Second eagle egg hatches

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The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania is reporting today that the second of three eggs in the bald eagles' nest in Hays has hatched.

"We have a 2nd eaglet! While hard to see next to its much larger sibling, the broken egg is visible in these images," the society said on its website,

The second hatching also was confirmed by Bob Mulvihill, an ornithologist at the National Aviary, who said he was sent an email this morning that contained a screen grab of the eaglet emerging from its shell at 7:17 a.m. The image was sent to him by Bill Powers of PixController, which has provided the camera that is trained on the nest 24 hours a day.

"I can see the one chick, and the other chick about half way out of its shell," Mr. Mulvihill said.

There is a third egg in the nest, and it could hatch in 48 to 72 hours.

"There is a bit of variability on this," he said.

The first eaglet hatched about 2:30 p.m. Friday. 

Mr. Mulvihill said he was concerned about something he noticed for the first time Saturday. There appears to be a fishing bobber dangling from a branch at the back of the nest.

Mr. Mulvihill said it is not uncommon for eagles to bring nesting material from along riverbanks that has anglers' monofilament fishing line tangled in it.

"There have been cases of eagles getting tangled up in the line. That is not good," he said. "We'll just have to wait and see and hope for the best."

The object can be seen in the middle of the PixController image, dangling from a thin, white branch. It looks a bit like the cupule, or top, of an acorn. Mr. Mulvihill said when viewed through the PixController camera at night, it glows a bright white.

"A bobber is the only thing I can think of that it could be," he said.

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