HANOVER, Pa. — Fans of the Hanover Eagle Cam were treated to a dramatic and ultimately happy event over the weekend.
Shortly after noon on Sunday, viewers watching a live stream of the eagle nest at Codorus State Park in Hanover saw an 11-week-old eaglet, which fans have dubbed "H313" or "Patience," accidentally fell from the nest. The young bird, which was practicing flight, missed a nearby branch and plunged 75 feet.
It looked bleak for the eaglet, but the bird was soon spotted by a viewer who was observing the nest from a safe distance on the ground. The eaglet apparently landed safely on a branch below the nest and was none the worse for wear.
While the eaglet had not yet been seen on camera as of Tuesday, reputable park sources have spotted it flying toward the lake, accompanied by its adult parents, according to HDOnTap, the company that installed and runs the streaming cameras positioned around the eagles' nest.
"A beautiful ending to this season, as another successful fledge at the Hanover nest flies into the sunset over Memorial Day weekend," HDonTap said in a press release.
This year, the Hanover eagles laid two eggs -- one on Feb. 2, and anothe ron Feb. 5. It's not clear which of the two eggs hatched on March 13, HDonTap said.
"Immediately after hatching the eaglet appeared healthy and gained strength quickly as it was fed steadily by each of its parents," according to HDonTap.
The other egg was deemed unviable after 44 days of incubation, HDonTap said.
"Egg unviability can happen for a number of reasons including, improper temperature during incubation, improper fertilization, genetic issue or inability to emerge from the egg," HDonTap said. "No matter the reason, the solo hatched eaglet had the best chances of success as an only child with ample access to food and protection from both parents this season."
Eaglets typically remain in the nest for 10-13 weeks after hatching, HDonTap said.
The adult eagles who build the Hanover nest, which some fans have named Liberty and Freedom, are experienced parents, according to HDonTap.
Last year, the female eagle laid two eggs in the nest, neither of which hatched. The same thing happened in 2018. But the pair successfully hatched two eggs with two fledges in 2019 and 2017, according to HDonTap.
"Coming off of an unsuccessful season in 2020, this healthy fledgling is a huge win for the Hanover Eagles," HDonTap said. "Bald eagle populations across the country have made remarkable progress in recent years. Thirty years ago, there were a mere three nests left in Pennsylvania. Due to incredible conservation efforts and the success of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s recovery program, the state is home to more than 300 nests."
To watch the Hanover Eagle Cam live stream, go here.