Pittsburg eaglets still growing, changing
By early summer, three new bald eagles will take flight from the area where last year, a young bald eagle fledged from a nest within the city limits of Pittsburgh. It was the first time that occurred in perhaps 200 years.
This year, a pair of eagles nesting near Monongahela River in what is known as the Hays section of Pittsburgh, are carefully tending their three growing eaglets.
Onlookers have checked in more than a million and a half times to follow the bird’s-eye view of the nest, thanks to the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pix Controller Inc. which installed a video camera high above the nest two bald eagles built.
Now, six weeks past the day when the last egg hatched, the eaglets have grown. Their feathers have changed color, and they have been protected by their parents against sun and stormy weather.
Days ago, the eaglets began displaying a more mature raptor behavior called “mantling food”—spreading their wings and tails to defend their food, food provided by their parents.
As in nature, there are no guarantees this story will have a happy ending, but the live stream offers a rare, real-life look at an unfolding natural wonder.
The video camera feed will remain available until the eaglets fledge, generally 10 to 12 weeks after hatch.
Find the streaming footage on the homepage of the Game Commission’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Play icon to see real-time footage of the nest. Or visit http://www.pixcontroller.com/eagles/index.htm.
Facebook and YouTube links to the pages are also available on the sites.
Viewers can link to several YouTube videos on the page to watch as each eaglet hatched. The first egg, laid Feb. 19, hatched March 28. The second, laid Feb. 22, hatched March 30 and the third egg, laid Feb. 25, hatched April 2.
A 20-minute documentary about bald eagle restoration in Pennsylvania with bald eagle facts, identification tips, nest viewing etiquette is also available. The camera was installed to provide a way to view the nest without stressing the birds.
Federal mandates prohibit anyone from approaching within 660 feet of any bald eagle nest until young eagles fledge.
Only 30 years ago, Pennsylvania had a mere three bald eagle nests left in the entire state. Today, Pennsylvania boasts more than 270 known bald-eagle nests statewide.
A link to the video of the camera installation also available online.
--From the Pennsylvania Game Commission