A webcam captured the magical moment that two bald eaglets emerged from their eggs, chirped their first chirps and ate some breakfast, thanks to Mom.
A bald eagle couple named Rosa and Martin have been caring for their new babies since they hatched separately in northern Virginia on Tuesday and Friday. The Dulles Greenway Eagle Cam has been rolling as the new family bonds.
A third egg in the nest, which was laid days later than the other two, is expected to hatch at any moment, according to the Dulles Greenway and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.
“We are excited to bring the awe and wonder of these eagles into people’s homes again this year,” Michael Myers, executive director of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, said in a news release announcing the first eaglet’s birth.
Here’s what you need to know about the Dulles Greenway eagles:
Rosa and Martin are not first-time parents. Last year, the eagle cam captured the birth of their eaglet, named Orion, and his departure from the nest a few months later.
“We can’t wait to watch this pair raise their young this year,” Myers said.
The eagles are named after civil rights leaders Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Students from Sterling Middle School in Sterling, Virginia, came up with the names and submitted them as part of a contest.
The Dulles Greenway has been monitoring the couple since they arrived to the nest in the fall of 2021. The cameras capturing their daily lives were installed between the 2021 and 2022 nesting seasons, and the couple have developed an online following since.
As the camera livestreamed the new babies in their nest Friday, people were tuning in from all over the world, including Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Finland and Canada, said Terry Hoffman, a spokesman for the group running the feed.
He said the eagles’ followers have been overjoyed at the latest news, especially coming off of last year’s loss of one egg.
“This morning when we woke up and Rosa moved off the nest and we saw two little bobbleheads, we were just overjoyed,” Hoffman said. “They were flopping and dropping and bouncing into each other. We call them little bobbleheads.”
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What happens now?
For now, the eaglets are being called DG3 and DG4, which stand for Dulles Greenway and the order in which they were hatched (Orion was originally DG1 and an eaglet that failed to hatch last year was DG2). The unhatched egg now in the nest is DG5.
As with Orion, the final names of the eaglets will be chosen after an online vote.
“They are so precious!” one Facebook follower of the eagles wrote. “I have named them Pi and Patrick because of the special days they were both born. Baby eagles make me happy!”
The first eaglet was born Tuesday, also known as Pi day because March 14 (3/14) corresponds with the mathematical symbol Pi, or 3.14. The second eaglet emerged Friday, St. Patrick’s Day.
Eaglets grow extremely fast. Within just three months of being born, they are ready to fly and most will leave the nest for good.
Many eagles don’t survive their first few days of life, with danger coming from predators, storms and even each other.
Eagle parents typically are extremely watchful and caring during this phase, bringing their babies food and scaring away any predators.
Volunteers monitoring the eagle family reported that there were three feedings alone on Friday morning, with DG4 getting their first bite after birth: “Way to go, little one!”