Second eagle egg hatches for Hanover-area nest

Alyssa Pressler
  • The first eagle egg hatched early Monday morning; the second egg followed on Tuesday.
  • This is the third year there's been a live video stream of the eagle nest.

The first eaglet to hatch in the Hanover-area eagle nest didn't have to wait long for its sibling to show. The second egg hatched Tuesday morning.

The two eaglets huddle together while the parent takes a break from warming them Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

Both eaglets could be seen huddling together on the Pennsylvania Game Commission's livestream on Tuesday afternoon when the parent eagle stood up from keeping them warm. This is the third year the commission has broadcast a video stream of the nest online to a large international audience.

The eggs were laid Feb. 10 and 13. One hatched early Monday, according to the state Game Commission, while the second one hatched just after 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Commission spokesman Travis Lau said that although the eagles hatched, they're not out of danger just yet. He recalled last year, when one egg failed to hatch and another produced an eaglet that only survived two days.

"We remain hopeful this is the first day of many for this new eaglet," he said. "Like we saw last year, there's not always a good outcome."

In about three months, so long as the eaglets survive, they should be ready to fledge, or fly from the nest. The young eagles will typically remain in the area until fall before they find a new homestead, Lau said.

The game commission typically will continue to broadcast the nest until the young have taken their first flight, but Lau said they wait to see what happens in the nest before determining when they will shut off the cameras. Last year, the livestream was turned off at the end of May when part of the eagles' nest collapsed.

The eagle cam has been popular, giving viewers an inside look at life in an eagle nest. The Game Commission has said more than 550,000 viewers tuned in to watch the eagles last season, down from 1.5 million viewers two years ago, when two chicks survived and fledged.

The parent eagle feeds the older eaglet pieces of fish while the younger eaglet rests next to its sibling Tuesday, March 21, 2017.

“Over the past four years, we’ve seen an adult eagle defend its egg against a raiding raccoon, watched as another adult unwaveringly continued to incubate eggs as snow piled up on its back and (viewers) had to deal with a newly obstructed view after one chick targeted the camera lens," Game Commission Executive Director R. Matthew said in a December news release announcing the return of the eagle cam.

"Even during last year’s failed nesting attempt, watching the eagles’ response was fascinating," he said.

The nest has two cameras, both of which have microphones attached, and video began streaming  Dec. 28. According to a news release from the state Game Commission, eagles have nested in the tree for more than 10 years.