The pair of bald eagles at a nest 110 feet up in an oak tree in Southwest Washington have been together for 14 years. The mama bird, Liberty, laid her first egg of the year on Tuesday.
The camera that tracks the eagles from their perch in a tree at the D.C. Police Academy marked the egg-laying event at 4:46 p.m. The first egg of 2019 has tentatively been named ECC5.
Experts at the Earth Conservation Corps who track the pair of eagles said Liberty has the lead on incubating her eggs and “caring for the young chicks” once they hatch. Justice, the papa eagle, has the “critical job of catching fish and bringing them to his mate and hatchlings.”
The egg should hatch within 35 to 40 days, so between March 18 and March 25.
The parent bald eagles are unlikely to leave the nest until the eggs hatch. Typically, experts said, Liberty lays two eggs each year, so they have launched #EggWatch2019 and are waiting for a second egg.
But there has been a bit of “drama” at the nest, wildlife experts said.
Justice, the male eagle, hasn’t been at the nest since Feb. 9 — a move that experts said is odd for the bird. And Liberty “has been seen with another male eagle.” The other male has been named “M1” by many who watch the eagle cameras. Wildlife experts call him “Aaron Burrd.”
Bald eagles in the region have made a comeback. Many of them were forced out by pollution in the late 1940s, but in the 1990s, volunteers from the Earth Conservation Corps worked with wildlife experts to relocate nests in Wisconsin to the U.S. National Arboretum in Northeast Washington.
Those eaglets were let go in the D.C. area, and since then bald eagles have stayed and reproduced. That has helped, in part, to spur having bald eagles along the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, wildlife experts said. Another pair of well-known bald eagles with a nest at the arboretum are named Mr. President and First Lady.
They are known on Twitter as “Mr. P & First Lady” and also have a camera recording their moves.