Mr. President & The First Lady Are Proud New Parents…Again!
A Bald Eagle Nest in Washington DC just got a little bit smaller…
March 30, 2017
WASHINGTON, March 30 ‑‑ Hundreds of thousands of people were glued to their computers and mobile devices this week watching Bald Eagle parents Mr. President & The First Lady welcome two new healthy eaglets into their National Arboretum nest, LIVE on the DC Eagle Cam (dceaglecam.org).
This afternoon, at about 1:54pm EST, “DC5” joined its parents and older sibling “DC4” (which hatched on Wednesday) in the nest after one of the fastest hatch-processes AEF has ever witnessed (DC4 pipped at 7:50 am that same morning), and now nest‑cam fans worldwide, whose hearts have been thoroughly stolen by this “First Family” of eagles, are celebrating with great sighs of relief. They are now probably also wondering “what comes next?”
Newborn eaglets have unsteady legs and wobbly heads, won’t be able to fully generate their own body heat for the first week or so, and will be extremely dependent on their parents for safety, food, and warmth. Viewers can expect to see a lot of adorable snuggling and sibling antics between the two as well!
This state of affairs will change fairly quickly though. Over the next 12 weeks, these gray fuzzy eaglets will gradually grow into full‑size juvenile eagles with all‑brown plumage. They’ll still be dependent on mom and dad, but will begin to develop their eagle skills by feeding themselves (food provided by parents) and learning to use their wings through “wingersizing.” They’ll start to explore the edges of their nest and the surrounding branches, and between 12‑14 weeks of age will take their first flights and make their ways into the world.
The public’s response to this live‑streaming nest cam project has been phenomenal. Since the website originally launched on February 15, 2016, the live cameras have been viewed over 70 million times.
During the next few weeks, the general public will be given the opportunity to help come up with two suitable names for these nestlings that are now residing in their nest that sits high in a Tulip Poplar tree in the U.S. National Arboretum, right inside the Nation’s Capitol. Details still to come.
“Judging from the monumental public interest the D.C. Eagle Cam is receiving, it seems that citizens across America have momentarily put their political differences and disagreements aside to share and enjoy together the special importance, wonder, and meaning of their symbolic National Bird,” says AEF Founder and President Al Cecere.
The D.C. Eagle Cam partners are hopeful that two healthy Bald Eagles will fledge the nest this summer, but it is important to reiterate to viewers that this is a wild nest and anything can happen. Things like sibling rivalry, predators, and natural disaster can affect this eagle family and may be difficult to watch.
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.
AEF Marketing, P.R. & Social Media Manager
AEF Founder & President