Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Eagle Cam is back online

A bald eagle is seen Wednesday in its nest in Hanover in this screen shot from the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Eagle Cam.

HANOVER – Let the eagle watching begin.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Eagle Cam is back online.

The game commission today launched the latest rendition of its Eagle Cam, which enables viewers worldwide round-the-clock access to live video and audio captured at a bald-eagle nest in Hanover and streamed in real time via the internet.

The Eagle Cam is provided through a partnership among the Game Commission, HDOnTap, Comcast Business and Codorus State Park.

The Eagle Cam features two cameras, each equipped with a microphone, running round the clock to capture footage from 75-feet high in a tree adjacent to Codorus State Park. Eagles have nested at the tree for more than 10 years, and have successfully fledged young there many times, according to the commission.

Last year, however, was a tough one for the eagles at the nest. While one of two eggs hatched, the chick died shortly after. And while the adult eagles loyally continued to incubate the remaining egg, it never hatched, and they abandoned their nesting attempt, the commission said.

Then the nest partially collapsed, casting doubt on whether the Eagle Cam livestream could continue at the same site in coming seasons. But the nest was rebuilt, and a pair of adults appear ready to make another go of it this season, the commission said.

Game commission executive director R. Matthew Hough said the uncertain future of the eagles that will be spending time in front of the camera is part of the reason it’s attracted so many viewers. Even last year, when the nesting attempt ended early, more than 550,000 individuals tuned in to watch. And during the successful nesting two years ago, there were about 1.5 million viewers.

“The game commission’s Eagle Cam allows us to view bald eagles in a way you really can’t in the wild,” Hough said. “Over the past four years, we’ve seen an adult eagle defend its egg against a raiding raccoon, watched as another adult unwaveringly continued to incubate eggs as snow piled up on its back, and had to deal with a newly obstructed view after one chick targeted the camera lens. Even during last year’s failed nesting attempt, watching the eagles’ response was fascinating.

“With the Eagle Cam, what will happen next is anyone’s guess,” Hough said.

To view the Eagle Cam, people may go to the Game Commission’s website, and click on the eagle cam icon found near the top of the homepage. The live stream can be accessed on the page that will open.

Twitter and Facebook users also can share the Eagle Cam with friends by tweeting #PGCeaglecam.

Even though it’s early in the season, with weeks to go before any egg-laying or incubating might occur, Hough said the Eagle Cam always is worth looking in on.

“It’s nature as it really is, and there’s no better way to observe eagles in such an up-close-and personal manner,” Hough said.