Hanover eagle cam to return Monday with new host

York County's pair of bald eagles, nicknamed Liberty and Freedom, sit in their nest near Codorus State Park with their first egg of the year, laid at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20.
(Photo capture courtesy of the HDonTap livestream and the Pennsylvania Game Commission)

The Hanover eagle cam will be going live just in time for the holidays.

HDOnTap announced it was granted a livestreaming permit from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, allowing it to broadcast 24-7 footage of a local bald eagle nest for the fifth year running, beginning Monday, Dec. 3.

The nest is located on private property next to Codorus State Park, and the livestream brings in more than 1.5 million viewers per season.

Just a month ago, its return was up in the air. 

The game commission announced in October that it would no longer be hosting the eagle cam because of limited resources, also citing cracks in the nesting tree that could become a problem in the future.

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

California-based webcam service HDOnTap was interested in continuing its service, but it first needed to obtain a permit, which hinged on fulfilling an educational requirement.

This year, HDOnTap is partnering with Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, a global conservation organization focused on raptors — such as eagles — that eat insects and rodents, helping to control pests.

The organization will be sharing educational information, photos, videos and highlights on a new Hanover Bald Eagle Blog, found on HDOnTap.com.

The stream typically begins in early to mid-January, so this year's launch will be early.

HDOnTap installed a new Ultra HD 4K camera on Nov. 27-28, bringing the total number of cameras pointing at the nest to three, according to a news release.

History: The eagle cam has enjoyed a large following among locals, especially in Hanover, as viewers eagerly await the laying and hatching of eggs and the fledging of new eaglets each season.

Its popularity could be owed, in part, to its history.

The state had only three eagle nests 30 years ago, according to a news release from HDOnTap, until the Canadian government and several agencies including the Pennsylvania Game Commission stepped in and helped bring bald eagle chicks to the Northeast.

Last season in the Hanover nest was disappointing for many, with intruder eagle Lucy interfering with the resident bald eagle pair — in the nest since 2015 — named Liberty and Freedom. The original couple eventually regained control of the nest but lost their eggs.

More:Hanover eagle intruder exerts dominance, eats eggs

But once again, the public can follow along as the eagles prepare to welcome new offspring.

Bald eagles typically lay eggs in mid-February, incubate for a period of 35 to 40 days, and assist their eaglets in their fledging, or first flight, during a 10- to 13-week nesting period before the young raptors move on to find nests of their own, according to the release.

One to three eggs is standard for eagles, though the Hanover area eagles laid two each year from 2016 to 2018, the release states.

To watch the livestream, provided by HDOnTap and longtime internet service partner Comcast Business, visit HDOnTap.com, and find previous videos on the Hanover Eagles YouTube channel.