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Local Bald Eagles Here To Stay, Could Add To Growing Population

HAYS (KDKA) – They're the first pair of bald eagles to nest in Pittsburgh in generations.

And the good news is they're here to stay. The eagles are building a new nest in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Hays and plan on sticking around for years to come.

One of the bald eagles spent the afternoon resting on a Sycamore Limb in Hays, but all fall he and his mate have been busy working, building a nest about 100 yards away.

And that's great news for the Eagle watchers who gather almost daily on the Riverside Trail down below.

"As long as they can keep fishing, getting food, they'll stay in the area," said Dana Nestil of West Homstead.

Birders like Nestil have watched and photographed them this fall building the new nest, after their first one collapsed this past summer.

Their baby eaglet grew to full size and has flown away, but now they're back, building again, meaning they plan to have more eaglets this coming year and for years to come.

"They are here to stay," Bob Mulvihill of the National Aviary said.

Mulvihill says eagles mate for life, have an average lifespan of 30 years and generally stay put once they have offspring.

So this pair will likely stay in Pittsburgh well into the future.

"Once a pair forms a bond like this pair had and proceeds throughout the nest building, egg laying, chick rearing stage, they're very attached – not only to the site, but to each other," Mulvihill.

There are now three nest pairs in Allegheny County – 150 in the state – and that number is growing now every year. Birders like Nestil look forward to having even more birds to enjoy.

"It's a grand bird," he said. "I could sit here all day just look at 'em, watch them – it's unbelievable actually."

And so it appears that these eagles will remain an attraction here for perhaps years to come. And in the process, help populate the rest of Pennsylvania with eagles who will be building nest of their own.

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