Gary Rotstein's The Morning File: Eaglets squawk about their sibling rivalry

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The Morning File speculated previously on what we'd hear from those enchanting eagle parents in Hays if the live cam that has been focused on their nest -- viewed more than a million times now -- included some audio interpretation.

With their three eaglets all hatched, it's time to hear what the young'uns might have to say about their entry into a world where fratricide is all too common:

Eaglet 1: Hey, move over -- you're crowding my space.

Eaglet 2: Move over yourself! Mom said I could have this part of the nest.

Eaglet 1: I was here first!

Eaglet 3: Will you two pipe down -- it's hard enough getting some sleep around here, with the raccoons and hawks coming around to try to get us.

Eaglet 2: Awww, look who's scared. You ought to be ashamed to call yourself an eagle. Get some nobility, little baby.

Eaglet 3: I'm telling Dad you said that when he gets back from fishing!

Eaglet 1: You're both so annoying -- I can't believe Mom hatched more than one egg.

Eaglet 2: And you're so selfish, trying to hog this big nest. There's plenty of room for more than you, and plenty of food, too, if Dad ever gets back here.

Eaglet 1: We'll see about that.

Eaglet 3: Wait ... what does that mean?

Eaglet 1: You'll find out soon enough.

Eaglet 3: You're scaring me again. What's he talking about?

Eaglet 2: He means that sometimes when there are too many eaglets, someone's got to be sacrificed for the good of the others' survival. It's a tradition. Since you're the youngest and smallest, I'm guessing he's talking about you, little baby.

Eaglet 3: Waaaah!

Eaglet 1: Oh, be quiet, nobody's getting kicked out of the nest yet ... unless you keep crying like that.

Eaglet 3: But Mom and Dad will protect me -- I know they will.

Eaglet 2: Yeah, you just keep thinking that. They've been through this before, you know -- they're masters at pretending they love you and then turning off the emotions when someone's got to go.

Eaglet 3: There must be something I can do.

Eaglet 1: Well, yeah, duh -- you could learn to fly and take off on your own.

Eaglet 3: Do what?

Eaglet 1: Just take a running start, flap your wings, and take off. It's an innate trait -- we all do it eventually.

Eaglet 3: But we're a good 60 feet off the ground. I'd be crippled for life!

Eaglet 2: Let me know when you're gonna do it, so I can watch. The hits on the live camera should go through the roof, too. You'll be a smash! Ha, get it?

Eaglet 1: Just fly like an eagle, little bro. You'll become a legend, as the baby eagle who flew within weeks instead of months. If you're lucky, Disney will make an animated film about you.

Eaglet 3: But I like it here in the nest. It's homey. Mom and Dad are always hovering to keep it warm and bring us food.

Eaglet 2: You think that's going to last forever? Last night, when they thought we were all asleep, I heard them talking about how much they were looking forward to being empty nesters. They can't wait to be rid of us.

Eaglet 3: I don't believe you.

Eaglet 2: Believe what you want, little baby.

Eaglet 3: I don't want to die yet. I've seen so little of Pittsburgh -- just the Monongahela River. Is this river why everyone calls the area so scenic?

Eaglet 1: Um, I don't think so.

Eaglet 2: You'd think Mom and Dad would have wanted to nest on the Allegheny. Dad's probably just a moron who got lost.

Eaglet 1: Once I'm flying, I'm going to go set up on Washington's Landing. You're out in the river, but it's real close to town. I hear the local athletes like living down there, too.

Eaglet 3: Can I come with you, if I'm still alive?

Eaglet 2: Ha, we're sticking you on Neville Island, baby -- you can spend your free time diving around the Alcosan plant. Have fun!

Eaglet 3: Waaah, I'm telling Dad!

Eaglet 2: And I'll tell Mom what a baby you've been, and she's bigger than Dad, so she can kick his --

Eaglet 1: All right, that's enough, everybody. We've just got a couple more months to try to get along together, and maybe we'll make it without anyone crying or dying. But there's just one thing you guys have to do.

Eaglet 3: What's that?

Eaglet 1: Move over, 'cause I was here first.


Gary Rotstein: grotstein@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1255.

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