Pittsburgh Hays Bald Eagle Updates: 4/1/2016
The Hays pair are currently incubating one egg with two hatched eaglets. Egg dates: Egg 1, 2/13 (early AM), Egg 2, 2/16 @ 1:45 PM, and Egg 3, 2/20 @ 2:02 PM. Egg 3 was not viable and did not hatch.
H5 Hatch date 3/21 @ 12:37 AM: click here for H5 video
H6 Hatch date 3/22 @ 9:40 PM :  click here for H6 video
 


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Pittsburgh Hays Bald Eagle Nest

A pair of Bald Eagles are now nesting within 5 miles of downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania along the Monongahela River near where the famed Carnegie Steel
Homestead site once existed. Industrialization beginning in the 19th century led to extensive unregulated pollution of the rivers, which decimated fish populations that eagles feed on. For example, during a survey on Monongahela River in 1967, one scientist could find only one bluegill. As efforts to clean the waterways took effect over the past 30 years, 76 species of fish have been found in the Monongahela. Experts say it has probably been more than 250 years since Bald Eagles last nested along Pittsburgh’s three rivers. As recently as the mid-1980s, there were just a few remaining nesting Bald Eagles pairs anywhere in Pennsylvania. This year marks 30 years since the reintroduction of Bald Eagles in Pennsylvania. With the help of the Canadian government, several agencies brought bald eagle chicks back to their states to reintroduce Bald Eagles. Today, Pennsylvania boasts more than 250 nests.

The Hays bald eagle pair first started nesting along the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh in 2013. A nest was observed by workers at the
Keystone Iron and Metal Company. The pair successfully hatched one eaglet but on June 6, 2013 a strong storm blew the nest down and the parents successfully fledged the eaglet on the ground. The follow year the Hays eagle pair build a new nest in the location it is today. A camera was installed on this new nest in December of 2013.






Nesting Information


The Hays bald eagle nest currently stands 60' high in a Hackberry tree and is about 6' in diameter

2013 Nesting Season
March 11 – Incubating behavior was observed indicating an egg had been laid in the nest.
April 14 – Behavior indicated that an egg had hatched.
May 13 – The eaglet is seen high in the nest stretching its wings. Only one eaglet was ever seen in the nest.
June 6, 7 & 8 – There was a strong storm with heavy winds on June 6. The eaglet left the nest sometime between June 6 and June 8 as observers on June 8 and June 9 did not see the eaglet in the nest.
June 9 – The eaglet is spotted about 20 to 30 feet below the nest on top of some vines. The eaglet is too young to fly but is old enough to survive as long has it is fed by its parents. The parents are seen feeding the eaglet in the vines around 5:30 PM on June 9. For the next two weeks the eaglet is seen in the vines under the nest from the new part of the trail.
June 29 – After not being seen for a week the eaglet is seen and makes its first observed short flight.
July 2 – Adults are observed landing with food far from the eaglet forcing the eaglet to make long flights to obtain food from its parents. The adult eagles will be teaching the eaglet to find food on its own for about a month or two after the eaglet began flying.
July 7 – Eaglet is seen on the roost for the first time.
July 10 – All three eagles are seen on the roost.
Aug 4 - Last time the eaglet (H1) was seen.

2014 Nesting Season (new nest - camera installed)
First egg laid on February 19, 2014 at 4:45 PM - Hatch date: March 28, 2014 at 3:36 PM - H2 fledge date: June 21 at 8:45 PM
Second egg laid on February 22, 2014 at 4:18 PM - Hatch date: March 30, 2014 at 7:17 AM - H3 fledge date: June 20
Third egg laid on February 25, 2014 at 6:39 PM - Hatch date: April 2, 2014 at 4:54 PM - H4 fledge date: June 27 at 10:14 AM

2015 Nesting Season
The 2015 nesting season was unsuccessful. We assume this was due to the unusually cold weather conditions in Pittsburgh.
First Egg laid February 17, 2015 at 7:37 PM, on March 13 the first egg was broken
Second Egg laid February 20, 2015 at 4:40 PM, on March 27 the second egg was broken

 
Eaglet Egg Date Hatch Date Fledge Date
H1 ~3/11/2013 ~4/14/2013 ~6/29/2013
H2 2/19/2014 @ 4:45 PM 3/28/2014 @ 3:36 PM 6/21/2014 @ 8:45 PM
H3 2/22/2014 @ 4:18 PM 3/30/2014 @ 7:17 AM 6/20/2014
H4 2/25/2014 @ 6:39 PM 4/2/2014   @ 4:54 PM 6/27/2014 @ 10:14 AM




Hays Eagles in the National News

 
ABC World News – Sunday, March 31

 
NBC Nightly News – Tuesday, April 1


CBS National News 2-28-2014


Fox News 3-31-2014


2013-2014 Hatch Dates and Nest Activity Video Clips

 
First eaglet hatch 3-28-2014
 


Red-tail hawk takes swipes at nest

 
Immature bald eagle flies by nest

 
Raccoon attacks nest 2-26-2014

First egg laid on 2-19-2014

Second egg laid on 2-22-2014

 
Third egg laid on 2-25-2014

 
Camera installation on 12-20-2013


About the Webcam Project

 
The camera system is a unique system which was custom designed and manufactured by PixController, Inc. The camera video feed is streamed over a cellular network. Because the system is installed in a remote location the system is powered by a battery bank, which was supplied by Interstate Batteries, and is solar charged.

The camera is a Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera with built-in IR illuminators for night time illumination. The camera is mounted in a tree about 30 yards from the nest site with a view down into the nest. We can remotely move and zoom the camera and follow the eagles. During the day the video will be broadcast in color and during the night the video will switch over to black & white. We remotely monitor the battery power and site security via M2M (machine to machine) devices designed by PixController, Inc. to keep the video feed streaming and secure without the need for human presence.

 


Click on the Eagle Cam Graphic above which was designed by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
 


The camera is installed in 70' high an Ash tree about 100' up hill from the nest

 


The camera is a pan-tilt-zoom camera which can be remotely controlled
 

At the bottom of the tree are the streaming
electronics which stream and monitor the system over a cellular connection

At the top of the hill are (6) 100 AH batteries to store power to keep the camera running


360 Watts of solar panels keep the batteries charged


A custom mobile App was developed to remotely monitor the battery, temperature, and cellular signal


A mobile App is used to remotely move the camera


A mobile App is used to power on/off and reboot the camera system

Quick Bald Eagle Facts
 
  • How can I tell the male from the female bald eagle? The female is slightly larger than the male. In the case of the Hays bald eagles the male has a noticeable white spot on the right side.
  • Adult birds range from 35" to 37" tall with a wingspan of 72" to 90" and weigh between 10 to 14 lbs.
  • Their diet consists of mainly fish but will take advantage of carrion they can find.
  • The female lays 1-3 eggs 5-10 days after mating. For bald eagles in our area we should expect eggs between February & March. The eggs are incubated for about 35 days.
  • The nest is between 6' - 8' in diameter and can weigh up to 1 ton.
  • Bald eagles typically mate for life and have a 20-30 year lifespan.
  • Bald eagles do not reach maturity until they are 4-5 year old at which time they develop the white head and tail feathers.
  • For more bird facts visit the Western PA Audubon Society

This live video feed has been granted a Special Permit by the Pennsylvania Game Commission for educational purposes. The Game Commission's mission is: To manage wild birds, wild mammals and their habitats for current and futures generations.

   
  PixController Wildlife Webcams

 

 


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