Eggstra! Eggstra! DC4 Has Hatched! Mr. President & The First Lady Are Expecting a Second Eaglet Any Day Now!
Get the President on the phone…we have exciting news! The other Mr. President and his faithful companion, The First Lady, have welcomed their first eaglet of 2017 into their Washington DC Nest. The eaglet’s younger sibling is soon to follow.
Over the past day, the entire process was live-streamed to hundreds of thousands of viewers thanks to the DC Eagle Cam project (dceaglecam.org), which consists of two live-streaming, high-definition cameras and microphones installed above and around this Eagles nest located at the top of a Tulip Poplar tree at the U.S. National Arboretum.
This new hatchling, known as DC4 – as this is the fourth eaglet hatched by this breeding pair from this nest – began the hatching process yesterday, March 28th. The first crack in its shell was noticed by American Eagle Foundation (AEF) volunteers at around 9:58 a.m. EDT. Not even 24 hours later, at 7:20am EDT, the eaglet fully pushed out and detached itself from its shell.
“There’s nothing quite as cute and endearing as a newly-hatched eaglet! Soon after DC4 arrived, Mr. President swooped into the nest with a nice big catfish,” says AEF representative Carolyn Stalcup. “He and The First Lady appeared to talk about who would take over brooding duties, but she won and Dad flew off.”
DC4’s delicate and small neck is gaining strength fast, its wet feathers are drying, and the head is bobbling now with little wings outstretched. The mother eagle has been constantly watching over her new baby on its first day out of the shell.
Now, this little eaglet and its parents are waiting for the second egg in their nest to hatch.
Eagle eggs typically go through an average of 35 days of incubation before beginning to hatch. DC4 began hatching at day 37, which isn’t uncommon.
“DC5, whose egg was laid on February 23, has an expected hatch-date of March 30, but it could happen anytime now,” said American Eagle Foundation founder and president Al Cecere. “We are elated that the first egg hatched successfully. We are hopeful that the second eaglet will break free from its egg in a healthy state too. Freedom for an eagle is a very special thing.”
For all of the DC Eagle Cam fans around the world who have fallen in love with watching this eagle pair, there is now a beautiful hardcover book documenting the pairs’ first two nesting seasons in the National Arboretum. The book can be purchased on www.eagles.org or by visiting www.dceaglecam.org.
ABOUT THE D.C. EAGLE CAM PROJECT
In 2015, the American Eagle Foundation (AEF) staff traveled to D.C. to install state-of-the-art cameras, infrared lighting, and other related equipment in-and-around the nest tree with the help of volunteers and experienced tree arborists and climbers. This past year, the AEF added microphones near the nest to further enhance the viewing experience, and a team of arborists and eagle experts affixed natural tree limbs beneath the nest to provide added support. The USDA’s U.S. National Arboretum ran a half-mile of fiber optic cable to the cameras’ ground control station, which connects the cameras and microphones to the Internet. The entire system is powered by a large mobile solar array (containing several deep cycle batteries) that was designed and built by students and staff from Alfred State College, SUNY College of Technology and was partially funded by the Department of Energy and Environment. USNA has implemented a backup generator that will kick-on if prolonged inclement weather causes the solar array to provide insufficient power to the system. In 2016, APEX Electric Inc. (Kenmore, Washington) traveled to D.C. to assist the AEF in successfully installing audio equipment in and around the tree. The AEF uses Piksel to stream the video images to viewers around the world, and AEF volunteers are trained and coordinated to pan, tilt and zoom the cams, as well as educate the public via LIVE chats while viewers watch the eagles via the cams on the Internet.
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