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Bald Eagle cam sparks patriotism

Evelyn Smith, Staff Writer

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In 2014, the first pair of Bald Eagles since 1947 built their extravagant nest in a tulip poplar tree at the U.S. National Arboretum, which is operated by the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.  Because of the nest’s location, the two parent eagles are named “Mr. President” and “The First Lady.”

“The First Lady” laid her first egg of the year on Feb. 10, and she laid her second egg on Valentine’s Day. The first egg hatched on March 18, and the second egg did the same two days later, on March 20. The two eaglets were named “Freedom” and “Liberty,” names chosen by thousands in a nationwide pole.

“The current nest is approximately 5 feet wide by 6 feet deep. The tree selected by this pair is large enough to support a nest, is within sight distance of the river, and is also located in one of the few parts of the District with limited human disturbance,” said AEF’s ornithologist team.

Surprisingly, this is not the first time that “Mr. President” and “The First Lady.”  After they successfully raised one eaglet, the American Eagle Foundation decided to work together with the National Arboretum to install and steam two high definition video cameras from the top of the nest tree.

“The American Eagle Foundation is dedicated to educating the public about Bald Eagles, birds of prey, and the importance of preserving these species for further generations,” AEF president Al Cecere said.

The live stream can be accessed at dceaglecam.org, along with a list of frequently asked questions about the birds.  Common questions include: How do you tell “Mr. President” and “The First Lady” apart? What do the eagles eat?  What is the average lifespan of an eagle?  How large is the nest and how high up is the nest?

The website also offers live chats with eagle experts on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon EST, Friday from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. EST, and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST.

“I’ve liked getting to learn more about eagles through the live stream,” said Oxford High sophomore Emily Toma.

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Bald Eagle cam sparks patriotism