Update, 2:30 PM Eastern, March 20: While both eaglets have hatched, the excitement is just beginning. The American Eagle Foundation says the next three months will see the eaglets grow into juveniles. They'll begin to explore the nest, eat on their own, and grow brown plumage. The first flights are expected 12-14 weeks from now.
Update, 10:30 AM Eastern, March 20: The second eaglet hatched overnight. The hatchlings are tentatively named DC2 and DC3, and will be given new names in the future. Fans of the eagle cam have offered suggestions on Twitter.
Update, 2:30 PM Eastern March 19: The second egg appears to be hatching. The American Eagle Foundation says "this eaglet could take anywhere from 12-48 hours to fully emerge. Its sibling took roughly 36 hours."
Update, 5:45 PM Eastern March 18: Read an interview with the operator of the live camera.
Update, 9:20 AM Eastern March 18: We have a chick! The first eaglet hatched on Friday morning. Another egg remains in the nest.
Two nesting bald eagles in the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington D.C.—lovingly nicknamed “Mr. President” and “First Lady”—have been watching a pair of eggs since mid-February. The first of the two eggs began hatching this week and the first eaglet emerged Friday. Here's what it looked like when a parent nudged the freshly hatched chick:
You can watch the progress on it and the second egg in the above livestream provided by the American Eagle Foundation. The site also cautions that since this is a live view of wild animals “anything can happen.” (Read more about America’s majestic national symbol.)
Bald eagles have made a stunning rebound in the U.S. after hunting and the pesticide DDT devastated populations early in the 20th century. While no eagles have nested in this particular spot in the arboretum since 1947, this pair of eagles raised another baby successfully last year.
And since the birds are thought to mate for life, next spring might bring yet another addition to the avian first family.