A live camera feed has captured two bald eagle eggs hatching in the Pittsburgh area. The first eagle egg hatched on Friday, and the second egg hatched on Sunday. A third eagle egg will likely hatch within the next 48 to 72 hours, according to experts at the National Aviary.
The bald eagle has been absent from Pittsburgh for about 250 years. Local newspaper, the Tribune Reviewhas a live webcam feed on the eagle nest at all times to catch the action. The Pittsburgh-PostGazette has the same live feed on the bald eagle nest and a special page on their website dedicated to eagle facts and information.
The bald eagle nest camera is one of three bird cameras that the National Aviary supports and promotes in the Pittsburgh area. The other two nests they help watch are inhabited by peregrine falcons.
The return of the bald eagle to Pittsburgh has been called a “watershed event for bird conservation and environmental remediation” by the National Aviary. Some factors that have contributed to not one single eagle nesting in the area in almost three hundred years include pollution, pesticides, lost habitat, and persecution.
In 2011, a bald eagle pair built a nest and raised young eagles on private land, but the more recent eagle nest is visible to the public and located in an area called Hays. The eagles already raised one young one bald eagle last year, and then built a new nest this past fall in a different tree.
In late 2013, a bald eagle nest camera was installed. It has since been a popular place for the eagle experts and enthusiasts, as well as the general public, to watch the lives of the bald eagle couple and their young unfold. Almost 1 million people have viewed the bald eagle camera feed so far.
The bald eagle is a bird of prey that is the national bird of the United States, and a symbol often associated more generally with the U.S. They are found throughout North America, but about half of the world’s 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska. Part of what allows them to flourish in that region is the abundance of salmon, as living or dead fish is a staple food for the bald eagle, which is a sea bird.
The presence of the eagles in Hays, Pittsburgh are seen as a sign that the environmental health of the area is improving. The Monogahela River, where the eagles are nesting, was once almost bereft of fish. Today, it holds 67 species of fish, which means plenty of bald eagle food.