As Storm Stella bore down in the early morning hours, a pair of bald eagles nesting at the National Arboretum in Northeast Washington protected — and warmed — the two eggs expected to hatch in the coming weeks.
The pair, named Mr. President and The First Lady, can be seen on a live camera at DCEaglecam.org.
Dan Rauch, the District’s wildlife biologist, said Tuesday that the snowy weather wouldn’t harm the eggs. The mother bird, he said, likely sat on the eggs throughout the storm with the father occasionally stepping in to give her a break.
“They’re snuggling and trying to stay warm,” Rauch said after checking on them via the live camera Tuesday morning as snow and sleet fell. During a big ice storm last year, the mother stayed on her eggs, he said.
“These birds are built for this,” he said, referring to riding out winter weather. At one point in the morning, he said, wind could be heard whistling through the tree where their nest sat.
“You really get a feel of what they’re going through with the gusts,” Rauch said. “I wouldn’t want to be up there, but she can handle it.”
Last year, the camera showed them taking care of their new little ones. They were viewed more than 63 million times by people in 100 countries in a five-month period, according to the American Eagle Foundation.
They aren’t the only ones expecting.
Another pair of bald eagles has a nest in a tree at the D.C. police facility in Southeast Washington. Their two eggs are expected to hatch Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Rauch.
Bald eagles have made a comeback after being under the threat of extinction.