FOX 43 Covers Hanover nesting season

Feb. 27, 2024

In partnership with Comcast Business   and Pennsylvania Game Commission .

Fox 43, has covered the story and how HDOnTap raised over 10K to get the Hanover Eagle cam back up and running before nesting season after it had lost power.

"Eagle-eyed followers of the Hanover eagle camera believe that the first egg of the season has finally landed.

Over the weekend, viewers began sharing screengrabs of what they believe to be an egg from the 24/7 livestream of the nest provided by HDonTap and the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The egg is believed to have arrived sometime on Saturday.

But the news isn't all good; there's some concern that the egg might not be viable, given the amount of time that Duke and Duchess -- the names given to this year's nesting pair by Eagle cam viewers -- have spent away from the nest, leaving the egg exposed to the cold.

Karen Lippy, who has been an avid birdwatcher and visitor to the nest since it was first spotted in Codorus State Park in 2003, said in a Facebook post that the new pair are showing their parental inexperience.

"Duke never took his turn at incubation duties," Lippy posted on Sunday. "Both left the egg unattended for 15 minutes this morning while Duchess had breakfast. Both returned, then left again. Duchess returned to duty on the nest. Duke has gone."

Lippy added that at its current stage of incubation, the egg can survive being left exposed to the elements for short periods, but "we are learning the differences between experienced old pros and a pair just learning their way."

Other experts point out that if the egg weren't viable, the eagles would probably destroy it, so there's still hope. 

Generally, eagles lay between one and three eggs each nesting season. But that doesn't always mean the eggs will hatch. And even if they do, there are times where the fledgling birds do not thrive.

HDonTap and the Game Commission first installed cameras around the nest in 2014, ahead of the 2015 nesting season. Over that span, there have been four years where either no eggs were laid or the fledglings did not survive -- 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2023, according to a history of the nest published by Lippy on Facebook.

In 2016, the fledglings did not survive, Lippy said. In 2018, an intruder female chased off the nesting female eagle, and no chicks were fledged. In 2020 and 2023, no eggs were laid at all.

On the bright side, Lippy writes, the nest's occupants successfully hatched and fledged eagles in 2015 (two hatchlings), 2017 (two hatchlings), 2019 (two hatchlings), and 2021 (one hatchling). 

Late last year, there was some fear that the cameras would be permanently taken offline, after the power supply to the cameras was cut. But fans of the cameras took less than a week to raise the $10,000 needed to find and install a new power source.

Now that the cameras are back up and running, viewers can get back to watching -- and worrying -- about the eggs themselves and the hatchlings, if any".

Thanks Fox 43!