Eagle mania continues in Pittsburgh! No, we're not talking about a possible Eagles reunion concert but the hatching of a new bald eagle.
The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania has confirmed the hatching of the second egg in a bald eagles' nest in Hays, Pittsburgh. Last week, the residents of Pittsburgh warmly welcomed the hatching of the first eaglet at 2:30 p.m. (EST) last March 28. The second eaglet has successfully hatched with only one egg remaining in the nest.
"We have a 2nd eaglet! While hard to see next to its much larger sibling, the broken egg is visible in these images," said the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.
The hatching of the eaglet was reported by National Aviary ornithologist Bob Mulvihill. According to Mulvihill, the eaglet hatched at 7:17 a.m. (EST) on March 30. The images of the hatching were obtained from remote outdoor surveillance company Pixcontroller. The company has a webcam pointed at the nest for monitoring purposes. Ornithologists also believe that the third egg will be hatching within the next 48 to 72 hours.
Bald eagles were almost hunted to extinction in the early 20th century. However, aggressive conservation efforts have brought about a gradual recovery and the species was finally removed from the endangered and threatened wildlife list in 2007. Bald eagles used to be a common sight in Pittsburgh but industrialization in the area decimated the number of fishes in the Monongahela River. Bald eagles depend on these fishes for nourishment. After a 30-year rehabilitation project, the river has recovered enough and the eagles have started to build new nests in the surrounding area.
Pixcontroller also maintains a page that streams live video feed of the eagle's nest. For people in the vicinity of Pittsburgh who are interested in viewing the nest up close, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has provided the following guidelines.
- Don't go too near. The Game Commission recommends viewing at a distance of at least 1,000 feet from areas with bald eagle activity. The commission also recommends the use of telescopes or binoculars to get a close view without overtly disturbing the eagles.
- Keep the volume down. Communicate with fellow eagle watchers with whispers.
- Stay out of sight. Bald Eagles are generally wary of humans so stay behind a vehicle or a bush when observing the eagles.
- Observe in a relaxed manner. Eagles may get surprised by any sudden movements. When moving, do it in a slow and controlled manner.
- Keep track of restricted zones. Make sure to observe the eagles only in the allowed areas. Restricted areas may also be protected by law.