Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

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Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Sat Jan 18, 2020 5:33 pm

I'm setting up this new topic to cover one of the nests that I am monitoring in Cape Coral. I began observing this nest back in September, 2019. In the middle of October I finally was able to catch the adults at their nest and as they flew around a little bit. There is no camera at this nest so trying to capture some of the eagles using just an iPhone at this point. This is the first year I am observing this nest. I was told that this eagle pair nested here last season (2018 - 2019), but that prior years they had their nest on a cell tower, less than a mile away, as the eagle flies.

This nest is located on a football field of one of the local schools. The nest is actually on top of one set of lights used during night games. I think the eagles know about what time of year these lights are no longer in service because they seemed to have come and gone and only built the nest up a little bit during the football season. One of the people at the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife had requested that once the football season was over that the lights be turned off....which I'm assuming has happened (I haven't been there at night so have not yet confirmed this has been done but only assume it was).

I have been visiting the nest weekly since September....with some exceptions when I was away. I will post pictures as I get clear ones of the nest and eagles....hoping to get a camera that may get better pictures.

It's so nice to be able to see the eagles that are around our city....knowing that we should not get within 330 feet of the eagle nest, and during breeding season, 660 feet.


Eggs Laid (Dates are estimates): 12/8/2019 (egg #1).....unsure if there is a 2nd egg

Hatch Date (Dates are estimates): 1/12/2020 (chick #1) ......unsure if there is a 2nd chick

Fledge Date (Dates are estimates):

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:08 pm

10/16/2019 - Some pictures captured the day I saw the eagles for the first time.....before this I knew they were there because I could see some new sticks had been added to the nest, but I had not seen them flying around or perched around the area until 10/16.

The top two pictures show the one adult on top of the light where the nest is (the nest is in the top middle of this light). These pictures were taken at the end of a dead end road which is at one end of the football field....so near the end zone of this football field. The light is located about at the 50 yard line of the field. You can see in the bottom left picture that it is gated where I am observing from.

While I was there the adult on the nest light fixture flew off and over to another light fixture down at the other end of the field where the 2nd adult was already perched on the right side (bottom left picture). You can see the adult flying up toward that other light fixture...they ended up landing on the left side of that light (4th picture)
Calusa Middle School nest 10-16-2019c.jpg

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:16 pm

11/10/2019 - this day I was able to view the nest from a different area....this is actually in the parking lot of the school. During the school day it is difficult to access from this side with all the parked cars and the school kids being out and about. Going on a weekend day allowed me to get to this view which gives a better view of the nest itself. I was lucky to catch both adults there again this day....one was on the light where the nest is and the other was across the field on another light....so this is the 50 yard line area of the football field and I am in the lot behind a snack stand.

In these pictures the lines hanging down from the light are wires for the light. You can just barely make out some of the nesting material on top of the lights, in the middle.....in the 3rd picture.
Calusa Middle School nest 11-10-2019.jpg
Calusa Middle School nest 11-10-2019b.jpg
Calusa Middle School nest 11-10-2019a.jpg

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:34 pm

From 11/10/2019 - 12/8/2019 when I did visit the nest I found there were no eagles in the area but in checking the nest I could see many sticks had been added to the nest. So the eagles were around but I was just not lucky enough to see them.

12/15/2018 - When I first got to the nest I did not see any eagles at the nest or around the area....but after staring at the nest for a little bit I realized that there was indeed an eagle on the nest laying down. Guess the nest is deeper than I thought it would be on this light fixture. In any case, the eagle was laying down so I was thinking...hmmmm.....I wonder if they could possibly have been there the prior week too and maybe I just missed them because I couldn't see them. Well, we will never know, but now they were laying down on the nest and so I stayed for a little bit to see if they were just testing it out but they stayed there.....so now guessing there was at least one egg there on 12/15.

Note: I'm not sure when the football season ended....was trying to find that out....will keep looking and add the info here if/when I find it. Assuming the eagles would wait to lay eggs until the lights on the field were turned off so it would not disturb them at night when they are incubating their eggs.

12/29/2019 - I was away for a couple weeks and this was the first chance I was able to get back to the nest. I observed one adult on the nest and they appeared to be incubating. I did not see the other adult around the area.

