Sunlight illuminates the youngest of the eaglets as the older eaglets sit in branches, hidden from view.
During the third week in June, the oldest of three new bald eagles should fledge—fly from the nest—nearly 12 weeks after the first egg hatched.
As summer settles in, leaf growth surrounds the 6 to 8 foot wide nest.
A bird’s-eye view into the nest’s activities has been provided by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Pix Controller Inc., whose video camera is installed high above the nest eagles built during winter.
The mated pair of eagles built their nest near the Monongahela River near the Hays Section of Pittsburgh before settling in and producing three eggs.
More than 2.6 million views of the nest have been recorded as onlookers watched the arrival of the eggs on Feb. 19, 22 and 25, followed by the appearance of the chicks March 28, 30 and April 2.
Onlookers have watched their amazing growth as their parents have protected them from winter and spring storms and an occasional marauding raccoon.
As the eaglets grew, they began preparing to fly by rimming the nest or sitting on the edges. They are currently displaying branching behavior—flying from nest to branch and back again, typical prior to the first flight.
Those new to watching the eaglets will observe parents are nearby, sometimes returning to the nest. The youngest of the eagles should be the last to leave.
Young eagles are dark in color, and will not reach maturity until they are between 4 and 5 years old when they develop the distinctive white head and tail feathers. Generally they will stay in the area near their home nest.
Eagles have a lifespan between 20 and 30 years, and mate for life. Adults range from 35 to 37 inches tall; their wingspans range between 72 and 90 inches. Females are slightly larger than males.
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.
Last year one young bald eagle fledged from a nest within the city limits of Pittsburgh. It was the first time that occurred in perhaps 200 years.
History will be made again, and the video camera feed will remain available until all the eaglets 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.
Federal mandates prohibit anyone from approaching within 660 feet of any bald eagle nest until young eagles fledge.
Find 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 www.pixcontroller.com/eagles/index.htm.
Facebook and YouTube links to the pages are also available on the sites.
A 20-minute documentary about bald eagle restoration in Pennsylvania with bald eagle facts, identification tips, nest viewing etiquette is also available.
A link to the video of the camera installation is also available online.
--Source Pennsylvania Game Commission