Perhaps it’s a coincidence or just good timing but the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) has established three livestream cameras at eagle nests, snow geese at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and a bear den, a subject we covered in our column.
According to the PGC, a new 24/7 livestream from a black bear den in Pike County was launched this week and will run into the spring of 2023. This is the first time since 2021 that the PGC has offered an up-close look inside a bear den. The agency says there are few dens in known spots where cameras can be installed and where footage can be streamed to viewers. But the PGC learned of this den for installation that’s located under the deck of a residence in Pike.
PGC Information and Education Director Steve Smith said, “While all of our wildlife livestreams are popular, there’s nothing like watching and listening to bear cubs as they begin to explore their surroundings and ultimately emerge from the den with their mothers to see their new world in Penn’s Woods.
The livestreams are a collaborative effort by the PGC, HDOntap and Comcast Business. HDOntap provides the streaming services and Comcast Business provides the internet connectivity for the two eagle cameras.
“HDOntap is thrilled to partner with the PGC for the return of the bear den cam. Watching the sow raise her cubs is a rare and beautiful experience. The bear cam is a staff favorite as it’s a joy to watch the cubs play, learn and grow every day, and we know viewers will feel the same,” said Kate Alexander of HDOntap.
Pennsylvania’s black bear cubs usually are born in January and begin walking in about eight weeks. They leave their den when 3 months old. During the 2019 run, the PGC said the bears left their den on April 11 and in 2021, their departure date was March 24.
As for the Farm Country Bald Eagle Livestream, the nest cam is located on a long-established nest in a giant sycamore tree overlooking scenic farmland in Hanover Pa. Bald eagles typically lay eggs in mid-February and, if the eggs are viable, they’ll hatch in mid-to late March with young fledging in June. But they do continue to return to the nest.
For the snow geese, who overwinter in Middle Creek, their migration typically peaks there from mid-February to March. It’s a sight to see all the thousands of white geese in the waters of Middle Creek.
To view all of these livestreams, go directly to HDOntap or through www.pgc.pa.gov.
While on the subject of black bears, an interesting story comes from Grand View Outdoors who reported that a male black bear from New York trekked roughly 140 miles from his last known release site before succumbing to injuries sustained in a vehicle collision in Pennsylvania.
As the report goes, on Dec 26, 2022, a bear was recovered after it was struck by a vehicle and killed on SR 11, between Northumberland and Danville in northeast Pennsylvania.
It was learned that this bear was ear-tagged by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation and was found up a tree in the middle of Albany, NY, on May 31, 2022. It was tranquilized and relocated to Delaware County, NY in the Catskills. Like many people who are moving from NYC to PA, guess this bear wanted to move here as well.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.