1/9/2020 - basically the same report as the previous week's.....one adult laying down on the nest incubating....no other adult seen.

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:50 pm

1/18/2020 - So I was finally able to get back to the nest today....had some company in town....non-eagle loving friends....how can that be? Things will definitely change now.....

EAGLET ALERT!!! :woohoo: :hatch:
So....got to the nest and again....one adult was on the nest but this time they appeared to be sitting up, rather than laying down and incubating.....and I stared and stared and stared......for quite some time....the adult did not move much....but was looking around...I got there around 4:30 pm so hoping to maybe see the 2nd adult as it flew in with a late night snack....hoping and hoping....but it didn't happen....but I just kept staring at that adult, and the nest, and was looking for movement because why would they stay up off the eggs.....I know....they do let the eggs air out/cool down a little but was so hoping to see some movement....and then finally after about 20 minutes of staring at the nest it happened....a little puff of something white popped up for just a split second and thank goodness I didn't scream and scare them! Okay so I thought I was seeing things because it was so quick, but then a couple minutes later that same little puff of fluffy white popped up again and stayed up for at least a few more seconds than the first time and I saw it......my first ever in person sighting of an eagle baby!!! Now my husband was with me and I had asked him after the first sighting to record and zoom in.....now waiting to see if he got it and if it was clear enough to grab a picture from.......he's currently out of the building so will have to check later and will edit this post to include anything worth sharing.

So thinking this little baby may be a week old....just guessing though. I am basing this guess on how high that little white fluff got so I could see it....it wasn't very high but was thinking a little one only a couple to a few days old may not have been able to get their head up that high....but I could be wrong. Will keep watching to see how this baby grows and if we see another little bobble head pop up.

Edit (1/19): Here is a short video where we can see the little chick at the very end as they pop their head up in front of the adult.

:vid: 1st sighting of chick


And a couple s'caps....can see the little white fluff sitting up in front of the adult
2020-01-19 11_41_19-Greenshot (2).jpg
2020-01-19 11_43_08-Window (3).jpg
2020-01-19 11_43_08-Window (3).jpg (15.14 KiB) Viewed 143 times

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by JudyB » Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:44 am

Thank you so much for setting up this thread, Sue - and how exciting to know that they have an eaglet! I must admit that I'm amazed that they are comfortable in such a busy area - but as you say, they probably know that football season is over. It really is amazing how eagles (and other wildlife) are able to adapt!

I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures of the tiny one - they grow fast, so I'm sure he or she will be peeking over the edge soon! :love:

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:58 am

I added a video and a couple pictures to my previous post from yesterday that shows the little eaglet on the nest.

1/19/2020 - today I went back to see if we could get another view of the eaglet and today both adults were in the area....one was on the nest and the other was on a light over to the right. I thought I saw a 2nd head in the nest but it was so quick I can't be positive.

Here is a picture of one of the eaglets and this one looks really tall so now have to wonder exactly how old this chick is. The eaglet is on the left, the adult is on the right...obviously....
2020-01-19 14_48_16-Greenshot (2).jpg
Here is the one picture where I was thinking I saw a 2nd little head....the adult is over to the right but has their head down so you cannot see them in this shot.
2020-01-19 14_35_52-Greenshot (3)_LI_Moment.jpg
2020-01-19 14_35_52-Greenshot (3)_LI_Moment.jpg (39.02 KiB) Viewed 136 times
And here is the other adult over on another light to the right....they are behind the right light and the arrow points to their head....their tail is sticking out on the right side of that light
2nd adult.jpg

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by Sandy_W » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:03 pm

Sue, this is exciting and you get to watch from the ground a proud eagle family! :rh: My goodness, what an unusual place this pair chose for their nest. Smiles
“Eagles: When they walk, they stumble. They are not what one would call graceful. They were not designed to walk. They fly. And when they fly, oh, how they fly, so free, so graceful. They see from the sky what we never see.” – Unknown

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:19 am

Thanks Judy and Sandy for stopping by! I am just so excited to see this family so close by and can't wait to watch the eaglet grow. Hoping they have a sibling to keep them company. I was making weekly trips to the nest but now knowing there is at least one chick I am anxious to get back there every day, but will give them a break from me watching over them. Although I'm not near to the nest they still see me there and keep an eye on me and I would hate to bother them so much.

