A third eaglet has hatched to a pair of doting bald eagle parents named Rosa and Martin in northern Virginia, completing the family of five who are being streamed live on a webcam as the world watches.
The eaglet slowly emerged from its egg early Sunday morning as its mother fed her other two babies, which were born last week on Tuesday and Friday.
“Rosa and Martin are going to have their talons full,” read a Facebook post about the latest hatching.
The Dulles Greenway Eagle Cam has been rolling as the new family bonds, with viewers tuning in from across the globe.
Here’s what you need to know about the Dulles Greenway eagles:
Rosa and Martin are not first-time parents. Last year, the eagle cam captured the birth of their eaglet, named Orion, and his departure from the nest a few months later.
“We can’t wait to watch this pair raise their young this year,” Michael Myers, executive director of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, said in a news release.
The eagles are named after civil rights leaders Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Students from Sterling Middle School in Sterling, Virginia, came up with the names and submitted them as part of a contest.
The Dulles Greenway has been monitoring the couple since they arrived to the nest in the fall of 2021. The cameras capturing their daily lives were installed between the 2021 and 2022 nesting seasons, and the couple have developed an online following since.
At any given moment, people all over the world are tuning in to watch the eagles. As the camera livestreamed last week’s two baby bald eagles on Friday, for instance, people were watching from Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Finland and Canada, among others, said Terry Hoffman, a spokesman for the group running the camera.
He said the eagles’ followers have been overjoyed at the latest news, especially coming off of last year’s loss of one egg.
“When we woke up and Rosa moved off the nest and we saw two little bobbleheads, we were just overjoyed,” Hoffman said after the second hatching Friday. “They were flopping and dropping and bouncing into each other. We call them little bobbleheads.”
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What happens now?
For now, the eaglets are being called DG3, DG4, and DG5, which stand for Dulles Greenway and the order in which they were hatched (Orion was originally DG1 and an eaglet that failed to hatch last year was DG2).
As with Orion, the final names of the eaglets will be chosen after an online vote, currently set for April.
In the running for the name contest for the oldest two eaglets are Pi and Patrick. The first eaglet was born on March 14, also known as Pi day because 3/14 corresponds with the mathematical symbol Pi, or 3.14. The second eaglet emerged Friday, St. Patrick’s Day.
Their youngest sibling was not born on a holiday, so its name will require a bit more pondering.
Hope for survival
Eaglets grow extremely fast. Within just three months of being born, they are ready to fly and most will leave the nest for good.
Many eagles don’t survive their first few days of life, with danger coming from predators, storms and even each other.
Eagle parents typically are extremely watchful and caring during this phase, bringing their babies food and scaring away any predators.
Volunteers monitoring the eagle family reported that there were four feedings alone on Monday morning, with DG5 getting plenty to eat despite being the smallest.
“Way to go littlest one!” read the Facebook post.