On March 20, 2017, while the world welcomed the first day of spring, the Hanover eagles welcomed their first eaglet of the season, H3. Located in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the Hanover eagles consist of mom Liberty and dad Freedom. The eagle’s nest is located in Codorus State Park and the eagle pair is local and national celebrities. Though the nest cam is only in its third season, it’s estimated the bonded eagle pair has mated in the same nesting tree for at least 13 years. Season two brought sadness for eagle watchers, but so far this season seems to be off to a good start. H3 appears healthy and strong and Liberty and Freedom worked together to shelter their two eggs from harsh, cold weather and heavy snowfall. Bird watchers are currently on hatch watch waiting for the second egg to pip and hatch. You may watch popular videos from the Hanover eagle cam below.
Two eggs were laid in February. Liberty laid H3 on Feb. 10, 2017, at 5:46 p.m. ET. The egg H4 followed on Feb. 12, 2017, at 5:13 p.m. ET. H3 hatched on March 20, 2017, at approximately 6:30 a.m. ET. You may watch videos of the eggs as Liberty laid them in the videos below.
There had been much tragedy at the Hanover eagle’s nest in the 2016 season. Two eggs were laid and the nest deteriorated. One egg never hatched and the eaglet who had hatched died. The eagles ultimately dismantled the nest, and many who watched the sadness unfold through the live cam were broken hearted. This season Liberty and Freedom have built a brand new nest and it appears strong and solid. There is great expectation that this will be a much better breeding season than last. You may watch several videos of Liberty and Freedom with their eggs in the nest before H3 hatched below. You may also see a time lapse showing the deterioration of the faulty 2016 nest.
You may watch a video of Liberty and Freedom as they built a new nest for the 2017 breeding season below. Also funny to watch is a fight between Liberty and Freedom. She was not in a sharing mood, most likely because she was prepping for laying eggs.
Liberty and Freedom protected their eggs from falling snow and battled bitter temperatures in order to keep their eggs warm, safe and healthy. In the photo below, you can see the eagles sheltering their eggs as hail pelted the nest and the birds.
Yes that is hail in the Hanover eagles' nest pic.twitter.com/QmwpOoG09y
— Dustin Levy (@DustinBLevy) February 25, 2017
The Hanover eagles also protected their fragile eggs from Storm Stella. You may watch videos of Liberty covered in snow while protecting her eaglets below.
— PennLive.com (@PennLive) March 14, 2017
By mid-March, there were clear signs the eggs would soon hatch. The expected hatch watch date for the first egg started on March 17, 2017. The chick begins pipping or breaking away the shell from inside the egg, and often you can hear little peeps from within the shell. When the chick breaks a little hole in the shell with his or her egg tooth, it is referred to as a pip. The chick continues working on the pip until free of the shell and completely hatched. It takes between 24 and 48 hours from first pip to hatch. The first pip for H3’s egg was detected on March 18, 2017. On March 19, 2017, just one day before H3 would hatch, audible peeping was heard from within the egg. You may watch and listen to a video below. You may also see a video with a clear look at the pip below.
— Comcast Central PA (@ComcastCentrlPA) March 20, 2017
Watch a video of H3 hatching as it was captured live on March 20, 2017, below.
Here is a video of H3’s first feeding.
There are four online cams where you may watch the Hanover eagles on live cam. Two are from HD On Tap and the other two are from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. You may access the live Hanover eagle cams in the following links, HD On Tap Hanover Eagles Cam 1, HD On Tap Hanover Eagles Cam 2, Pennsylvania Game Commission Hanover Eagles Cam 1 and Pennsylvania Game Commission Hanover Eagles Cam 2. The Hanover eagle cam is a joint effort by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Comcast Business and HD On Tap. Are you enjoying the Hanover eagles? Did you watch H3 hatch live? Are you keeping hatch watch for H4?
[Featured Image by Pennsylvania Game Commission, HDOnTap, and Comcast Business]