A pair of Bald Eagles are now nesting within 5 miles of downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania along the Monongahela River near where the famed Carnegie Steel Homestead site once existed. Industrialization beginning in the 19th century led to extensive unregulated pollution of the rivers, which decimated fish populations that eagles feed on. For example, during a survey on Monongahela River in 1967, one scientist could find only one bluegill. As efforts to clean the waterways took effect over the past 30 years, 76 species of fish have been found in the Monongahela. Experts say it has probably been more than 250 years since Bald Eagles last nested along Pittsburgh's three rivers. As recently as the mid-1980s, there were just a few remaining nesting Bald Eagles pairs anywhere in Pennsylvania. This year marks 30 years since the reintroduction of Bald Eagles in Pennsylvania. With the help of the Canadian government, several agencies brought bald eagle chicks back to their states to reintroduce Bald Eagles. Today, Pennsylvania boasts more than 250 nests.
The Hays bald eagle pair first started nesting along the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh in 2013. A nest was observed by workers at the Keystone Iron and Metal Company. The pair successfully hatched one eaglet but on June 6, 2013 a strong storm blew the nest down and the parents successfully fledged the eaglet on the ground. The following year the Hays eagle pair built a new nest in the location it is today. A camera was installed on this new nest in December of 2013.
2019 Nest Information
- The nest has moved about 100 yards
- The nest is about 6 feet in diameter
- The camera will be pointing toward Pittsburgh, with the city skyline in the background
- We are utilizing a new camera that has a 36X optical zoom and overall better picture quality
- The camera is approximately 40 feet away from the nest and mounted in a separate tree
- The camera is mounted about 90 feet above the ground