Monday, June 28, 2010
The Pennsylvania Game Commission reports 192 bald eagle nests in 50 of the state’s 67 counties this year—a huge comeback since 1983, when there were only 3 nests, largely because of DDT. At that time, the Bald Eagle Restoration Project introduced 88 bald eaglets from Canada.
Allegheny County is on the list with a confirmed nest for the first time, says Game Commission Press Secretary Jerry Feaser, although it produced no young. It's not uncommon for young eagles' first nests to fail, and it's hoped the pair will return and succeed next year.
Although Feaser says they will eat carrion and other animals, eagles’ favorite meals are fish, so nests occur most often along river corridors or near lakes. It’s a little surprising, therefore, that no nests have been identified in Washington, Beaver or Greene Counties, where there would seem to be ideal habitat. Fayette County went on the list last year, so Feaser expects more nests will appear in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Anyone who sees a huge nest—they can be six feet wide and four feet deep--is invited to notify the Game Commission so they can take a look.