1. Southwest Florida Eagle Cam: Harriet's second eaglet hatches, family complete
The second of two bald eagle eggs hatched Wednesday evening at a famous eagle nest in North Fort Myers.
About 12,000 people were watching online Tuesday when an eaglet known as E10 broke through its egg shell. E11 followed Wednesday just before 4:30 p.m.
The tiny gray birds are still resting in the warmth of the nest.
"And I believe I saw a fish on the nest, so E10 got his first meal from M15 (the father). Over the next couple of days we'll see many more fish brought into the nest and both mom and dad will take turns feeding the little guys." said Virginia "Ginnie" Pritchet McSpadden, whose family owns the land where the eagles live and operates the stream camera system.
The lives of these eaglets and their parents, Harriet and M15, will be streamed online for the next several months as the eaglets, should they survive, grow from tiny little fluffs of eaglet to full grown but still unskilled juveniles.
Harriet and M15 are broadcast on the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam, which is in its sixth year.
2. East Naples quadplex fire displaces 12 people
A Christmas night fire at an East Naples complex with four rental units forced the evacuation of a dozen people to temporary housing, authorities said.
The blaze at 2115 Palm St. began in one unit of the quadplex, and smoke and water damage to two more units led to evacuations of three of the four units.
The American Red Cross arranged temporary housing in motels for two families and a single person who had to leave their residences, according to Nolan Sapp, assistant fire chief with the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District.
The fire department responded at 9:53 p.m., and the fire was contained in 20 minutes.
“Right now it is still under investigation, but we didn’t find anything suspicious,” Sapp said. “It was not related to Christmas.”
One of the displaced families includes four adults and two children; a second family is two adults and two children; and the third unit was occupied by a single renter, he said.
The resident of the fourth unit decided to evacuate voluntarily, he said.
Two of the units are uninhabitable, Sapp said.
The local Red Cross chapter could not be reached to comment. Property records show the complex is owned
by the Charles J. Sowers Trust, based in Naples. -- Liz Freeman/Staff
3. Exploring Australia topic of Dr. Gary Schmelz
A Marco Island Shell Club Seminar featuring Dr. Gary Schmelz is slated for Thursday, Jan. 4, at the United Church of Marco.
Dr. Schmelz will speak on “Exploring Northern and Western Australia.” He will highlight marine life, bird life, wildflowers and habitats of the region.
The church is located at 320 N. Barfield Ave. on Marco Island. The seminar starts at 6 p.m., followed by light snacks.
All are welcome to attend.