11-Week-Old Eagle “Freedom” Fledges the Nest LIVE on the DC Eagle Cam!
June 6th, 2016
WASHINGTON — Sunday afternoon (June 5), at around 2:30pm EST, “Freedom,” one of the two young eagles residing in the nest of “Mr. President” and “The First Lady” in the U.S. National Arboretum, fledged the nest!
A DC Eagle Cam viewer captured a video of the first flight from the American Eagle Foundation’s Internet video feed. At first glance, the fledge might not look too graceful, but if you watch closely in the bottom left-hand corner of the video link, you can see that Freedom spreads her wings and flies into and lands on a branch of a nearby tree.
D.C. Biologist Dan Rauch has recently confirmed Freedom’s location. She is perched on a branch 75-80 feet up in a tree, about 50 meters from the nest tree.
You can watch the video on Facebook here.
Freedom is just over 11 weeks of age. During the next several days, Freedom could possibly return to the nest for food. And perhaps Liberty will follow suit with his first flight very soon.
“After years of running wild Eagle Nest cams and watching 100’s of eaglets take their first flights, it’s still always bittersweet to see them graduate into the wild,” says American Eagle Foundation President Al Cecere. “We’ve loved watching these eaglets day by day, but there comes a time when we have to say goodbye and hope that they grow strong and are successful in the wild.”
ABOUT THE DC EAGLE CAM PROJECT
After the eagle pair left their nest site in August 2015 for their annual migration, American Eagle Foundation 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 climbers. 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 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 in if prolonged inclement weather causes the solar array to provide insufficient power to the system.