Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Product Reviews | Recipes | Home RSS

Get a 'Bird's-eye View' of Bald Eagle Nest

February 21, 2014

PITTSBURGH, PA - Last year, a young bald eagle fledged from a nest within the city limits of Pittsburgh for the first time in perhaps 200 years or more. And in the months that led up to that moment, hundreds looked on from a distance.

This year, a pair of eagles is nesting near the same site and countless more onlookers can follow along this time with a bird's-eye view, and from within the comfort of their own homes.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission, in cooperation with Pix Controller Inc., has installed a video camera high above a nest two bald eagles have built along the Monongahela River in what is known as the Hays section of Pittsburgh.

Article Photos

Photo courtesy of Pix Controller Inc. and the Pennsylvania Game Commission:
A pair of bald eagles has nested in the Hays section of Pittsburgh and on Wednesday, the nest received its first egg.

Live footage from the camera is being streamed on the Game Commission's website. The eagle pair's appearances at the nest have become more and more frequent since the live-streaming began in late December. And on February 19, something else appeared a freshly laid egg.

The hope, of course, is that a healthy eaglet will fledge the nest, and the camera will capture every second of it.

There are no guarantees the story will have a happy ending. But the live stream offers a rare, real-life look at an unfolding natural wonder.

Article Links

Streaming footage is available on the homepage of the Game Commission's website, Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Play" icon to see real-time footage of the nest.

In good weather conditions, the live stream will be available round-the-clock. In colder temperatures, the video equipment must be shut down for brief periods, so if you have trouble accessing the live stream, just check back later.

The nest featured on the live stream was built new in recent months after a branch gave way under the nest used in the same area last year.

Last year's nest didn't offer as up-close a view, though many people would congregate regularly along a nearby bicycle trail to view the nest through binoculars. Because there wasn't a good vantage point inside the nest, however, eagle-watchers could only judge from the mating pair's changed behavior that an eaglet had been hatched. It took weeks to confirm suspicions.

With the camera in place, however, online viewers were able to verify the exact moment an egg was laid.

Video of the egg being laid has been posted to YouTube, and can be found easily by searching "Hays eagles egg." Other highlights from the nesting attempt so far also have been posted to the site.

While viewers always are welcome online, those making trips to view bald-eagle nests in person are reminded to keep their distance.

Different pairs of eagles have different levels of tolerance for human activity near nests. Nests like the one in Hays, which are built in spots with a lot of surrounding bustle, often offer opportunities to view from a distance without invading the eagles' comfort zone.

But federal safeguards exist to protect nesting eagles, and persons encroaching a 660-foot perimeter around a nest are in violation of federal law.

Signs are posted around many known nest sites, but the rules apply regardless of whether signs are posted.

Approaching an eagle nest too closely could frighten off the adults and cause them to abandon the nest or prevent them from keeping eggs at the proper incubating temperature. Frightened eaglets might also jump from the safety of a nest, then have no way to return.

This year, there were more than 270 known bald-eagle nests statewide.

A 22-minute film celebrating the bald eagle's success is available at the Game Commission's website. From the homepage, click on the icon title "PA Eagles 30 Years of Restoration."



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web