My mom's friend Barbara Hartman sent me a message the other day. As a former Pittsburgh resident, she loves all things Steelers, but this time of year you will find her cheering for the Eagles. Bald Eagles, of course, she would never cheer for the Philadelphia kind!

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She is cheering for bald eagles as she watches the Pittsburgh Hays Bald Eagle Camera that streams live 24 hours, seven days a week.  The PixCam is attached to a tree about 5 miles from downtown Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River. The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania has been keeping track of a specific pair of eagles and their nesting action since 2013.

According to the live stream description, this pair has successfully laid, hatched, and fledged 20 eaglets. Some years only one eaglet has flown the nest and other years they've had as many as three.

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Even though it seems too cold for the mama eagle to sit in a nest, it is actually primetime for Northern Bald Eagles to do so.  She should lay an egg any day now, as her average date is right before Valentine's Day. Her "brood patch" which is a featherless area on her belly, combined with her hormones help keep the eggs nice and warm through wind, snow, and other wintry conditions.

With this live stream, you can watch as the eggs are laid. If you're lucky, you can catch them as they hatch and grow before flying away.  The whole process only takes about four months. When the sun goes down on the nest, the camera switches to an infrared camera so you can still see what is happening. Last night, as soon as it got dark, both eagles began working on moving sticks and leaves to perfect the nest. At times it even looked like they were bickering like an old married couple. It was adorable and so funny.

I did not expect to become so interested in this! I keep checking it throughout the day because it really is exciting to watch as the eagles come and go.  I can see why this has become a tradition for Barb and others each year.  This would be fun for a family or classroom of kiddos to keep an eye on. You could even make predictions as to when the eggs will arrive or hatch.

Here is another view of a different nest thanks to the US Steel Bald Eagle Cam. They are getting ready to welcome some eaglets as well.

 

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