Time for an update on Ozzie and Harriet, the bald eagles nesting in North Ft. Myers. I visited the nest last Saturday and was pleased to see Honor (the first born) sitting up and looking inquisitive while papa Ozzie stood guard. Honor is just 1.5 months old and is nearly the size of his/her parents. Remarkable. I was told by other photogs on scene that Harriet had been away from the nest for hours and she was expected back any time. After well over an hour, Ozzie grew weary of waiting...
...and noiselessly took off for a nearby pond. The pursuit was on! Quiety, I walked as quickly as my feet would carry me, and another photog stealthily joined me. Ozzie was sitting at the edge of the pond resting, preparing to enjoy a drink or perhaps take a bath. But, we'll never know because after I snapped just a couple of photos, another photographer ran up making so much racket she could have been mistaken for a herd of elephants...and Ozzie flew away. (Nature Photography Etiquette 101: Do not scare the wildlife.)
He went to one of his favorite perches: A tree 35-40 yards away from the nest. There, he basked in the late afternoon sun, no doubt wondering when his other half would return.
When Harriet arrived, it was at sunset and without fanfare. She quietly flapped her way into the nest with most of us noticing just as she landed. So, the pack of photogs packed up their gear and left. But, I had a feeling I would miss something if I left, and I always go with my gut. So, I stayed for another 10-15 minutes...the only photographer set up. And, that's when I saw Harriet move something large and dark. She had delivered something to the nest! A shirt? (Well, it could be a shirt, I thought, since a plastic bag was in the nest recently.) No...it was a mystery dinner! Turns out those watching the live webcam lit up Facebook trying to identify the mystery meat. It's difficult to discern through this photo, but I'm fairly certain it was a river otter. Those eagles sure do have a diverse if not disgusting menu.