The Western Pennsylvania Audubon Society sent out a confirmation that the second out of the two eggs that were laid last month by a pair of bald eagles in Pittsburgh will no longer hatch.
The first of the two eggs was pushed out from the eagles' nest a couple of weeks ago on March 14.
"We are unfortunately at this time saying the egg looks to be lost" said the society's executive director Jim Bonner, adding that a screenshot from the wildlife camera that has been mounted near the eagles' nest revealed the second egg to be flattened and broken.
The loss of the second egg marked a disappointing end to the third breeding season of the pair of bald eagles. The first egg was laid by the 6.5-year-old female eagle on Feb. 17, with the second egg following on Feb. 20.
This is now the second year that the Game Commission of Pennsylvania has allowed a permit for the wildlife camera on the nest of the Pittsburgh bald eagles. The camera was donated by PixController and was managed this year by the local chapter of the Audobon society.
According to Bonner, if the pair of eggs was broken earlier, the eagles may have tried to mate one more time for another egg. Bald eagles are known to stay with their mate life, and while the birds have abandoned the nest, they will likely stay together within the area surrounding the nest.
The female bald eagle laid three eggs last year, with all three eggs hatching into eaglets and fledged by September. Bonner admitted that it was an anomaly for all three eggs last year to hatch, as it was not unusual for eagle eggs to die. However, it was surprising to see that both eggs this year did not make it, with the death of the second egg remaining unclear.
Eagle watchers logged on in their computers to watch the livestream of the wildlife camera on the nest of the bald eagles, hoping for an eaglet to emerge. Such was not the case; however, with Bonner suggesting that the loss of the second egg should be taken as a learning opportunity of the chances of survival in the wild.
There is some good news; however, as in another bald eagle nest located in Harmar, where there is no streaming video, still has at least one egg that the parent eagles are incubating.
The Harmar bald eagles were able to successfully raise one eaglet last year.
Photo: Pete Markham | Flickr