PITTSBURGH - The eaglet has landed: One of the three bald eaglets nesting above the Monongahela River in Hays fledged some time Friday, according to several nest observers.
The live web camera that's been trained on the nest since winter showed one of the eaglets flying from the nest to branches higher in the tree about 10:14 a.m. The bird never returns in the camera's view.
“They've confirmed it on the ground,” said Bill Powers, president and chief executive officer of PixController, the Murrysville-based company that installed the camera in December in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
Powers said birders who watch the nest from a nearby trail saw the mother eagle feeding the fledgling on the ground Friday afternoon.
Due to heavy foliage on the tree and the relatively narrow scope of the web camera, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly when the eaglet flew the coop.
The two remaining eaglets continue to flap their wings and branch, or fly-hop to nearby branches, as they prepare to fledge. (CLICK HERE for the live camera.)
An amateur photographer watching the nest said the fledgling later in the afternoon was perched in a tree about 200 yards from the nest with the mother eagle perched nearby.
Jim Bonner, executive director of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, said the adults will continue to look out for the fledgling.
“If you want to find the eaglet, look for the parents because the parents will be tending to the eaglet,” he said. “This is a very vulnerable time for the eaglet as it takes its first flight and is not very good at landing yet.”
Powers said they believe the fledgling is actually the second eaglet that hatched, not the first.