Bald eagles in Harmar lay an egg

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More good news for Pittsburgh eagle watchers: bald eagles nesting on a bluff overlooking the Allegheny River in Harmar appear to have delivered an egg.

Ornithologists from the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania say the birds’ behavior suggests an egg was laid Tuesday.

“We are pretty sure they are sitting on an egg,” said executive director Jim Bonner. “[Monday] morning they brought in additional soft grasses, they’re staying tight on the nest and only one bird will leave the nest at time. Those are all the signs that they’re on an egg.”

The nest is located above the Hulton Bridge. Last year, eagles were seen skirmishing in the air with the red-tail hawks that had originally built the nest. In December, the eagles returned and were seen upgrading the nest through January and February.

“After a week of close observation, we’ve determined that they likely laid [an egg],” said the Audubon Society’s Rachel Handel, who has been watching the site. “The birds have been actively incubating their first egg. One of the eagles sat deep in the nest all morning and was relieved by its mate at 11:30 am.”

Unlike the Hays bald eagle site, where three eggs are now incubating, there’s no camera surveillance on the Harmar nest and no public vantage point. Audubon staff were granted special access to a nearby construction site.

And there’s no word on what’s happening at Allegheny County's most successful eagle nest. Located since 2010 on private property in Crescent, that eagle pair fledged chicks in 2012 and 2013.


John Hayes: 412-263-1991, jhayes@post-gazette.com.

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