A drama has been playing out for bald eagle watchers in Pennsylvania.
A female eagle – named “Liberty” by viewers of the eagle cam at Codorus State Park – laid two eggs last month. A few days ago, it appeared another female, “Lucy”, was trying to take over the nest, and Liberty has disappeared.
Strangely, this may be a good sign for eagles in Pennsylvania. Thirty-five years ago, bald eagles were almost a thing of the past in the state. Only three nests remained.
Travis Lau, a Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman, says a number of factors contributed to the low population, namely the use of pesticides, which thin egg shells. The Game Commission and other agencies went to Canada and brought eagles back to the northeast United States. There are now at least 250 nests in Pennsylvania.
“You wouldn’t have near the number of bald eagles, and you may not have a single one without people stepping in to help at that critical time in the bald eagles’ history,” said Lau.
The Game Commission relies on people who watch bald eagles and their nests to keep an accurate count.
“Even in cases where it’s a nest that maybe you became aware of years ago, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the Game Commission knows of the nest and has documented the nest. So, we ask that you do make contact with us, report those nests to us so we can add them to our count,” said Lau.