“This is an awesome chance to view nature as it happens,” said DOEE Wildlife Biologist, Dan Rauch. “We’ll be able to follow the eagles from their first emergence to their first flight. This is real reality TV.”
Since mid-February, hundreds of thousands of viewers have tuned into the DC Eagle Cam to watch “Mr. President” and “The First Lady,” the two bald eagles who returned to the U.S. National Arboretum last year to breed for the first time in nearly 70 years. The pair has been incubating two new eggs since earlier this year and on March 16, American Eagle Foundation camera operators confirmed that the “pipping” process had begun. (Once a full break in the egg has been made, it can take anywhere from 12-48 hours for the eaglet to fully emerge from its shell.)
“These solar-powered eagles nest cameras provide an opportunity for residents and visitors in the District of Columbia to engage with our natural environment,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “It’s particularly exciting to see this project being incorporated into educational activities in our schools, providing District students with a unique vantage point on our local wildlife, providing a meaningful experience that can last a lifetime.”
The DC Eagle Cam project is the result of a cooperative effort between the Department of Energy and Environment, US National Arboretum, American Eagle Foundation, and Alfred State College, SUNY College of Technology.