Go Bird Watching on the National Aviary's Nest Cam Pages!
Watching birds up-close, whether at the National Aviary or in your own backyard, is an engaging and educational experience for all ages that inspires respect for nature. Internet-connected video cameras trained on geographically distant or otherwise inaccessible bird nests (i.e., nest cams) enable people from all around the world to have a shared experience observing, studying, and appreciating birds. For example, you can...
WATCH PITTSBURGH’S PEREGRINE FALCON NEST CAMS
Thanks to cooperation from the PA Game Commission, generous donations from lots of self-described "Pittsburgh Falconuts," security camera specialist M&P Security Solutions, and computer networking expert, retired WQED IT specialist, Kate St. John, who writes a bird-watching blog called Outside My Window, the National Aviary is able to provide you with the opportunity to watch two different Pittsburgh area Peregrine Falcon nests.
One nest is located on the 39th floor of the Cathedral of Learning on the main campus of the University of Pittsburgh; the other is on the 37th floor of the Gulf Building in downtown Pittsburgh.
(Click on the images below to view each cam)
AND TAKE A FRONT ROW SEAT AT THESE BALD EAGLE NESTS, TOO!
In addition to the nest cam installed in 2014 at the Hays Bald Eagle nest on the banks of the Monongahela River near Hazelwood, now there is a new nest cam trained on an eagle nest near Harmar, overlooking the Allegheny River (click on the images below to view each cam). These two nests are just ten miles apart. A third Bald Eagle nest, on the Ohio River in Crescent Township about twelve miles from Pittsburgh's Point State Park, is not accessible for public viewing at this time.
IT'S A RARE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY
These two live eagle video feeds have been granted a special education permit by the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the agency responsible for the welfare of all of Pennsylvania’s protected wild bird and mammal species. The National Aviary appreciates the combined efforts of the Game Commission, PixController, and the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania in providing all of us with the rare opportunity to follow the eagles’ nesting progress from egg-laying to hatching to chick rearing, and, we all hope, successful fledging.
BUT, NATURE HAPPENS...
Importantly, as we have learned from previous experience, just because we can observe what happens in these nests does not mean we can control the outcome. Like all wild birds, nesting falcons and eagles daily face the challenges of weather, predation, food availability, interference from other species, and more—successful nesting is never guaranteed. Still, we believe that the opportunity to watch the nesting attempts of wild Bald Eagles in an urban setting is a privilege that is inspiring and educational for all ages.
Note: The Peregrine Falcon nesting season begins about a month later than the Bald Eagles’, but because the species has a shorter incubation and nestling period, falcon chicks actually end up fledging at about the same time as the eagle chicks.
Bookmark this page and come back often to see what’s happening with Pittsburgh’s urban raptors!