Pittsburgh Area Live Raptor Nest Cams

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 a Pittsburgh area Peregrine Falcon nest. 

The nest is located on the 39th floor of the Cathedral of Learning on the main campus of the University of Pittsburgh. 

(Click on the image below to view the Pitt Falcon cam; NOTE: the Gulf Building nest cam has been temporarily disconnected and that nesting box removed in order to accommodate important repairs to the exterior of the Gulf building.)

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 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 Peregrine Falcons in an urban setting is a privilege that is inspiring and educational for all ages!

Note: The Peregrine Falcon nesting season usually begins about mid-March; eggs will hatch in mid-to-late April; and any surviving young will fledge about 45 days later.

Bookmark this page and come back often to see what’s happening with Pittsburgh’s Peregrines!

WATCH THE HAYS BALD EAGLE NEST CAM

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Audubon Society of Western PA (click on photo below).  

History of the Hays Eagles

A pair of Bald Eagles began nest-building on a forested hillside above the Monongahela River near Hays in fall 2012; they completed the nest and laid eggs in it the following year.  Based on the daily observations of several citizen scientists who watched the nest through binoculars and spotting scopes from the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, the first egg was laid on March 11, 2013.  In subsequent years, a nest cam revealed the exact time when eggs were laid.  The data show a steady progression toward earlier nesting after that first year (see graph below), which is typical. 

As pairs gain experience nesting, they improve the coordination of their parental provisioning, which facilitates earlier nesting; this, in turn, provides the pair with a kind of breeding insurance in the event of nest failure.  In fact, the pair needed that insurance in 2017 when the nest tree blew down in a storm just two days after the first egg was laid.  Because they had started nesting so early, the pair had time to build a replacement nest, and the female was able to lay an egg in that nest just one week after the first nest had blown down.  The eaglet that hatched from the egg in the replacement nest successfully fledged 114 days later. 

Productivity of the Hays Eagles

The Hays Bald Eagle pair has produced fourteen eggs (2.3 per nest) and fledged eight young (1.3 per nest) from 2013 through 2018.  This is just a bit lower than the statewide average of 1.6 young per nest.  Importantly, though, the Hays eagles have been successful at fledging at least one chick every year—a 100% success rate that surpasses the statewide average of 91% (D. A. Gross and D. W. Brauning. 2011. Bald Eagle Management Plan for Pennsylvania [2010-2019]).

Our thanks to the Pennsylvania Game Commission

The Hays Bald Eagle live video feed has been granted a special permit by the Pennsylvania Game Commission for educational purposes.  The Game Commission’s mission is: To manage wild birds, wild mammals and their habitats for current and future generations.