There’s a big gap where the Hays eagle nest tree used to be, 12 Feb 2017, 10:00pm (screenshot from Hays Eaglecam via ASWP’s Bald Eagles of Western PA Facebook page)
Hays bald eagle news flash!
Last night around 9:34pm the Hays bald eagle nest tree fell during a terrific wind storm.
The female bald eagle was on the nest at the time, incubating the egg she laid last Friday evening. Archived video shows she flew away before the tree fell. Reports from the trail, awaiting confirmation, say that both eagles were seen flying so they are fine.
We are waiting for dawn to find out more.
ASWP will visit the site and provide news updates at the pittsburgheagles Facebook page here: Bald Eagles in Western Pennsylvania – Audubon Society of Western PA.
My thoughts about the timing of this incident: It is good news that this happened very early in the nesting season. There were no chicks in the nest and it is so early that there is still time for the adults to re-nest nearby.
ASWP Press Release and Facebook updates as of 6:30am, 13 Feb 2017:
[Hays, PA, February 12, 2017, approx 10:00pm] – It appears that the tree that is home to the Hays Bald Eagle nest has been damaged in tonight’s wind storm. From our Bald Eagle camera view, at www.aswp.org, the tree is no longer visible.
“The tree was impacted by tonight’s storm and we will need to wait until daylight to get onsite and determine what has happened,” says Jim Bonner, executive director, Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. The status of the nest and the eagles cannot be verified until daylight, when Audubon can safely visit the site.
We will continue to keep the media updated on the status of the nest and the Bald Eagles. Please see below a screen shot of the current view from the camera. The tree and the nest are not visible.
[Update from ASWP at approx. 11:00pm via Facebook]
Update: Just reviewed the archives, the tree fell at 9:34 pm. Looks like the female was on the nest. She was awake at the time and flew off of the nest as the tree fell out of view. These are admittedly not the world’s best screen grabs, but you can see the eagle awake just as the tree starts to go, then getting off of the nest as the tree goes down.
[Update from Annette Devinney via Facebook, 13 Feb 2017, 7:15am]
The tree fell over at the root ball. My comment on this: The ground was extremely soggy after 4″ of snow melted all at once on Saturday. It’s very common for trees to fall like this when the ground is soggy.
Update from my visit to the Hays Trail, Mon Feb 13, 4:20pm:
Many people are visiting the Hays Eagle Viewing Site to check out the eagles’ status. About 8 people were in the vicinity when I arrived at 4:00pm. I’m happy to report that the eagle pair is doing well and easily seen flying, perching, hunting and mating. The male brought sticks in his talons a couple of times while I was there so they are already thinking about a nest. If I was to lay bets … I bet that a month from now they’ll have a new nest in the vicinity of the old one and she’ll lay eggs again. I’d also bet (based on the lack of big trees within nestcam view) that we won’t be able to see it on camera. Hopefully they’ll pick a site we can see easily from the trail.
(screenshot from Hays Eaglecam via ASWP’s Bald Eagles of Western PA Facebook page. Screenshot from PixController via Annette Devinney)