When my wife and I went to the National Arboretum last year we heard there were Bald Eagles nesting there for the first time in nearly 50 years. The entire area was blocked off and a park employee was there with a telescope setup pointed at the nest. He was there to answer questions about the Eagles.

The Eagles weren’t in the nest the day we were there but we did have a great day exploring the beautiful lilacs and other flowers. We also found a wallet that looked to have been thrown over the fence. It had been there quite awhile so we dreamed up a story about it being evidence in a crime.

Recently, I found out there was a webcam setup to watch the Eagles nest and their newborn eaglets. Ever since then I’ve become somewhat obsessed with watching it. Being the geek I am, I was curious how they pulled off the setup.

Bad Eagles in their nest

From the American Eagle Foundation’s Press Release (PDF):

The USNA ran about a half mile of fiber optic cable to the cameras’ control box located about 200 feet from the base of the tree. The entire system is powered by a large solar array designed and built by students and staff from Alfred State, SUNY College of Technology.

There are two hi-def webcams. One providing a side view and the other setup above the nest. I was curious how they managed to set them up without disturbing the eagles. As it turns out, the whole thing was a big gamble.

“Bald Eagles don’t always return to their first year nest. We took a huge risk investing in this project and partnering with the Arboretum without any type of certainty that the Eagles would actually return,” says AEF’s P.R. Coordinator Julia Cecere, “It was happy day for everyone when both Eagles were spotted back on the nest this past October.”

I’ve enjoyed watching Mr. President and The First Lady, the names of the two eagles and their two baby eaglets on the Washington DC Live Bald Eagle Cam.

All images © 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG.