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HAYS (KDKA) – The bald eagles at the nest in Hays have laid their very first egg of the year.

Officials from The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania confirmed the news Tuesday morning. They say the egg was laid about 7:30 a.m.

Now, the real work begins. The eagles will never leave the egg unattended.

“Once there’s an egg in the nest, you will see an adult in the nest all the time, 24/7,” says Rachel Handel, the Communication Director for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. “Now, the male and the female will take turns on the nest. So, they’ll switch off, but there will always be someone there incubating the egg and turning it also to keep it at a consistent temperature. They stand up before they turn the egg, and then they’ll kind of lean over with their beak and gently roll it.”

The bald eagles in Hays have faced some tough times over the years. You may remember that their nest blew over in a wind storm on Feb. 12, 2017 – almost exactly one year ago.

“They had to very hastily rebuild,” says Handel. “The nest they are in this year is that rebuilt nest, and it’s great to see them continuing to use it.”

For now, bird experts and enthusiasts watch, and wait to see if the eagles will lay another egg. Eagles usually lay their eggs about 2-4 days apart.

“The chick will hatch right around 35 days after the egg is laid,” says Handel. “It will begin a process called a pip, which is when the chick inside the egg starts to work its way out. And this year, the camera angle into the nest, we believe we’ll be able to see that better than ever before.”

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