A baby bald eagle hatched around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at a nest in Southwest Washington.
The first pecking of the shell came around 2 p.m. Tuesday and eagle experts had been tracking and watching its hatching on a live camera run by the Earth Conservation Corps.
The eagle was born in a six-foot wide nest that sits about 110 feet up in an oak tree on the grounds of a D.C. police facility in Southwest Washington.
The eaglets’ mother is named Liberty and their father is Justice. The pair of bald eagles has kept a nest at the site for 11 years.
It takes about 35 days for an egg to hatch from the time it is laid, experts said. The eagle egg that hatched first was laid a few days before the other one so that’s why there is a slight lag.
Early Wednesday afternoon, the live camera also showed a striped bass that had been partially eaten lying on the edge of the nest.
In the short view that experts have had, it appears the new eaglet is doing fine and is healthy.
“Mom is sitting on her to keep her warm on this cold day,” said Tommy Lawrence, who manages the eagle camera in Southwest.
Although some viewers of the eagle camera have worried about how the eagles are doing in the recent snowstorm and cold weather, the experts said they are fine. Bald eagles are built to withstand weather like this. Lawrence said the “bowl of the nest is super warm” so even with cold temperatures, “they’re completely fine.”
There’s a contest to suggest names for the eaglets. Among the suggestions were Happy, Eleanor, Anthem, D.C., Scout and Pence. A panel of judges that includes D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham will pick from among the top five most popular names.
To get the camera in the tree, experts got help from one of Pepco’s bucket trucks and put it on a branch close to the nesting tree. They had also put in a microphone but weather destroyed that and they’re trying to raise up to $1,500 to buy a replacement.
As Lawrence watched the live camera Wednesday afternoon, the mother eagle moved around on top of the nest.
“She’s just getting comfortable,” Lawrence said of her movements. “She’s rotating them every now and then. And it is probably not super comfortable to have an egg and a live chick under you.”
This isn’t the only pair of bald eagle eggs in the D.C. area that is being closely monitored.
Another pair of bald eagles is guarding their nest at the National Arboretum in Northeast Washington. That pair, named Mr. President and The First Lady, are expected to have eaglets in the coming weeks. The First Lady has been taking few breaks, experts said, in keeping her eggs warm and safe.
There’s another eagle camera watching those two and their soon-to-be eaglets at DCEaglecam.org. Last year, the camera showed them taking care of their new little ones; it was viewed more than 63 million times by people in 100 countries in a five-month period, according to the American Eagle Foundation.