PITTSBURGH — Three young bald eagles under the watchful eyes of many in Western Pennsylvania have begun to leave their nest.
The three eagles began hatching in the city's Hays section in late March. The last of the eaglets hatched April 2. Thousands of viewers have watched them via a live-stream camera.
Two of the eagles were seen outside the nest this afternoon, said Jack Lucas, the land management supervisor with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
All three of the eagles were still in the nest Wednesday.
While the birds are beginning to venture outside the nest, Lucas said they won't be going very far at first.
Each of the three young eagles will stay around the nest until at least September to practice their flying and hunting skills.
But the birds could fly anywhere once fully mature.
“It's really hard to say,” Lucas said of their ultimate destination. “I've seen them fly as far as South America.”
One of the eagles was perched several feet above the nest on another branch in the tree, while its sibling had made its way over to a neighboring tree.
The third eagle was still at the edge of the nest, as of this afternoon.
Bob Mulvihill, an ornithologist with the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, said fledglings will sometimes return to their nest during their first couple months of flying.
While the three fledglings will almost certainly move away from the area by fall, the parents will probably stay and should try to produce more offspring next year, according to the game commission.
This group of nestlings marked the second year the parents successfully bred. Last year the nest produced one fledgling.
To get a look at the nest, go to the Butler Eagle website, www.butlereagle.com, and look for the link “The Pittsburgh Eagle Cam” on the right side of the home page.
Watch the Hays Eagles on our webiste!