HANOVER, Pa. (WHTM) — While the Pennsylvania Game Commission has been running its “Eagle Cam” since 2014, the mother eagle has been in the Midstate much longer than that.
Estimated to be about 18 years old, she arrived at Codorus State Park in 2004.
So, why has she called Hanover home for so long? Codorus park manager Deanna Schall says the area offers all of the necessities an eagle family needs, including privacy.
“Their major food is fish and we have about a 1,300-acre lake, so it provides easy fishing for them,” Schall said. “Fish is their main food, but they’ll pick up rodents, roadkill, and other birds. They’ve used the same tree for years. They like that tree, and they’re used to the farmers and activities that go on around here.”
With over 1.5 million viewers watching from home, park rangers say the “Eagle Cam” helps to keep the habitat peaceful.
“We have the ‘Eagle Cam’ up all the time,” said Anne Woods, a birdwatcher from Biglerville. “[We like] watching the birds grow, seeing how the adults feed the birds. It’s just really fascinating.”
Even though the camera is available 24/7, birdwatchers say they still like to catch a glimpse of the birds from the park, too.
“We like to come out, go on a walk, and watch the birds for awhile,” said Paul Pisula, a birdwatcher from Hanover. “I’ll sit here for sometimes several hours.”
February is the typical time for the eagle to lay her eggs. Last year, eggs were laid on Feb. 10 and 13. On at least one occasion, an egg was laid on Valentine’s Day.
The eagle has had a few sweethearts over the years and is now on her third mate. He’s estimated to be about 10 years old.
Park rangers say she’s laid countless eggs, and 21 hatchlings have survived.
Once she lays the eggs, the incubation period is about 35 days. If she lays soon, the eaglets would likely hatch in mid-March.