WASHINGTON — Two babies and the dad is missing. Now, there's an all-out community search on for that dad. This is the drama unfolding in one of DC’s beloved Eagle’s nests.
“It’s a lot of drama and it’s something we don’t normally deal with just because one of our things is we just like to leave the next alone and let nature play it’s course,” said Tommy Lawrence, Managing Director of the Earth Conservation Corps.
ECC is the non-profit that in many ways, helped bring the two Eagle parents together. In the late 90s, the group released juvenile eagles hoping to grow the Washington D.C. eagle population.
One Eagle couple, a female named “Liberty” and the male named "Justice," have been together for about 14 years, says Lawrence.
The whole world got to see the raptor couple’s two eaglets hatch last year on the ECC live Eagle cam.
We’re told Eagles usually mate for life. Until they cannot, which appears to be happening now.
Justice, the dad, disappeared.
Around that same time, a younger male went to the nest with scars. Lawrence and his team believe these scars may have come from fighting Justice.
It’s no coincidence the team nicknamed this new male Eagle “Aaron Burrd.” It’s a play on Aaron Burr’s name. Burr is the Vice President who history books say, shot and killed Alexander Hamilton.
Liberty had already laid one egg. On Saturday, the ECC team spotted a second egg on the Live Eagle Cam, with Justice still nowhere to be found.
“There’s a bunch of different scenarios that could potentially happen, some of which are not great scenarios,” said Lawrence.
One scenario could include the new male Eagle destroying both eggs. Another could end in the new male killing the Eaglets. Lawrence and the team are hoping the new male Eagle will adopt the two Eaglets and his own. There’s also the option of Liberty having hatching new eggs with “Aaron Burr.”
There’s still time.
"It’s one of those things where almost 20-years ago Eagles were endangered. And now 20-years later the fact that you have Eagles that are now fighting for a female is something to be happy about in a way, just because that means that the population is coming back," says Lawrence.
The ECC Director says it typically takes around 35-40 days for Eagle eggs to hatch.
ECC5 (Liberty’s first egg this year) is expected to hatch between March 18th – 25th. The new egg just hatched on Saturday is expected to hatch from March 25th – 31st.
If Justice is found injured, the ECC does have partners that can help care for him. In the meantime, they’re asking everyone in the Hains Point, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital or Oxon Run area to keep a lookout for a line Eagle.
If you are close enough to take a clear photo, you can send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.