Meet Freedom and Liberty, the two baby bald eagles who were born this spring at the National Arboretum, and just got new names.
The names were selected from the top five pairs of names that officials had picked after getting more than 3,600 pairs of suggestions for the two birds.
The top five name suggestions that people voted on (in no particular order) were, Freedom and Liberty; Stars and Stripes; Anacostia and Potomac; Honor and Glory; Cherry and Blossom. Officials said more than 36,000 votes were cast.
The adult eagles had successfully raised another eaglet last year at the arboretum, and that eaglet was named DC1. The recent births of bald eagles at the arboretum was a big deal for the facility because it was the first time since the 1940s that a pair of bald eagles has nested at the 400-acre property.
The arboretum’s eaglets aren’t the only new birds in town.
Two other eaglets were born this spring at the District’s police academy in Southwest Washington.
A live video stream at the arboretum gives a view of the eaglets in their nest in a tulip poplar tree in the popular azalea area of the arboretum. The live camera can be seen at dceaglecam.org.
The gender of the eaglets at the arboretum is still unknown and probably won’t be determined for several more weeks.
“The gender will hopefully be determinable when the eagles are full size,” Julia Cecere of the American Eagle Foundation told The Washington Post in an email. “. . . It was decided that we would not be going in to the nest to do blood samples. If one eaglet ends up being significantly larger than the other, then it will be fairly determinable that one is female (larger) and one is male (smaller). We shall see!”
Bald eagles have gradually been making a comeback across the country and in the D.C. area. In 1994, teenage volunteers from the Earth Conservation Corps helped move 16 baby eagles from nests in Wisconsin to a “hatch box” at the National Arboretum. Those eaglets were released every spring for several years, and some of them have set up nests in the region.