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Southwest Florida eagle M15 hit by aggressive owl as eaglets sleep peacefully in nest

The beloved eaglets, E21 and E22, are thriving in the nest as M15 continues to step up to the plate in place of missing eagle mother Harriet.

FORT MYERS, Fla. — As the community surrounding the Southwest Florida eagles sit on the edge of their seats with a new female nest visitor and constant random intruders, the eaglets continue to defy the odds.

And of course, E21 and E22 wouldn't be thriving without the help of their dad M15 who has stepped up to the plate after beloved mother eagle Harriet went missing at the beginning of February.

The people behind the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam explained the momma bird had been vocalizing at intruders in the area before she left.

In the weeks following her disappearance, papa bird has been feeding the young ones, fighting (quite literally) off intruders and possibly even sparking a new love interest.

For all the die-hard Harriet fans, there has been no other news on where Harriet is and if she plans to make a comeback.

A couple of notable things happened near the nest on Monday, Feb. 20. 

The female intruder with the injured talon, now being called R23-3, followed M15 to a nearby pond for a sip of water – possibly on a date?

They don't hang out for very long after a horse walked by and spooked the female bird off. M15 flew back to the nest where his babies were resting.

It wasn't until the evening when M15 is sitting in his usual spot guarding the nest that R23-3 flew back to the upper branches of the tree. She slowly made her way down to where the papa bird was sitting, and they roosted together overnight.

Later on in the night, an owl is seen on camera flying in from the east targeting M15 and completely knocking him into the nest. 

M15 lands in the nest as the owl flew off, and the papa bird kept watch and vocalized out for a few minutes before heading back up to where he was originally sitting as protection.

The eaglets and M15 were fine after the random attack.

For anyone wanting to watch highlights from the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam, you can find them by clicking here.

You can also check out the 24-hour live stream down below to keep an eye out for Harriet or the new female eagle and see how the eaglets are doing:

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