TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

First Pittsburgh bald eagle egg hatches

Daily Photo Galleries

By Liz Hayes and Mary Ann Thomas
Friday, March 28, 2014, 5:09 p.m.
 

And baby makes three ... for now.

The first of three eggs laid by the bald eagles nesting in Pittsburgh began to hatch on Friday afternoon.

The eaglet was first seen about 2:30 p.m. when a parent bird moved aside briefly and provided an unobstructed view of the squirming, fuzzy little newborn, according to Bill Powers, president and CEO of PixController.

The Murrysville-based company joined with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to provide a live web camera on the nest in the city's Hays neighborhood. The camera can be viewed around-the-clock at triblive.com/news/projects/pittsburgheagle.

Eagle fans far and wide have anxiously awaited the emergence of the eaglet since Wednesday, the earliest day experts believed the first egg could hatch.

The first egg this nesting season was laid on Feb. 19. The second egg appeared on Feb. 22, and the third and final egg was laid on Feb. 25.

Bald eagle eggs are incubated continuously for an average of 35 days before they hatch.

The new eaglet, exhausted from hours of chipping its way from the egg, likely won't eat much in the first 24 hours, according to Jim Bonner, executive director of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.

But the parents will start feeding the chick as soon as it's ready, he said.

“The parents will stay on the eggs and chick both, incubating the remaining eggs and helping to warm the chick, which can't thermoregulate itself yet,” Bonner said.

Patricia Barber, an endangered birds biologist with the game commission, said adult eagles are not sitting on the eggs or the chick directly.

“Whoever is incubating does not really have its weight on the eggs,” she said. “The adult bird is still holding the vast majority of its weight on its legs.”

The hatch boosted viewership of the eagle camera to an all-time high of more than 13,000 individual watchers at one time Friday afternoon, according to Powers.

Although this is the first year with a camera focused on the nest, it's the second year this pair of bald eagles has made Hays its home. They raised one eaglet that fledged last summer.

Liz Hayes and Mary Ann Thomas are staff writers for Trib Total Media.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Rossi: Pirates can’t waste McCutchen’s prime
  2. East Huntingdon man dies following police chase
  3. Giants, Bumgarner shut out Pirates in wild-card game
  4. Steelers notebook: Mitchell aware of need to reduce penalties
  5. Pirates’ Martin calls crowd chant ‘petty special’
  6. Steelers pressing to create opportunities to get to quarterback
  7. Consol Energy cutting retiree health benefits, phasing out pension
  8. Highmark to increase premiums, limit access to health care in new plans
  9. Woman dies in fall at McConnells Mill State Park
  10. Search for pilot of ultralight aircraft to resume Thursday
  11. Penguins’ Sutter is determined to keep scoring pressure on
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.