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First flight of eaglet in U.S. Steel nest captured on camera

First flight of eaglet in U.S. Steel nest captured on camera
First flight of eaglet in U.S. Steel nest captured on camera 02:23

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. (KDKA) -- The first flight of the eaglet in the nest by U.S. Steel's Irvin Plant was caught on camera. 

The eaglet, named Lucky, fledged the nest on Sunday morning shortly before 7:30 a.m. The flight was captured by the livestream camera that documents the adventures of the bald eagle family living along the Monongahela River in West Mifflin. 

USS Bald Eagle Cam 2 on 6-23-24 @ 07:24:58 Lucky fledge cam 2 by PixCams on YouTube

Seven is a bit of a lucky number for the eaglet. Lucky, born on April 7, is the seventh eaglet born at the nest. It also took Lucky 77 days to fledge, and $7,000 was raised in a contest to pick Lucky's name. 

And Lucky is pretty lucky. While there were two eggs in the nest this year, only one hatched. And shortly after entering the world, the eaglet got to watch a rare solar eclipse

Dedicated webcam viewers have closely tracked Lucky's growth and development.

"It's a blessing, a joy to be able to bring this to so many people. You can't imagine how this has helped people on chat, on cameras, viewers, we've had over 2 million people come to the cameras," said U.S. Steel Irvin plant manager Don German. 

"I think it's really exciting that people have connected so well with the eagles on these cams. I mean, wee have insight now into what's happening in nests that we never had before," said Rachel Handel, the communications director of the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.   

According to the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, eaglets around the area grow up fast. They usually leave the nest in mid-summer and keep coming back until their parents eventually kick them out. 

Pittsburgh has become a desirable place for eagles to nest and raise their young. 

"Pittsburgh has done a fantastic job cleaning up its rivers and making the area more hospitable to eagles. So when these birds are finding their mate and they're choosing a place to build a newst, they're building it along a river, because that river is going to provide abundant fish and resources," said Handel. 

Lucky lives in the nest at U.S. Steel's Irvin Plant in West Mifflin along the Monongahela River with parents Irvin and Claire. The Monongahela River is also home to the Hays bald eagle nest. That couple didn't have any eaglets this year after their single egg cracked.

This season, western Pennsylvania birdwatchers have also been keeping an eye on the two peregrine falcon chicks in the nest on the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning. They fledged the nest earlier this month and have about another month left in their parents' territory before they go find their own way in the world.  

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