The second of two baby bald eagles hatched on 20 March at Washington's National Arboretum. The fluffy grey eaglet, whose birth coincides with the first day of spring, emerged from its shell in the early hours of the morning when it was still dark, but made a much-anticipated appearance shortly after 7am local time, when its parent moved aside to reveal the latest addition to the nest.
The eaglet's elder sibling was born on 18 March. A hugely-popular "eagle cam" has provided live footage of the early moments of the eaglets, both of which were born to a pair of bald eagles known as Mr President and The First Lady. The First Lady laid her first egg of 2016 on 10 February and her second on 14 February early in the morning.
This is the first pair to nest at the Arboretum since 1947, according to the American Eagle Foundation. The eaglets have not received official names so far, but are identified as DC2 and DC3 to reflect order of birth. An older sibling, named DC1, was born in 2015.
The federally protected bald eagle is featured on currency and in the presidential seal, and was adopted as the national US bird symbol in 1782. The bird almost disappeared from the United States decades ago, but habitat protection and the banning of the pesticide DDT led to its recovery. The bird was removed from the federal endangered species list in 2007.
The eagle cam video is courtesy of American Eagle Foundation (eagles.org) in partnership with the USDA's U.S. National Arboretum; the Department of Energy & Environment; and Alfred State College, SUNY College of Technology.