The Eagles Nest

How do you like your eggs? These days, it's with an eagle sitting right on top of ‘em.

If you're not in the know about the three eggs laid last month by a female bald eagle in the Hays neighborhood of Pittsburgh, then you've been missing out.

Right now it's about 2 p.m. on a Monday, and I'm watching the live eagle cam feed along with 1,556 other people in and around Pittsburgh. And I mean AROUND Pittsburgh. The dude from PixController, the Murrysville-based company that teamed with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to provide the solar-powered camera to film Mother Nature in real-time action, tells me that people are watching these eagles from AROUND THE WORLD.

All told, 650,000 different computers (or unique viewers in geek speak) have watched the stream. The breakdown goes like this:

  • 40 percent are from the Pittsburgh metro area and Pennsylvania;
  • 30 percent are from other parts of the U.S.;
  • and the remaining 30 percent are from around the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.

And you can bet all the eggs in the basket that this number will get blown out of the water when the first egg hatches around March 26. Then, well, I just don't know how ANYONE is going to get ANY work done!

Yes, on a Monday afternoon in March, 1,560 other peeps (not chicks but people) and I are currently watching Mama Eagle (or is it Papa Eagle?) snuggle, rotate and carefully care for their three egg offspring. I've read that the female is slightly larger than the male and that the male has a white spot on his right side, but I have yet to discern the difference between the two when I see them together in the nest. One seems more persnickety in the arranging of the leaves, twigs, sticks and straw that make up the mammoth nest, so my money's on her as Momma bird. Throughout the day, the pair seems to take turns being in the nest, but I've seen them snuggling together, too. Just like comfortably married couples... well, when one of them doesn't snore like a train.

And speaking of trains, their action and accompanying sounds - nor the action of car horns, trash pick-up, the back-up beeper sounds that large trucks make going in reverse or seemingly anything else - seems to bother this pair of bald eagles. Well, that's not totally true. The raccoon last week who tried to poach the eggs, so to speak, by invading the nest stirred things up quite a bit, but the standoff had the raccoon backing down none to soon. Not surprising since these eagles are about three-feet tall in length and purported to have a wing span of seven feet. So if you see that hungry raccoon hanging around the South Side, you might want to let him know that he might consider looking for eggs from some other nest. I hear Canada Geese are too plentiful along our riverbanks these days.