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:25 pm

1/25/2020 - at around 4:30 pm I went over to the school nest and it seemed that no one was on the nest...well, at least no adult. I saw an adult on a light post directly across the field from the light where the nest is but they were just keeping an eye on things. Stuck around for about 15 minutes or so and was actually just pulling away when all of a sudden Mama (I assume), came flying in with something to eat for her chicks!!!....had to quickly get back around to see who popped up on the nest. The sun is actually setting behind the light post so it makes it difficult to see clearly, but I thought I could see two white puffs stick up as Ma got to the nest. Once she was there and starting to feed I was able to pull out some pictures from the video and there were two little ones over to the right of Ma (ma is marked in yellow arrow, chicks are in red arrow). So, at one point I really thought I saw a third head....and in these pictures it just seems odd that the two heads I could see were so far away as it looked like Ma was feeding....but who was she feeding? Has to be a 3rd chick up there......just a guess at this point because I don't have proof.
2020-01-25 17_49_07-Greenshot_LI_Moment.jpg
2020-01-25 17_49_33-Window.jpg
2020-01-25 17_49_33-Window.jpg (10.89 KiB) Viewed 96 times
Here's a picture of Ma feeding one of her chicks. Can actually see a little one taking food from her.
2020-01-25 17_57_02-Greenshot.jpg
Hoping to catch some better pictures next time I visit the nest. We know that the chicks grow pretty quickly so we should be able to see more of their bodies popping higher above the nest soon.

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by JudyB » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:58 pm

Wow! Not easy to see them, especially the way the light was - but definitely wonderful to watch! And knowing how fast they grow, I'm sure you'll have a complete fluffy head count soon! :love:

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by IrishEyes » Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:24 pm

WOW! Sue this is so exciting :) I have seen Osprey build on stadium lights but not eagles .. thank you for all the pictures .. I am wondering where they hunt for food or did I miss that ?
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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:27 am

IrishEyes wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:24 pm
WOW! Sue this is so exciting :) I have seen Osprey build on stadium lights but not eagles .. thank you for all the pictures .. I am wondering where they hunt for food or did I miss that ?
Hi Bev! Thanks for stopping by and for your question. Here's a map of the Cape Coral - Ft Myers Area. The Red asterisk is where this Caloosa nest is. The Caloosahatchee River is to the right and maybe less than 1/4 mile from the nest. There are also fresh water canals and lakes close by so they have plenty of area to get fish. I'm not sure what Ma brought in to feed her chicks as we were trying to turn around as she came in and all I saw was something hanging from her talons.

I have also put a Green asterisk on the SWFL nest so you can see where they are in relation to one another. They are about 8 miles apart by car....maybe 6 miles as the eagle flies.

And a 3rd asterisk in Blue is another nest that I am monitoring, that I am calling the Old Golf Course nest. I am waiting on that one to develop a little further before adding another topic, but thought they had some eggs the last few times we stopped by, but yesterday the adult flew off the nest and 10 minutes went by and I didn't see anyone return so not sure what is happening there. That one is on top of what I like to call a Power Tower, like a cell tower. Seems a little shelf was added halfway down and these eagles use that to build their nest.
2020-01-26 09_17_58-Greenshot.jpg

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by IrishEyes » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:30 pm

SueB wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 6:27 am
IrishEyes wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 7:24 pm
WOW! Sue this is so exciting :) I have seen Osprey build on stadium lights but not eagles .. thank you for all the pictures .. I am wondering where they hunt for food or did I miss that ?
Hi Bev! Thanks for stopping by and for your question. Here's a map of the Cape Coral - Ft Myers Area. The Red asterisk is where this Caloosa nest is. The Caloosahatchee River is to the right and maybe less than 1/4 mile from the nest. There are also fresh water canals and lakes close by so they have plenty of area to get fish. I'm not sure what Ma brought in to feed her chicks as we were trying to turn around as she came in and all I saw was something hanging from her talons.

