At about 8:20 Friday morning, the first of hopefully two baby Bald Eagles poked its way out of its egg on a live cam feed in the Washington D.C. National Arboretum. The proud momma and poppa, which have been nicknamed “Mr. President” and “The First Lady” are the first Bald Eagles to nest there since 1947, according to the American Eagle Foundation.
Bald Eagles were first heavily hunted because they supposedly fed on salmon to such a degree that it interfered with human dependence on that particular resource. After that myth was disproved, the Bald Eagle Protection Act outlawed the hunting of the iconic bird, but then a widely used pesticide callede DDT almost wiped the species out.
DDT would concentrate in the food chain, eventually becoming toxic in the larger predators. It was originally thought that DDT caused eggshells to become thinner and that was what decimated raptor populations across the country. However, it turns out that DDT simply interfered with their ability to reproduce. Kind of like birth control for birds. As a result, by 1963 there were only 417 mating pairs of Bald Eagles left.
But since DDT was banned in 1972 for this very reason (thank you, evil gub’mint regulation!), the population has exploded to over 100,000 of the majestic birds. Plus this little fella from early Friday morning:
If you want to watch the live feed, you can go to DCeaglecam to see all the cuteness for yourself!
Featured image via NPR by way of American