2 Harmar juvenile bald eagles test their wings around Route 28
The tree line and rock face along Route 28 in Harmar have become eagle central as two juvenile eagles fresh out of the nest above the busy highway flit about with their parents.
The birds officially graduated, flying for the first time on Saturday, according to the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania and a Fox Chapel photographer who spent the weekend following the birds.
Known as “HR8” and “HR9,” the two young birds are the eighth and ninth eaglets hatched by the Harmar pair since they began nesting on a bluff above Route 28 and the Allegheny River in 2014.
Gina G. Gilmore saw both birds out of the nest over the weekend and Monday. One of them was stationed just outside the nest, in a good position for feeding from parents, while the other juvenile ventured out further along the Allegheny River.
Gilmore documented the more adventurous eagle making a rough landing in some vegetation along the Allegheny and hanging upside down for about 15 minutes. The bird eventually right-sided itself.
The eagle family will continue to frequent the Harmar and Allegheny River area for at least the next month as the young birds hone their flight skills and learn to hunt. Their parents will continue to feed them.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .