WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On June 5 at 2:30 p.m. EST, "Freedom," one of the two young eagles residing in the nest of "Mr. President" and "The First Lady" at the U.S. National Arboretum, fledged the nest! A D.C. Eagle Cam viewer captured a video of Freedom's first flight from the American Eagle Foundation's Internet video feed.
"At first glance, the fledge did not look too graceful," said American Eagle Foundation President Al Cecere. "But as the video is viewed more closely at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, Freedom can be seen flapping her wings and flying upward onto a branch of a nearby tree."
D.C. Biologist Dan Rauch confirmed on June 5 that Freedom was at first perched in a tree about 50 meters from the nest tree up about 75-80 feet from the ground, and that the eagle later moved higher to the top of the same tree. As of the early afternoon Monday, June 6, the eaglet flew up to a roost tree frequented by its parents, located on a hill behind the nest tree.
You can watch the video of Freedom's fledge on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/djcamacho99/videos/vb.1100031735/10206939278696024/?type=3&theater
"After years of operating Eagle Nest Cams and watching hundreds of eaglets take their first flights, it's still always bittersweet to see them graduate into the wild," said Cecere. "We've loved viewing them day by day, but there comes a time when we have to say goodbye and hope that they grow strong and are successful living in the wild."
In coming days and weeks, Freedom could possibly return to the nest for food. Meanwhile, on June 6, Liberty began "branching" and “winger-cising" higher up on a tree limb above the nest, and is expected to soon follow suit with his own first flight. You can watch for that momentous event by visiting dceaglecam.org.
“The male eagle, Liberty, appears to be stepping up his branching activity above the nest to hopefully catch up with his big sister,” said Cecere.