Monday, 2 May 2016


Eager to witness this January's record Washington, D.C. snow storm in action, Jim downloaded the App, Earth Cam. Watching non-snowtired cars skid around the capital streets was mildly entertaining, but who knew that that download would hook us on what we now refer to as "real reality" TV.

Within the National Arboreteum in Washington D.C., two bald eagles who mated in 2014 (and we weren't even invited to the wedding) built their nest high atop a tulip poplar tree. Appropriately, the pair have been named Mr. President and First Lady. The American Eagle Foundation and The National Arboreteum joined forces in 2015 installing two high definition web cams. Within days, the Eagle Cam, Washington, D.C. went live on Earth Cam.

Just after Valentine's Day, Jim and I noticed two eggs in the nest and our "chick watch" was on. I should say, our obsessive "chick watch" was on. In actuality, the First Lady laid DC 2 (the assigned name) on February 10 and DC 3 on February 14. It mattered not whether it was first thing in the morning or upon returning from an errand, our first words to each other were, Are the chicks here yet? I know; we need a life!

And then at 8:27am on March 18th., our long watch paid off as DC 2 was hatched. OMG, how I wished I could hold that little ball of downy feathers. Too sweet!

DC 3 was born two days later and then our parental instincts took over. I know; we really, really do need to get a life! We worried that both chicks would be fed properly as one chick appeared to hog the food. We worried about sibling rivalry which can prove fatal with eagles. We worried about predators, natural get it, we worried. No harm for our little chicks, please. 

What Jim and I have witnessed since our chicks were hatched is nature at its best and the caring majesty of Mr. President and First Lady who have stood guard, hunted, fed fish to their young, and warmed them with their bodies during windy, chilly days and nights of early spring. 

Time has passed and our eaglets, in addition to growing at a rapid pace, are now taking on the markings of mature eagles. We watch in fascination as they increasingly flex their wings. Like watching our own children leave the nest, we now await DC 2 and DC 3's first flights and their ultimate departure from home. Gives a whole new meaning to the term "empty nester", doesn't it? Ouch that was bad!

Nature never ceases to surprise, amaze and inspire me. Like a family member I will be sad to witness our eaglets move on, but look forward with great anticipation to next spring. If this is what Reality TV is about, sign me up!

No comments:

Post a Comment