(Reuters) – The drought for celebrity bald eagle couple Lotus and Mr. P is officially over as the Washington pair is expecting.
The bald eagles known as “Lady of the U.S.” and “Mr. President” – or Lotus and Mr. P for short – made eagle-watching news over the last week when she laid two eggs in their nest in the National Arboretum in the nation’s capital.
It marked the first time in three years that a bald eagle laid eggs in the park. The eggs are expected to hatch at the end of March, said Dan Rauch, a wildlife biologist with the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment.
“This nest kind of mirrors the recovery of bald eagles,” he said. “Every single green light is go. This is awesome, just great.”
The national symbol of the United States, the bald eagle has recently lifted itself from the brink of extinction and was removed from the national endangered and threatened list in 2021.
The popular eagle couple has quite a following. Their own Twitter account has 7,500 followers and live American Eagle Foundation cameras trained on their nest are a hit for eagle watchers on social media.
The pair spent Friday morning perched in their nest in a tulip poplar tree about 80 feet (24 cm) above ground taking turns sitting on their eggs and angrily chirping at another eagle soaring high above, who was intruding on their air space, video footage showed.
It is not the first time Mr. President has mated with a female bald eagle in the nest. In 2014, Mr. President and a bald eagle named “First Lady” made it their a home. It was the first time bald eagles nested in this spot since 1947, according to the American Eagle Foundation.
The couple went on to raise one eaglet successfully in 2015 and two in 2016. In 2018, the pair had two eaglets, but lost one to West Nile Virus.
But First Lady ditched Mr. President – on Valentine’s Day 2021 of all days – after she had trouble producing eggs and other eagles came to visit him when she left in the warmer months. The day after her final departure, Lotus arrived.
Lotus “is doing really well. They are good partners,” Rauch said. “They are a really good match.”
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; editing by Diane Craft)