Glory Accidentally ‘Fledges’ the DC Eagle Cam Nest! Will Glory and/or Honor OFFICIALLY Fledge in Time for American Eagle Day?
On June 12th, at approximately 8:25 p.m., Glory (DC5) made a slight misstep and fell from the DC Eagle Cam nest, but landed safely on a branch located below the nest on the nest tree.
It may not have been graceful, but Glory seemed to make the best of the situation by recovering quickly from the fall. Directly after the occurrence, the American Eagle Foundation’s team of camera operators were able to locate Glory, who was preening and perching on a branch located below the nest, safe and sound. The next morning, Arboretum staff Sue Greeley verified that Glory was still sitting on a branch below the nest, while its big sister, Honor (DC4) sat above, still inside the nest. As of midday on June 14, Sue Greeley reported that Glory had moved about 5 feet lower on the tree.
Fledging for bald eaglets usually takes place between 10-14 weeks of age. Up until that moment, an eaglet practices for his or her first flight by “branching” (exploring branches on the nest tree that are adjacent to its nest) and “wingercizing” (flapping its wings and lifting slightly off the nest repeatedly for exercise).
Initially, the AEF announced this occurrence as an accidental fledge, but technically a fledge is an eaglet’s first flight out of its wild nest and nest tree.
For now, we may still refer to this as Glory’s “accidental fledge,” because—after all—Glory did flap its wings in a flight-like manner and did land upright (rather than crash), but because the fledge didn’t appear to be intentional, and because Glory didn’t leave the nest tree, AEF would like to reserve the term “official fledge” for the near future when this eaglet intentionally and fully leaves the nest tree. You might say that situation was more of a case of accidental and adventuresome branching!
In fact, in less than one week on June 20, the American Eagle Foundation, Governors from across the U.S., and the Senate will be recognizing American Eagle Day, which is a national day to celebrate Bald Eagles. We are all wondering whether Glory and/or Honor will make their official fledges before—or perhaps even on—this very iconic day.
About American Eagle Day
American Eagle Day was established in 1995 by the American Eagle Foundation, and was created in an effort to establish a permanent day to celebrate the Bald Eagle, it’s recovery from the brink of extinction, and its special symbolism. The Bald Eagle was placed at the center of the Great Seal of the United States on this special day in 1782. Ever since, it has served as the pride of America’s skies and the living symbol of all that America stands for. Over 80 Governors from 49 states have proclaimed American Eagle Day over the years, and this will mark the 10th year that it has been been recognized by the U.S. Senate.