By Rick Dayton

HAYS (KDKA) – The countdown is on for the nesting pair of bald eagles that has produced three eggs in in the Hays section of Pittsburgh.

Experts say there could be eagle chicks in about a month.

It’s almost a sense of euphoria at the National Aviary. It’s not just one, not even two, but three eggs in the bald eagle nest here in Pittsburgh.

“They put down a new nest. They seem to be putting down roots, to the tune of three eggs, which is unusual,” National Aviary Ornithologist Bob Mulvihill said.

There is plenty of pride for our national birds as the pair of bald eagles prepares for what could be three mouths to feed.

“There’s kind of a trigger that says lay three eggs because there’s a chance that there will be enough food for us to raise three chicks. And of course, that increases their — the word is fecundity — their productivity. They are leaving more expression of their genes if they can raise three chicks successfully instead of just two,” Mulvihill said.

Food is the key. There needs to be enough food for the mother to have enough energy to lay three eggs and enough to feed them later on.

“Testimony to the fact that they have made themselves at home on the South Side, they have been finding food not just to feed themselves, but now enough food for her to form three eggs. If they continue to find a lot of food, then they will successfully raise three young eagles,” Mulvihill said.

It’s likely all three eggs will hatch, but whether all three chicks live is a matter of how much food they get. Still, the fact that there are three eggs is a great sign of future success in the Steel City for our feathered friends.

“It’s time to expect it. Bald eagles flying the heads of those of us here who live in Pittsburgh is going to become, dare I say, commonplace. But, I don’t think we’ll ever get tired of it,” Mulvihill said.

The likelihood that a bald eagle would lay three eggs is about 5 percent.

The likelihood that all three eggs will hatch and reach maturity is even rarer still.

Local Bald Eagles Here To Stay, Could Add To Growing Population (11/29/13)
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