Animals

What to Watch For at the Hays Eagle Nest

Now that eaglets have hatched, things really get exciting.


"It's nature in its raw form. We don't know what's going to happen next, but whatever it is it's usually interesting."

That's how Jim Bonner, Executive Director of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, described the live webcam of the bald eagle nest in Hays, after a second chick hatched yesterday. The first eaglet hatched on Saturday .

Now that two eaglets have hatched, Bonner said this is when things really get exciting .

Adult female tends to both eaglets Tuesday morning.

"Very quickly, you'll start to see how fast they grow," Bonner said. "They are biological wonders. They eat nearly their body weight every day."

That's one of the biggest challenges the eaglets face now--getting enough food. Bonner says typically at this stage, the male adult will go hunt for food and bring it back to the nest, where the female will then feed it to the chicks.

"It is amazing how attentive the parents are. Even with that enormous beak, she can be so gentle feeding her chicks," Bonner said.

Adult female covers both chicks for protection and warmth.

While the birds will grow quickly, you won't see them take on the distinctive bald eagle feathering patterns. Bonner says their feathers will darken in the next few weeks, but bald eagles don't develop the white feathers at their head until around the age of five. The Audubon Society estimates the adult eagles at the nest are approximately nine or 10 years old.

This is the first year since 2016 that two eaglets have hatched at the Hays nest. There is still one egg remaining in the nest, and Bonner says there is a chance it could hatch this week. Last year, just one egg of three laid hatched. The chick fledged on June 11.

You can click here to watch a live stream of the webcam. The Hays webcam is a collaborative project between CSE and Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, with support from Arborel Tree Service.

Photos courtesy Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania and the Hays Eagle Nest Webcam.

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