Thanks to partnership between the U.S. National Arboretum and the American Eagle Foundation (AEF), in conjunction with Alfred State University’s Electrical Trades Department, the world can now watch on live video a pair of bald eagles nesting with two eggs at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC.
The pair of eagles (dubbed “Mr. President and the First Lady”) returned this year to the same Tulip Poplar tree overlooking the Anacostia River in which they successfully raised one healthy eaglet in the spring/summer of 2015. After fortifying their nest during the winter, the proud mother laid her first egg on February 10 and a second shortly after Valentine’s Day. Both eggs are expected to hatch in mid-March after 35 days of incubation by both parents.
“The opportunity to sponsor a project of this nature is an honor,” says AEF Founder and President Al Cecere. “Live-streaming cameras that feature our Nation’s Symbol nesting in our Nation’s Capital . . . you can’t get much more American than that. It’s a great addition to our Nest Cam Program and we hope it brings joy to a lot of people.”
Although bald eagles do not always return to their first-year nests, the Arboretum and AEF took a chance on the opportunity to live-stream the pair this year and, after the pair left their nest last August for their annual migration, installed two HD video cameras, control gear, and about a half-mile of fiber optic cable. (To avoid disturbance and minimize potential impacts to the new eagle pair, staff from the National Arboretum consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.) The cameras and related equipment are powered by a large mobile solar array designed and built by students and staff from Alfred State, with partial funding by the District of Columbia Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE).
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