After days of anticipation, the second egg in the bald eagle nest at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., has hatched.
A photo from the American Eagle Foundation bald eagle nest cam shows the second eaglet, named DC3, next to its sibling and parents. The picture was taken by Twitter user @HollyinVA at 6:50 a.m. Sunday. A spokesperson for the American Eagle Foundation confirmed the second eaglet was completely out of its shell.
Julia Cecere, the publicity, marketing and social media manager for the American Eagle Foundation, said they believe DC3, the initial name of the second eaglet, fully emerged at 3 a.m. Sunday. Cecere said they were able to capture some video footage of all four in the nest Sunday morning.
Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Dr. Jill Biden, congratulated "Mr. President" and "The First Lady" on the arrival of their eaglets via a tweet.
Photos on Saturday showed the second egg had begun the pipping process. Pipping is when the outer shell begins to crack due to activity inside the shell. Pipping was first noticed at 9 a.m. Saturday, but the eaglet could take anywhere from 12 to 48 hours to fully emerge, according to Cecere.
The first eaglet, named DC2, which fully emerged Friday morning at 8:30 a.m., took nearly 36 hours to come out of its shell. The pipping for the first eaglet began Wednesday evening at 7:39 p.m.
Cecere said both eaglets appear to be healthy in their next atop a tulip poplar tree in the arboretum. They have unsteady legs and head, won't be able to fully generate their own body heat for several days, and they will extremely dependent on their parents for safety, food and warmth.
Video from the webcam showed the adults, named Mr. President and The First Lady, feeding the eaglets fish caught from area waters.
"Judging from the monumental public interest the D.C. Eagle Cam is receiving, it seems that citizens across America have momentarily put their political differences and disagreements aside to share and enjoy together the special importance, wonder and meaning of their symbolic National Bird," says AEF Founder and President Al Cecere.
Julia Cerere said over the next 12 weeks, the tiny, fuzzy eaglets will grow into full-sized juveniles eagles with all-brown plumage. While still depending on mom and dad for food, they will start feeding themselves and learn to use their wings.
After that, Julia Cerere said the juveniles should make their first flights between 12-14 weeks of age.
She said the general public will be given the opportunity to help come up with suitable names for the nestlings.
The parent eagles are the first pair to nest in the area in nearly 70 years.