A bald eagle was seen flying around the Clarendon area Saturday afternoon.
Ryan McNey snapped a couple of smartphone photos of the majestic bird in his neighborhood.
“I was about to pull into my driveway when I noticed a bunch of birds chasing another, bigger bird past my house,” McNey told ARLnow.com. “It took my a few seconds to realize that the bigger bird was actually a Bald Eagle. As I was trying to snap some pictures the eagle turned back toward where I was and swooped down to grab a squirrel that had been hit by a car earlier today.”
North Rosslyn Profiled — The neighborhood of North Rosslyn has been profiled by the Washington Post. The neighborhood is a bastion of “tranquil residential life” in the shadows of Rosslyn’s high rise office buildings, the Post’s Eliza McGraw wrote. [Washington Post]
Children Participate in AHC ‘Olympics’ — About a hundred children who live in affordable housing managed by AHC Inc. participated in their own version of the Olympic Games last week. The competition included both academic contests like “word weightlifting” and “math distance medley,” as well at athletic events like wiffle ball, soccer, jump roping and the 100 yard dash. [Sun Gazette]
Hawk Found Dead — A hawk was found dead over the weekend in the Radnor-Fort Myer Heights neighborhood. It had apparently flown into a window. [Ode Street Tribune]
Flickr pool photo by Enigmatic Traveler
Eaglets Hatched? — Flickr pool photographer Philliefan99 says the eagles in the photo above are exhibiting behavior that suggests they have eaglets in their nest. The nest is located near Spout Run. [Flickr]
No Streetcar Stalemate, Arlington Says — There is no discord between Arlington and Alexandria when it comes to plans to build a streetcar line along the future Route 1 transit corridor, according to a joint statement issued by Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan and Alexandria City Manager Rashad Young. The statement was in response to an article that suggested diverging transit plans were causing tensions between the two jurisdictions. [City of Alexandria]
New Data on Remodeling Expenses in Arlington — Households in Arlington spend an average of $5,801 per year on remodeling expenses, well above the national average of $1,907 per year, according to new data from the National Association of Home Builders. Falls Church households, meanwhile, spend the most on remodeling of any southern jurisdiction: $6,099 per year. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Philliefan99
The birds of prey have been spotted around the county, often with an eager eye trained on a potential meal.
“A raccoon got smushed by a car on the street by my house Sunday and when I drove down the street, I saw about 4 vultures gathered around the carcass, trying to get at it between cars streaming down the street,” said Dana M., a Lyon Park resident, in an email. “Thought this was a weird sight to see in urban Arlington. I’ve seen raccoon, possums, foxes, and hawks, but never a vulture.”
In another instance, a county employee spotted two vultures casually hanging out on a deck outside the Department of Human Services building at Sequoia Plaza.
A third possible vulture spotting happened amid the high rises of Ballston.
Photos courtesy of Dana M., @BrianKal and Anonymous
According to a recording of air traffic control radio, the pilot of the 737 reported a left engine failure as a result of the bird strike. The plane landed safely at Dulles just before 8:00 a.m.
The bird strike caused a bit of a scare on the ground. D.C. Fire and EMS crews near the Potomac River were put on alert after reports came in of an aircraft in distress. The situation recalled the 2009 “Miracle on the Hudson” — when pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed a US Airways jet on the Hudson River after both engines were disabled by a flock of birds.
Bird strikes are actually not uncommon at Reagan National.
Despite the use of systems designed to scare birds away from the runways and alert air traffic controllers to their presence, a total of 24 bird-related incidents were reported at Reagan National last year, according to an FAA database. Of those incidents, 21 were reported as birds striking an aircraft and 3 were birds simply found injured on or near runways. Five incidents involved large birds, which are more likely to cause damage to an aircraft fuselage or engine.
Among the incidents:
- On May 1, 2010, a US Airways 737 ingested a large vulture into its #1 engine on approach. No damage was reported and the plane landed safely.
- On July 28, a United Airlines Airbus 319 struck a large bird on takeoff. The flight continued on to Chicago, where bird remains were then cleaned off the plane’s nose. No damage was reported.
- On August 8, a regional jet struck a large osprey on takeoff. Minor damage to the landing gear door was reported, but the plane continued on to Albany, N.Y.
- On October 7, an injured bald eagle was found near a runway. Crews retrieved the bird and brought it to an animal hospital. No bird strike was reported.
The photos sparked a dialogue in the comments about where exactly the photo was taken. That was enough for reader Alan H. to decide to take his son on an adventure to find the nest Sunday afternoon.
He emailed us with the photo above and the story below.
A few weeks ago I saw a bald eagle next to the Mt Vernon trail by Memorial bridge and thought – “I wonder if there is a nest nearby?” Shortly thereafter ARLnow posted the picture of the eagle nest and a commentator chimed in on approximately where it was located.
This afternoon, under a warm and sunny sky, I took my five year old son on an adventure to find the nest (the bald eagle is his favorite animal). Given the nest approximate location we tried Dawson Terrace park. Sure enough, about 50 yards down the trail at the back of the park we saw the nest. A little further exploration found the place where your photographer probably took the shots. Using our binoculars my son actually caught a glimpse of the bald eagle – most likely sitting on a clutch of eggs – and we saw one of the eagles fly into the nest. Needless to say, my son was hopping with excitement and it was the highlight of his (and my) day. We will be going back regularly to check on the progress of the eggs and hatchlings through the spring and summer.
So thanks for a great local news site – and for inspiring my five year old son!
We spotted this big flock of birds flying north, in formation, over Arlington and the District. It’s a sure sign that spring is just around the corner.
The official start of spring, by the way, is March 20. And don’t forget to set the clocks forward an hour this weekend. Daylight Savings Time starts in the wee hours of this coming Sunday, March 14.