Mr. President & The First Lady Bald Eagle Cam
Mr. President & The First Lady BALD EAGLE CAM
National Arboretum Bald Eagle Nest Cam, Washington, DC
In Partnership with the American Eagle Foundation • Powered by HDOnTap
About This Pair of Bald Eagles
In 2014, a pair of mated Bald Eagles chose the most idyllic of nest sites within the United States’ National Capital, Washington, DC, nestled high in a Tulip Poplar Tree amongst The Azalea Collection at the United States National Arboretum, which is operated by the United States Department of Agriculture. This was the first time Bald Eagles have nested in this location since 1947.
Mr. President and The First Lady, returned to the National Arboretum on October 15, 2018. Since their return, they’ve been seen near and on the nest.
The First Lady (female), aside from being larger, appears to have more of the lighter edging on her feathers, particularly on the back, between the wings.
Bald Eagle Nest Information & Location:
Their tree is located on the western edge of the Arboretum’s famed Glenn Dale azalea collection, the destination of springtime visitors to the Arboretum since 1949. The azaleas bloom in late April and early May. Staff from USNA engaged in early consultation with Craig Koppie, US Fish and Wildlife Service Chesapeake Bay Field Office to avoid disturbance and minimize potential impacts to the new Eagle pair. The presence of the Bald Eagle nest so close to Azalea Drive along the south side of Mount Hamilton means the road is closed off to vehicles. A smaller segment of Azalea Drive will be closed to pedestrians because it is within the buffer zone (roughly 660 feet in diameter surrounding the nest site). Visitors can still explore most of the Azalea Collections from the east side trailheads, however, visitors are not allowed to see the nest itself.
The current nest is approximately five feet wide by six feet deep. The tree selected by this pair is large enough to support a nest, is within sight distance of the river, and is also located in one of the few parts of the District with limited human disturbance.
The Arboretum has a number of mature trees that are large enough to support an eagle’s nest. Even though this nest is in an urban area, the Arboretum provides quality wildlife habitat and enough open space to dampen the commotion and noise from the city. Also, the Arboretum’s eastern boundary is the Anacostia River, which is a significant food source.
There are about 50 species of fish in the Anacostia, some are minnows, alewives and other small fish but there are some like shad, bass, herring, warmouth, gar and American eel that they could catch. We know for sure they are eating catfish, most likely a bullhead type and perch (we saw that when USFWS did their fly over last season, it was sitting on the edge of the nest). It was noted that the eagles may have been feeding on either a female ruddy duck or coot, there was also some herring or ring-billed gull primary feathers in the nest.
The Anacostia River supports 188 species of birds and nearly 50 species of fish. Some of the animals you can see in and along the river include: bald eagles, beavers, white perch, ospreys, striped bass, cormorants, crayfish, herons, turtles, egrets, otters, herring, red fox, shad, kingfishers, and bullhead catfish.
For more information visit the American Eagle Foundation's website.
2021 Season History
Season Summary: TBD
- September 25, 2020 - Unknown Eagle vistior is seen at the nest
- September 29, 2020 - Mr. President is seen at the nest joined by an unknown eagle visitor
- October 7, 2020 - The First Lady returns to the nest
- October 8, 2020 - Mr. President and The First Lady seen mating attempt
- October 9, 2020 - Mr. President and The First Lady join at the nest
- October 15, 2020 - Two unkonwn visitors at the nest then Mr. President appeared at the nest before sunset
2020 Season History
Summary: The season started off hopeful with lots of courtship, mating and nesting behaviors seen by Mr. President and The First Lady but unfortunately this was the second unsuccessful season for the mated pair. The season was kept interesting with many nest intruders, some of which Mr. President was seen mating with.
January 17, 2020 - Cameras went live on HDOnTap.com
February 4, 2020 - Both Mr. President and The First Lady are busy at nestorations
February 7, 2020 - The eagles are seen mating around and in the nest 8 times throughout the day
February 8, 2020 - Mr. President is seen making many trips out of the nest and coming back with large sticks
February 10, 2020 - The First Lady appears at the nest in the morning and is joined by Mr. President the two fend off and make territorial sounds for something flying overhead
February 12, 2020 - Mr. President returns to the nest with a pile of grass and bundles into the nest
February 17, 2020 - Hawk intrudes the nest
February 15, 2020 - TFL displays "dominance behaviors" after mating
February 21, 2020 - Mr. President practices egg sitting in the nest tucking grass into the nest and sitting on the nest for a decent amount of time
February 22, 2020 - Interesting behavior seen from The First Lady, she makes a shrill call at Mr. President and extends her wings at him, seen as a dominance behavior. AEF speculated in chat that TFL has done this before in previous nests, in 2018 this behavior was seen on March 17, then the first egg was laid on March 25th. There is speculation as to whether this is performed as a result of hormones during her fertile period. This behavior continued for the next few days.
February 26, 2020 - Nest intruder is seen in the nest and was chased off by Mr. President and TFL
February 29, 2020 - A hawk is chased away by TFL from the nest area
March 13, 2020 - A sub-adult eagle stopped by the nest at dusk, seen moving around nest materials until Mr. President returns to the nest and chases the juvenille eagle out of the nest. The young intruder returns to the nest nearly 9 times throughout the night and is chased away with some combat from Mr. President.
April 12, 2020 - Mr. President and The First Lady seen at the nest mating
April 14, 2020 - Mr. President and a female nest intruder mate
April 26, 2020 - Mr. President and the female nest intruder seen mating again
2019 Season History
Summary: 0 eggs laid
February 5, 2019 - Cameras went live
2018 Season History
Summary: 2 eggs, 2 hatches, 1 fledge
September 28, 2017 - Mr. President returned to nest
October 9, 2017 - First Lady returned to nest
March 25, 2018 - First egg laid
March 28, 2018 - Second egg laid
April 30, 2018 - First Hatch
May 3, 2018 - Second Hatch
July 12, 2018 - First Fledge "Victory"
July 26, 2018 - Second Fledge "Valor"
August 2018 - Valor fell from the nest and was recovered a few days later. He was taken to Tri-State and was later humanely euthanized because it was confirned he had contracted West Nile Virus
2017 Season History
Summary: 2 eggs, 2 hatches, 2 fledges
September 13, 2016 - Mr. President returned to nest
October 11, 2016 - First Lady returned to nest
February 19, 2017 - First egg laid
February 23, 2017 - Second egg laid
March 29, 2017 - First Hatch
March 30, 2017 - Second Hatch
June 19, 2017 - First Fledge "Glory"
June 22, 2017 - Second Fledge "Honor"
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Welcome to the 2020 Nesting Season for Bald Eagle Pair Mr. President & the First Lady!