Eagle sighting and the fate of two nests

Posted on: May 6, 2016 | Bob Frye | Comments

Blog--EaglesA screen shot of an eagle sitting on the Hays nest from February.

It was a lunchtime to remember for Randy Davis.

The Westmoreland County man was walking around St. Clair Park recently when he noticed two immature eagles.

“They were young, but with a 6- to 7-foot wingspans. There were no markings to tell if they were Golden or American, but with the orangeish beaks,” Davis said.

“They were swooping the trees between upper St. Clair Park and across the railroad tracks to the trees lining the upper tracks on Tunnel Street. They both circled me twice; immature eagles seem to be a bit curious, and not afraid of humans.”

Eagles have been spotted nearby in past years. Last summer, a woman reported seeing a bald eagle along Loyalhanna Creek between Latrobe and Ligonier.

But they’re still a thrill to see.

“It surely made my day,” Davis said.

Meanwhile, four of five eaglets in two nests being monitored by the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania have hatched.

Two mature eagles occupy one nest known as the “Hays nest.” It’s located in the Hays area of Pittsburgh alongside the Monongahela River.

Those eagles produced three eggs. Two hatched in late March; the third never did.

“While we will never know for certain why this egg did not hatch, it’s possible that it was not fertile from the start. An infertile egg cannot develop into an eaglet and the egg would thus be deemed non-viable. It’s also possible that something went wrong developmentally within the egg after it was laid,” Audubon officials said.

The second nest, known as the “Harmar nest,” is located on a hill above Route 28 in Harmar that the Society bought specifically to protect the nest site. It’s a little more difficult to monitor given the terrain and size of the tree housing the nest.

But two eaglets hatched in it in mid-April.

Soon, all of the eaglets in both nests are expected to be large enough to become more visible.

Anyone interested in their fates can keep tabs on them via the society’s live webcams. They can be found here.

Bob Frye is the everybodyadventures.com editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or bfrye@535mediallc.com. See other stories, blogs, videos and more at everybodyadventures.com.

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.