I have also put a Red asterisk on the SWFL nest so you can see where they are in relation to one another. They are about 8 miles apart by car....maybe 6 miles as the eagle flies.

And a 3rd asterisk in Blue is another nest that I am monitoring, that I am calling the Old Golf Course nest. I am waiting on that one to develop a little further before adding another topic, but thought they had some eggs the last few times we stopped by, but yesterday the adult flew off the nest and 10 minutes went by and I didn't see anyone return so not sure what is happening there. That one is on top of what I like to call a Power Tower, like a cell tower. Seems a little shelf was added halfway down and these eagles use that to build their nest.

2020-01-26 09_17_58-Greenshot.jpg
Thank you so much Sue for the detailed explanation and the map.. it will be interesting to see what happens on the Old Golf Course nest !
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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:19 pm

2/4/2020 - So excited to be able to post this.....I had gone to the nest on Sunday (2/2) but there was some sort of sporting thing going on and there was an adult on the nest but the eaglets were not coming out of hiding, I guess because of the noise below the nest. So went back to the nest just about an hour ago and no adults this time, but one of the eaglets was sitting up nice and tall....my goodness, they are huge, as you will hear in the video, lol....there are two eaglets at this nest and I assume the one that was up when we first got there is the oldest. We (my husband and I) saw a 2nd eaglet but they didn't stand up more than a couple times for us to see them. The older eaglet was just beginning to try some wingers but losing its balance and falling over. So funny to watch them. Anyway, here is a video from our visit....sorry for part of it going out of focus....I did not edit out any bit of this.

:vid: 2-4-2020 - Two Eaglets seen

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:34 pm

2/4/2020 - some pictures from today's visit....taken from the video

The first eaglet was up when we arrived...standing tall...now I am not sure how old these eaglets are but just guessing at least 4 weeks, possibly 5 weeks old....maybe...will need to check into the stages of the eaglet again as this one appeared to just be starting to try to do some wingers but losing their balance....and they are brown in color now. Without the adult in the nest it was hard to compare their sizes....but thinking I read somewhere that at 6 weeks old the eaglets are close in size to the adults, but this one that was standing tall did not appear that size yet, from what I can picture in my head when I saw the adult there last time. Anyway, thinking younger than 6 weeks.
2020-02-04 18_20_47-Greenshot.jpg
2020-02-04 18_20_48-Greenshot.jpg
Trying to do a winger here
2020-02-04 18_20_49-Greenshot.jpg

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:43 pm

And here is their sibling on the left side...not standing up as tall but maybe they are lower down in the nest
2020-02-04 18_20_56-Greenshot.jpg
The younger one, on the left, appeared to be doing what I like to call the downward dog stretch
2020-02-04 18_20_57-Greenshot.jpg
More wingers by the older eaglet
2020-02-04 18_22_30-Greenshot.jpg

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by Sandy_W » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:55 am

Oh Sue, these little ones are so cute. It has to be amazing to watch them now as they are really stretching their wings.
“Eagles: When they walk, they stumble. They are not what one would call graceful. They were not designed to walk. They fly. And when they fly, oh, how they fly, so free, so graceful. They see from the sky what we never see.” – Unknown

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:25 am

2/16/2020 - some pictures of the nest from yesterday.....was lucky enough to see an adult on the nest feeding both eaglets, while the other adult was soaring above with a couple hawks. These are not the greatest but I am determined to have a camera by next week's visit so I can get some better ones.

Mom (assuming it's her) and her two eaglets
2020-02-17 09_02_08-Window.jpg
The adult then flew over to the next light post to the left and afterwards one of the eagles was stretching their wings....no wingercizing this time. There was no wind so between that and the fact that they just ate, maybe it just wasn't the right time for that.
2020-02-17 09_00_44-Window.jpg
Getting really big!
2020-02-17 09_02_22-Window.jpg

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Re: Caloosa School Nest - LE103 - Cape Coral FL 2019 - 2020

Post by SueB » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:30 am

Both eaglets on the nest looking over toward where the adult is on the left
2020-02-17 09_03_14-Window.jpg
2020-02-17 09_03_31-Window.jpg

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