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The National Bliss Of A Baby Eaglet — And Another One Soon To Hatch?


And now a story about the symbol of this nation, the bald eagle. After a few days of anticipation this week, a fuzzy gray eaglet hatched on Friday morning here in the nation's capital. It created quite a lot of chirping on Twitter and other such media thanks to an Eagle Cam streaming live video around the clock. So we asked NPR's Brakkton Booker to head down to the National Arboretum to check things out. The eagle parents, appropriately named Mr. President and the First Lady, are expecting a second eaglet to hatch any minute now.

BRAKKTON BOOKER, BYLINE: Deb Briceland-Betts and her husband Tim come to the National Arboretum occasionally. But on Friday, it was for something totally new.

DEB BRICELAND-BETTS: We come to see the azaleas, the bonsai exhibit, the gardening exhibit, so we've been here a number of times.

BOOKER: First time for eagles?

BRICELAND-BETTS: First time for eagles. Absolutely.

BOOKER: She's more than ready. She's got her binoculars, and she spotted what she thinks is the eagles nest. To be sure, we check with our guide.

RAMON JORDAN: My name is Ramon Jordan. I'm a research plant pathologist, specializing in molecular virology. But having said that, I'm the liaison for all things eagles here at the arboretum.

BOOKER: We get as close as we can, but of course, these are a protected species. So we have to stay behind the mandated 330-foot perimeter. Jordan confirms, it is indeed the nest.

JORDAN: It's about 6-foot tall, about 5-foot wide. That nest is about 95-foot high on this 105-foot tulip poplar.

BOOKER: Unfortunately, that's far too high to see the little hatchling inside. So the best chance to see the baby, temporarily named DC2, is on the Eagle Cam. In about 10 days or so, there will be a naming contest announced on social media.

JORDAN: And we're waiting until then to make sure that they're viable because mother nature being what it is, that's a question. This is a natural habitat, et cetera, things do happen.

BOOKER: As for Deb Briceland-Betts, the woman with the binoculars, she's not at all disappointed she was unable to get a glimpse of the eagles.

BRICELAND-BETTS: To actually see that they are nesting, and successfully nesting, you know, this is the symbol of our country. And so to see it is kind of a patriotic moment.

BOOKER: There is another egg in that nest and, if you check out the Eagle Cam, you might just see another one hatch just in time for spring. Brakkton Booker, NPR News, Washington.


EAGLES: (Singing) There's talk on the street, it sounds so familiar. Great expectations, everybody's watching you. People you meet they all seem to know you. Even your old friends treat you like you're something new. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Brakkton Booker is a National Desk reporter based in Washington, DC.

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