EGG WATCH: 5 things to know about DC's new eaglets

- Peep peep! A small crack continues to grow in one of the eggs belonging to the two bald eagles that have been nesting high up in the trees at the U.S. National Arboretum.

In an effort to learn more about our eaglet friends who we’ve been watching very closely on the #dceaglecam  we decided to dig a little deeper past their adorable looks and find out some interesting facts about the fascinating creatures.

We spoke with eagle expert Richard Olsen, Director of the USDA-ARS United States National Arboretum to learn more about the little feathered friends.

When do the eaglets grow their feathers?     

  • Newly-hatched eaglets are covered in insulating white-gray down feathers, although you won’t see this until they dry out during the first 24 hours!

How do you distinguish the difference between the male and female eaglets?    

  • Female eagles are always larger than the males, even as eaglets!

Do eaglets depend on their parents?

  • Eaglets are completely dependent on their parents for food and protection, although parents won’t protect the siblings from each other.

What type of food do eaglets eat?

  • Eagles do not regurgitate food for their young; eaglets are always fed raw meat!

How long do eaglets stay in the nest for?

  • Eaglets grow quickly, as much as a pound a week, and leave the nest fully grown (although not fully mature)!

"Mr. President" and "The First Lady," the stars of the DC Eagle Cam at the moment and they laid their first egg on February 10. The second egg was laid on Valentine's Day.

After raising one eaglet successfully in 2015, the 501(c)3 American Eagle Foundation partnered with the National Arboretum to install and stream two high definition video cameras from the top of the nest tree.

The cameras are powered completely by a large solar array designed and donated by Alfred State College, SUNY College of Technology, which was also partially funded by the District Department of Energy and Environment.


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