“We come out here often just to see the beautiful set of birds and it’s kind of sad because I want to introduce to her wildlife and what mother nature is all about and an American bald eagle,” said Alberto Knie, who brought his daughter to watch the experts remove the birds. “My goodness where else can you find a pair of Eagles nesting.”

Knie said he will be back to the nest with his daughter when the eaglets are returned.

“Unfortunately, Mother Nature plays its course and we are here to make it positive, take a look at these birds and let’s cheer them on,” Knie said.

Hopefully, re-nesting back to Harriet and M15 can occur in two weeks, according to the Facebook post.

CROW said they do not have a timeline for a return to their nest but hope to be able to return them as soon as possible.

Reporter:Andrea Guerrero
Writer:Melissa Montoya
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