WASHINGTON — A famous couple added a new member to their D.C. home this year: “Mr. President” and “First Lady,” the bald eagles nesting at the U.S. National Arboretum, welcomed their first egg of 2018 on Sunday.
First Lady laid the sixth egg for the Northeast D.C. nest around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Mr. President tweeted about it excitedly minutes later.
— Mr. P & First Lady (@dceaglecam) March 25, 2018
Bald eagle enthusiasts should keep their eyes on the nest for the next day or two to see if another egg is on the way. Watch the D.C. Eagle Cam, run by the American Eagle Foundation, online here.
“Hopefully, we’ll see another egg soon,” said biologist Dan Rauch with D.C.’s Department of Energy and Environment. “Then, the countdown for hatching starts.”
See a clip from the D.C. Eagle Cam of when First Lady laid the egg Sunday afternoon.
The newly laid egg, known as DC6, arrived as a bit of a surprise this breeding season for wildlife experts since female bald eagles for the Chesapeake Bay region usually lay eggs anywhere between January to March.
But this year, the pair was “way beyond fashionably late,” Rauch said.
One theory why the couple was late this year, according to Rauch, was that a young female bald eagle spending time at the nest and courting the male may have interrupted, postponed or kept the breeding cycle from happening.
But that young female hasn’t been seen around the nest since sometime last week, Rauch said.
Rauch also revealed that a recent helicopter survey of nests in the area from around Mount Vernon to the Maryland and D.C. border up the Anacostia River found 21 active bald eagle nests, including Mr. President and First Lady’s nest in a tulip poplar at the arboretum. That’s up from 15 nests last year.
“It shows the species themselves — they’re resilient,” Rauch said. “It’s all very encouraging.”
Fellow D.C. bald eagles Liberty and Justice saw their two eaglets come out of their shells earlier this month in their nest in Southwest D.C.
WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.