Second bald eaglet falls to the ground from Dulles Greenway nest

One of the Dulles Greenway eaglets before two of the birds fell from their nest this week (Courtesy Dulles Greenway)
For the second time in a week, a section of the bald eagle’s nest along the Dulles Greenway in Leesburg, Virginia, collapsed, this time sending the eaglet known as DG3 tumbling to the ground.

The latest collapse happened early Friday morning, according to Terry Hoffman, the public and customer relations manager for the Dulles Greenway.

Hoffman explained he woke up at about 5:30 a.m. on Friday morning and checked the eagle cam before heading to his gym for a workout.

“So I’m halfway through my workout, then suddenly, I started receiving messages that the nest is down and the bird is down,” said Hoffman.

Hoffman checked the eagle cam again, and “I couldn’t believe how much of the nest had collapsed.”

DG3 was nowhere to be seen, and the eaglet’s sibling “DG5 was just hanging on to a small section of the nest,” said Hoffman. A search found DG3 on the ground, not far from the tree where the Dulles Greenway nest is located. The young eaglet was evaluated by a veterinarian and “no injuries have been reported,” Hoffman said.

This isn’t the first eaglet to take a great fall from the nest.

Early Monday morning, a smaller portion of the nest collapsed under DG4, another of the three eaglets. Despite falling nearly 90 feet, DG4 was also reportedly OK.

After spending some time at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, DG4 was transferred to a facility with a flight cage. On Friday, the two birds who shared a great fall from their home nest were reunited while they continue to be monitored.

Hoffman explains that initially, all the eaglets were assigned the names DG3, DG4 and DG5, but now, after a public naming contest, their new names have been decided.

From this point on, DG3 will be known as Pi, for Pi Day, DG4 will be known as Pat for St. Patrick’s Day and DG5 has been named Flora, for the spring season.

Hoffman said the gender of the birds hasn’t been determined. Typically, size is used as an indicator, since females tend to be considerably larger than the males.

So while there’s very little of the nest left, Flora seems to be — quite literally — hanging in there. Hoffman said, “The good thing is Martin has been bringing food to the nest” to feed Flora. Martin is the father of the three eaglets, and his mate is Rosa.

Until further notice, Hoffman said, “We’re definitely on standby to see what happens with DG5 and the rest of the nest.”

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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