Pa. Game Commission drops Hanover eagle cam, others prepare to take over

Rebecca Klar
York Dispatch

The Pennsylvania Game Commission will no longer host the Hanover eagle cam, but the more than 1.5 million viewers who watch the nest each season need not fear — the wildlife livestream likely will live on. 

Since 2015, the commission, HDOnTap and Comcast Business have partnered to provide two cameras 75 feet high in a nesting tree next to Codorus State Park to provide a 24/7 look into a local eagles' nest. 

Because of limited resources, the commission recently decided to end its involvement, spokesman Travis Lau said. 

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The Game Commission is looking into new opportunities — and running one wildlife camera means not running another, he said. 

"You are limited in the number of people you have to work on it in the installation and monitoring of it and so on and so forth," Lau said.

Eagles nesting near Codorus State Park welcomed their first egg of the year at about 3:30 p.m.Tuesday, Feb. 20. (Photo capture courtesy of the HDonTap livestream and the Pennsylvania Game Commission)

Eagle cam lives on: HDOnTap is still interested in hosting the camera, owner and founder Tim Sears said. 

The California-based webcam service is in the process of obtaining a Pennsylvania permit to continue streaming from a Hanover-based nesting tree, he said. 

"We're working hard at putting that all together right now," he said.

Pennsylvania requires an educational component for the permit, which is the last piece HDOnTap is working on before submitting the application, Sears said. 

The stream typically begins early to mid-January, and Sears said he's looking to start  around the same time in 2019. 

Comcast also is interested in continuing to provide service for the eagle cam, spokesman Robert Grove said. 

The York Audubon Society and York College also might be looking to get involved with the project, Sears confirmed. 

Cracks in the tree: Another factor that led to the Game Commission's decision is the existence of cracks in the nesting tree near Codorus State Park, Lau said. 

The tree has partially cracked a couple of times, he said. 

"While there’s no telling, and it hasn’t happened yet, it would seem the nest ultimately will be built somewhere else because that tree no longer will support it," Lau said. "Time will tell."

The Game Commission is looking to start another wildlife livestream but has yet to make any final decisions, he said.