In a statement, the group called the cameras a “new source of inspirational online entertainment.”
“The opportunity to sponsor a project of this nature is an honor,” Al Cecere, the president and founder of the foundation, said in a statement. “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.”
The eggs are expected to hatch in mid-March after “35 days of incubation by both parents,” the foundation said.
The pair has been nesting in a tulip poplar tree on the 400-acre property off New York Avenue NE since October 2014. The eagles raised “one healthy eaglet” in the spring, officials said. The bald eagle nest in 2014 was the first spotted in the arboretum since 1947.
Although officials initially said more than one eaglet had hatched in the spring, they later said that there was only one confirmed eaglet based on photographs and observations by arboretum staff and D.C. eagle biologists.
Officials said it was a challenge for staff to put in cameras and other related equipment in and around the tree. Workers had to run a half-mile of fiber-optic cable to the control box about 200 feet from the tree. The system for the camera gets power from a large, solar array that was designed, built and staffed by the Alfred State College’s School of Applied Technologies in Wellsville, N.Y.
Wildlife specialists were also involved to reduce disturbance to the eagles. In the spring, experts plan to take blood samples from eaglets at nest sites in the arboretum and in the D.C. area. Each eaglet is expected to get a leg band for identification.
Bald eagles have been taken off the endangered species list, but there are strict federal rules protecting them, including that they remain undisturbed while mating and nesting. Laws also require buffer zones to be created around their nesting areas.