PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Have you checked out the Hays bald eagle cam lately?
If so, you might have noticed something missing.
Turns out, one of the eaglets has fledged.
One of the young eagles tested out its wings Friday and left the nest.
The other two can be seen in the nest or “branching” — a term used by birders to describe when the birds explore the outer edges of the nest or nearby branches.
It’s unclear when the other two will set out.
Experts say the odds are against them, but so far the eaglets have beaten the odds.
Birds – eagles included – have only a 50-50 chance of surviving the first year. So the odds are against all three making it. Still, so far, so good. Early on, the last born eaglet could have been eaten by others for food.
Game Commission officials estimated early on that the eagles would likely leave the nest in July. So far their estimations have been pretty accurate.
WATCH: First Bald Eaglet Leaves The Nest
Bill Powers, the president at PixController, joined Bill Rehkopf and Rose Ryan-Douglass on the KDKA Afternoon News talking about the first eagle, H3, to leave the nest.
Rose is a big fan of “Eagle Cam” and watches it daily. She gives us all updates and she was very excited to report today that H3 has fledged.
No one, not even Powers, predicted how popular this “Eagle Cam” was going to be, reaching almost 3 million total views. Powers explained to us why today was the best day for this news.
“Coincidentally enough, today is National Bald Eagle Day. What are the chances we get a bald eagle that puts the city of Pittsburgh in the national spotlight for National Bald Eagle Day and have one of the eagles fledge?” Powers said.
Check out this photo of the first eaglet to leave the nest here:
Powers says that this camera is number one by far the most popular of all his other cameras. He credits all the support people of Pittsburgh have shown.
“We have had such a generous amount of people donate money to put another camera next year, and get behind this. It’s an amazing city, just from the standpoint of people being proud for these eagles. I can’t thank the city enough for all they have done for us and everybody,” Powers said.
Don’t worry for you “Eagle Cam” lovers, the camera will make an appearance next year. But how will they choose the next location?
“The big story is to try to get all three rivers. We have eagles that are over in Harmarville and in Crescent Township. We would like to get cams on all three nests next year, if we can,” said Powers.
There is still a lot of work that had to be done before they can begin setting up the cameras, but we still can look forward to next summer and possibly three eagle cams.
You can listen to the whole interview here:
You can also listen to the KDKA Afternoon News with Bill Rehkopf weekdays 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.