Pittsburgh's Hays Bald Eagle Cam

The first nesting pair of bald eagles in Pittsburgh in over 150 years
Hays Cam Update 3/18/2019: The eagle pair are currently incubating three eggs: 
  • Egg #1: Laid 2/12 @ 6:45 PM, Expected hatch date: 3/19 
  • Egg #2: Laid 2/15 @ 3:47 PM, Expected hatch date: 3/22
  • Egg #3: Laid 2/18 @ 5:02 PM, Expected hatch date: 3/25 
Both the male and female will share incubation duties. The camera will be streaming 24/7 now.

As part of our community involvement program, CSE is excited and proud to share Pittsburgh's Hays Bald Eagle Cam in collaboration with the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. Scroll down for more information on the nest and project.

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History of the Hays Eagle Nest

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

Nest History

 
Eaglet Egg Date Hatch Date Fledge Date
H1 ~3/11/2013 ~4/14/2013 ~6/29/2013
H2 2/19/2014 @ 4:45 PM 3/28/2014 @ 3:36 PM 6/21/2014 @ 8:45 PM
H3 2/22/2014 @ 4:18 PM 3/30/2014 @ 7:17 AM 6/20/2014
H4 2/25/2014 @ 6:39 PM 4/2/2014   @ 4:54 PM 6/27/2014 @ 10:14 AM
H5 2/13/2016 (early AM) 3/21/2016 @ 12:37 AM 6/10/16 @ 7:38 PM
H6 2/16/2016 @ 1:45 PM 3/22/2016 @ 9:40 PM 6/11/16 @ 2:36 PM
H7 2/19/2017 @ ~9:00 AM 3/27/2017 @ ~12:00 PM  6/13/2017 @ ~7:00 AM
H8 2/15/2018 @ 2:48 PM   3/23/2018 @10:01 AM   6/11/2018 @ 3:48 PM

We currently have one eaglet (H8) that hatched successfully. Current hatch information:
  • Egg 1, laid 2/12, broke 3/14
  • Egg 2, laid 2/15 @2:48 PM EST, hatched 3/23 @10:01 PM EST
  • Egg 3, laid 2/19 @5:53 PM EST, did not hatch

2017 Nesting Season
  • 2/10/2017 @ 5:49 PM the first egg was laid.
  • 2/12/2017 @ 9:30 PM the nest tree blew down in a wind storm and egg #1 is lost. Click here to see video
  • 2/15/2017 The eagle pair starts construction on a new nest about 100 yards from old nest site.
  • 2/19/2017 A group of citizen scientist viewed incubation behavior which suggested the female laid her 3rd egg in the new nest with the assumption the 2nd egg was laid elsewhere by the female.

2016 Nesting Season
  • Egg dates: Egg 1, 2/13 (early AM), Egg 2, 2/16 @ 1:45 PM, and Egg 3, 2/20 @ 2:02 PM. Egg 3 was not viable and did not hatch.
  • H5 Hatch date 3/21 @ 12:37 AM
  • H6 Hatch date 3/22 @ 9:40 PM

2015 Nesting Season
  • The 2015 nesting season was unsuccessful. We assume this was due to the unusually cold weather conditions in Pittsburgh.
  • First Egg laid February 17, 2015 at 7:37 PM, on March 13 the first egg was broken
  • Second Egg laid February 20, 2015 at 4:40 PM, on March 27 the second egg was broken

2014 Nesting Season (new nest - camera installed)
  • First egg laid on February 19, 2014 at 4:45 PM - Hatch date: March 28, 2014 at 3:36 PM - H2 fledge date: June 21 at 8:45 PM
  • Second egg laid on February 22, 2014 at 4:18 PM - Hatch date: March 30, 2014 at 7:17 AM - H3 fledge date: June 20
  • Third egg laid on February 25, 2014 at 6:39 PM - Hatch date: April 2, 2014 at 4:54 PM - H4 fledge date: June 27 at 10:14 AM

2013 Nesting Season
  • March 11 – Incubating behavior was observed indicating an egg had been laid in the nest.
  • April 14 – Behavior indicated that an egg had hatched.
  • May 13 – The eaglet is seen high in the nest stretching its wings. Only one eaglet was ever seen in the nest.
  • June 6, 7 & 8 – There was a strong storm with heavy winds on June 6. The eaglet left the nest sometime between June 6 and June 8 as observers on June 8 and June 9 did not see the eaglet in the nest.
  • June 9 – The eaglet is spotted about 20 to 30 feet below the nest on top of some vines. The eaglet is too young to fly but is old enough to survive as long has it is fed by its parents. The parents are seen feeding the eaglet in the vines around 5:30 PM on June 9. For the next two weeks the eaglet is seen in the vines under the nest from the new part of the trail.
  • June 29 – After not being seen for a week the eaglet is seen and makes its first observed short flight.
  • July 2 – Adults are observed landing with food far from the eaglet forcing the eaglet to make long flights to obtain food from its parents. The adult eagles will be teaching the eaglet to find food on its own for about a month or two after the eaglet began flying.
  • July 7 – Eaglet is seen on the roost for the first time.
  • July 10 – All three eagles are seen on the roost.
  • Aug 4 - Last time the eaglet (H1) was seen.

About the Technology

System Design

The Hays Eagle Cam utilizes our RemoteSteam video camera.  The camera video feed is streamed over a cellular network, and because the system is installed in a remote location, it is battery powered and charged by solar panels. 

The camera is a Pan-Tilt-Zoom camera with built-in IR illuminators for nighttime viewing. The camera is mounted in a tree about 10 yards from the nest site with a view down into the nest. We can remotely move and zoom the camera (up to 36x optical zoom!) to follow the eagles. During the day the video will be broadcast in color and during the night the video will switch over to black & white. We can remotely monitor the battery power, signal, and camera settings through our innovative M2M Cloud Connect portal.

Bald Eagle Facts

  • How can I tell the male from the female bald eagle? The female is slightly larger than the male. In the case of the Hays bald eagles the male has a noticeable white spot on the right side.
  • Adult birds range from 35" to 37" tall with a wingspan of 72" to 90" and weigh between 10 to 14 lbs.
  • Their diet consists of mainly fish but will take advantage of carrion they can find.
  • The female lays 1-3 eggs 5-10 days after mating. For bald eagles in our area we should expect eggs between February & March. The eggs are incubated for about 35 days.
  • The nest is between 6' - 8' in diameter and can weigh up to 1 ton.
  • Bald eagles typically mate for life and have a 20-30 year lifespan.
  • Bald eagles do not reach maturity until they are 4-5 year old at which time they develop the white head and tail feathers.
  • For more bird facts visit the Western PA Audubon Society.

Contact us with questions or media inquiries