MR. PRESIDENT: Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Bald Eagle • Born: Unknown • Gender: Male
THE FIRST LADY: Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Bald Eagle • Born: Unknown • Gender: Female
‘Mr. President’ and ‘The First Lady’ are a pair of mated Bald Eagles living in the most idyllic of nest sites within Washington, DC, high in a Tulip Poplar tree amongst the Azalea Collection at the U.S. National Arboretum. Since first building their nest in 2015, they have successfully raised all their eaglets. Hundreds of thousands of visitors watch special moments from the nest by way of live HD video streaming, as a result of a cooperative effort between the American Eagle Foundation and its partners.
n 2015, after an educational visit to Capitol Hill, the American Eagle Foundation had the privilege of visiting the National Arboretum, where they first learned about this idyllic nest site. Afterwards, the AEF and USNA entered into a partnership to place two HD video cameras at the top of the nest with direct views into the nest.
After the eagle pair left their nest site in August 2015 for their annual migration, the AEF traveled to DC to install cameras and other related equipment in-and-around the nest tree with the help of experienced tree climbers. The USNA ran about a half-mile of fiber optic cable to the cameras’ control box located about 200 feet from the base of the tree. The entire system is powered by a large mobile solar array that was designed and built by students and staff from Alfred State College, SUNY College of Technology and was partially funded by DC’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE).
Each year, improvements have been made with streaming, cam quality, and better delivery. The American Eagle Foundation, the U.S. National Arboretum, and Friends of the National Arboretum , along with other cooperative agencies supporting this project, invite you to share the 2019 nesting season with Mr. President & The First Lady.
ABOUT BALD EAGLES
Bald Eagles typically mate for life. They will only look for a new mate if their faithful companion dies. Together, they build huge nests known as ‘aeries’ atop tall and strong trees. They make use of twigs, grasses, soft mosses, and feathers in making their nests.
They normally return to the same nest during breeding season, adding new materials to it each year. A new eagle pair’s nest measures about five feet in width and two feet in depth, but as they add to it year after year, it can reach widths of over ten feet and weigh up to a ton or more.