'Eagle cam' is back and better than ever

Liz Evans Scolforo

The televised saga of a mated pair of eagles trying to raise their offspring has returned for a new season, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission — and this year there are two high-definition cameras with infrared technology for 24-hour viewing.

The Pa. Game Commission's "eagle cam" is back for another nesting season.

Those live-stream cameras were activated Thursday, according to Travis Lau, press secretary for the game commission.

Nearly 1.5 million individual viewers from around the world tuned in to the eagle cam last year and watched, occasionally with trepidation, as two eggs hatched into defenseless pink chicks that quickly grew into ravenous gray fluff balls.

People kept watching as those eaglets grew feathers, became large and boisterous, and eventually fledged from the nest, located on private property near Codorus State Park outside Hanover.

"So many followers are watching and worrying and rooting for these eagles," Lau told The York Dispatch earlier this year.

By mid-May 2015, there were 23.8 million live-stream views of the nest, he has said.

The eagle nest is 75 feet off the ground in a tree, and eagles have nested in the area for about a decade, according to Lau.

This is the third year that the game commission has put cameras at the nest site, but nature doesn't always cooperate.

Last year, the audio on the lone camera stopped working fairly quickly after a squirrel gnawed through an audio wire, according to Lau.

And later in the nesting season, the view of the nest was obstructed when one of the eaglets relieved itself on the camera lens. Another time, one of the eaglets stared fiercely into the lens as it gave it a peck or bite.

If all goes well this year, eagle fans will have two camera views, be able to see nighttime activity and hear the family of raptors as well, Lau said.

Fans can post and view screen-grab photos on the game commission's Facebook page and by tweeting #PGCeaglecam.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.

Last year's chicks didn't seem very happy with the Pa. Game Commission's high-def camera.