The first of what could be three eaglets hatched Friday inside a Pittsburgh nest as the magical moment was captured by a camera and live streamed to viewers online. Then on Sunday, a second egg hatched, bringing the count at the nest to two adults, two eaglets and one egg.
That egg is due to hatch in the coming days.
Typically, bald-eagle eggs follow a 35-day incubation period, meaning the first of the eggs to hatch at the Pittsburgh nest came a little later than expected, while the second hatched a little early. The remaining egg was laid on Feb. 25, which would place it on schedule to hatch April 2.
Plans continue to live stream footage from the nest around the clock through the nesting attempt taking place along the Monongahela River in the Hays section of Pittsburgh. The live stream can be viewed on the home page of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website,http://pgc.state.pa.us Scroll down the page and click the “play” icon to view.
The live stream offers a rare, real-time look at nature in action. The live stream, a joint effort between the Game Commission and PixController Inc., launched in late December and has been open to 24-hour viewing for the past several weeks.
There have been some interesting moments along the way.
On Feb. 26, for instance, a raccoon paid a late-night visit to the nest, causing the nesting female to pop up to defend her eggs, flapping her wings and scaring the raccoon off.
Just more than a month later, the two hatchings share the rank of the most significant highlight to date.
While nest-watchers always are welcome online, those venturing afield for a firsthand look at nesting bald eagles are reminded to keep their distance.
While the bald eagle no longer is listed as an endangered or threatened species in Pennsylvania, it continues to be protected by federal law, which among other things establishes a buffer to ensure people stay at least 660 feet from a nest.
Some eagles are more tolerant than others when it comes to human activity. But any action that could flush an adult eagle from the nest is a threat to successful hatching of eggs and fledging of eaglets. Keeping your distance is one way to increase the chances of nest success.
Guidelines on how to more safely view bald eagle nests are available on the “Bald Eagle Watching in Pennsylvania” page under the “Wildlife” and “Watchable Wildlife” tabs at the Game Commission’s home page.
Media inquiries regarding the Hays bald eagles or the live stream of their nesting attempt can be directed to the Game Commission’s Southwest Region Office in Bolivar at 724-238-9523, or to the agency’s Harrisburg headquarters at 717-705-6541.
The bald-eagle nest live stream is the first of two live streams soon to be available to view at the Game Commission’s website.
A camera recently was installed at a Northampton County site where osprey have nested for several years. Game Commission officials believe an osprey nesting attempt, like that of the Hays eagles, holds the potential for many fascinating moments that, with any luck, would include the hatching and fledging of young.
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