Hanover Bald Eagle Blog # 2 - 2024

April 10, 2024

In partnership with Pennsylvania Game Commission   and Comcast Business .

On April 5th, after a long-awaited pip watch, observers were thrilled to witness the hatching of an eaglet. However, the joy quickly turned to sorrow as the eaglet was tragically attacked by the male eagle. While these events may seem brutal, they offer us valuable insights into the complexities of wildlife behavior.

Video of female eagle seeing her eaglet for the first time.

Hanover Eagle behavior observed by the HDOnTap community: Our community members shared intriguing insights, attributing to the tragic event of the eaglet's attack to several factors rooted in the eagles' complex social structure and behaviors.

Hanover eaglet

One notable observation was the suggestion that the attacking eagle may have been immature or juvenile. This aligns with studies showing that young eagles, still learning the intricacies of parenthood, may exhibit behaviors that lead to unfortunate outcomes, such as mistaking a hatchling for an intruder or not recognizing their own offspring.

Hanover Pip Watch

Another perspective offered by our community highlighted the potential for a dominance dispute among the male eagles. In cases where multiple males vie for territory or mating rights, confusion and aggression can arise, leading to mistaken identities and conflict within the nest.

three bald eagles in the nest fighting

Viewers also pointed out an interesting dynamic regarding the male eagle's behavior towards the female during incubation. It was noted that the male eagle was not adequately tending to the female, leaving her to fend for herself while incubating the eggs. This neglect could have stemmed from the presence of rival males, creating a competitive environment that prioritized mating rituals over parental responsibilities.

Hanover Pip Watch

Nature's unforgiving side is a reminder that survival in the wild is a constant struggle. The Hanover eagles' story reflects the challenges and dangers that many species face. It's essential to understand that these behaviors, while difficult to witness, are a natural part of the ecosystem's dynamics.

The Hanover eagles' experience is not unique. Many animal species exhibit similar behaviors that can be both fascinating and brutal. Take, for example, the world of big cats. Lions, known for their majestic appearance, also engage in infanticide, where new males entering a pride may kill existing cubs to establish dominance and ensure their genes are passed on.

lion being attacked by lioness

Image curtesy of BBC

Another example is the behavior of certain bird species, such as the cuckoo. Cuckoos are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of other bird species. When the cuckoo chick hatches, it often pushes the host bird's own chicks out of the nest, ensuring that it receives all the attention and resources from the unwitting foster parents.

cuckoo bird being fed by another bird

Image taken by Kee Liu

In conclusion, while the realities of nature can be harsh, they offer valuable lessons about survival, adaptation, and the interconnectedness of life on Earth. By studying and respecting these dynamics, we can work towards a more sustainable coexistence with the natural world.

We at HDOnTap sincerely thank all those who joined us for the 2024 nesting season. We look forward to having you back next year. In the meantime, be sure to view our other eagle cameras that are currently hosting eaglets!

PA Farm Country hosts three eaglets

Cardinal Land Conservancy hosts two eaglets

Eagle Country hosts one eaglet ready to fledge

Thank you to our partners at the Pennsylvania Game Commission and Comcast business for their support on the Hanover stream.

pa game comm




For over 20 years, HDOnTap has provided live streaming solutions to resorts, amusement parks, wildlife refuges and more. In addition to maintaining a network of over 400 live webcams, HDOnTap specializes in design and installation of remote, off-grid and otherwise challenging live streaming solutions. Contact press@hdontap.com for all media needs, including images and recordings.