WATCH: No Eaglets for Either of Washington D.C.’s Famous Bald Eagle Couples This Year
Liberty and Justice aren’t the only bald eagle couple in D.C. having a rough year.
It’s been a rocky few months for the bald eagles of Washington D.C. After infidelity, intrigue, reconciliation, and death rocked Liberty and Justice’s lofty nest above the Metropolitan Police Academy, experts have announced that there will be no eggs for the famous feathered couple this year.
But Liberty and Justice aren’t alone in their grief. In a tree at the U.S. National Arboretum in Northeast Washington, the city’s other highly watched nest is also empty. According to The Washington Post, that nest’s resident bald eagle couple, The First Lady and Mr. President, failed to produce any eggs this year.
Dan Rauch, the city’s wildlife biologist, told the Post that it looks like both of the nests have “failed this year.” This is reportedly the first year without any eagle hatchings in D.C. in two decades.
“This is not a good thing,” Rauch said. He added that experts will watch it to make sure it’s not a downward trend. “Hopefully they’ll bounce back,” he concluded.
Female bald eagles are only fertile during a two-week window, which makes laying eagle eggs a decidedly difficult task. Despite that, conservation efforts seem to have been paying off recently.
Liberty and Justice have successfully hatched about 22 eaglets in the 14 years that have called their nest perched high in a 110-foot-tall oak tree home. This year’s eggs, however, which were laid before a mysterious two-week disappearance by Justice and the arrival of few new suitors for Liberty, didn’t stand a chance. But experts remain hopeful for the country’s high-flying first couples.
Tommy Lawrence, managing director at the Earth Conservation Corps., the organization that runs a popular live-stream of Liberty and Justice’s nest, told the Post that the pair have been doing some restoration work to their nest, but other eagles have been coming in at times.
“It doesn’t seem like we’ll have any eggs in D.C. this year,” Lawrence said. “It’s disappointing because we always like to see eaglets come. But one good sign is that we’ve seen additional eagles coming into the area and that means the eagle population is rebounding.”
We’re crossing our fingers that next year is more successful for our winged friends!