Say “hello” to Freedom and Liberty, the newly named bald eaglets at the U.S. National Arboretum! Those names were chosen by you through a poll hosted by the Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) that was compiled from thousands of suggestions submitted to our partners: the American Eagle Foundation (AEF) and the District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE). The formal announcement was made today, April 26, during a ceremony at the National Arboretum.
Last October the bonded bald eagle pair, dubbed “Mr. President” and “The First Lady,” returned to the their nest at the Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) U.S. National Arboretum, where they raised an eaglet last spring. They are the first mated pair of bald eagles to nest at the National Arboretum since 1947.
“We’re thrilled that the bald eagle family at the National Arboretum has flourished and that we were able to name the eaglets,” says ARS Administrator Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young. “These eagles are proof of environmental improvements in this area, and bring attention to the need for good stewardship of the Earth.”
The eagles returned last October and started fortifying their old nest with twigs and grass in preparation for egg laying. “The First Lady” laid her first egg on February 10 and the second on Valentine’s Day. The first eaglet hatched on March 18, followed by the second on March 20.
Interest in the National Arboretum bald eagles spiked thanks to the Eagle Nest Cams that bring live video of the eagle family to the world 24 hours a day at www.eagles.org/dceaglecam. This project combines the efforts of the American Eagle Foundation, headquartered in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the National Arboretum, and staff and students of Alfred State, SUNY College of Technology, who designed and built a large solar array to power the equipment.
Joining ARS, AEF and Alfred State in showcasing and protecting the National Arboretum bald eagles are the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and DDOE.
“We are both pleased and honored to work with our partners to show the value of the conservation efforts that resulted in bald eagles—our National bird—returning to the Nation’s capital,” adds Dr. Jacobs-Young. The eagles couldn’t have picked a better or more peaceful place to raise their family than here in the National Arboretum among the azaleas.”