The bald eagle is an incredible, majestic animal. It’s the national bird of the United States, and while the species was once considered endangered it has made a comeback thanks to nationwide protections.
It’s always an inspiring sight when a baby bald eagle hatches, bringing another one of these beautiful birds into the world. But it was especially good news for one pair of Minnesota bald eagles, who hatched a newborn eaglet weeks after tragically losing one of their eggs.
Those who tuned in to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ EagleCam this season got to witness plenty of ups and downs as a male and female eagle prepared to hatch their eggs in their nest.
The couple spent weeks preparing their nest with soft grasses and leaves. The female has been laying eggs in the same nest for four years, the department says.
In mid February, she successfully laid two eggs, three days apart.
On February 23, the nest was hit by a heavy snowstorm that piled up 13.4 inches of snow. Footage showed the eagle mom still in her nest keeping the eggs safe even as snow piles up on her:
Sadly, on February 28, the couple lost one of their eggs. The DNR wrote that while the male and female were switching incubation duties, “the male rose with one egg stuck to his brood patch.” It’s not clear if the egg was already broken when the male stood up for if it happened earlier.
“In the 10 years we’ve been watching this nest, we have never seen this occur,” the agency said, according to the Kansas City Star.
However, the couple continued to incubate their other egg, and experts said its chances of survival actually improved.
“The survival rate of bald eagle chicks to fledging (successful flight) is 50%,” Minnesota DNR explained. “It is sad and unfortunate to lose an egg, but since there will only be one chick to care for, the survival chances increase dramatically!”
Thankfully, the remaining egg hatched successfully on March 26.
The department said the chick was “being fiercely protected by both adults.”
“This single chick will be one well cared-for eaglet,” they wrote.
The newborn eagle’s arrival was captured on the EagleCam, and viewers can continue to follow the hatchling’s progress.
The department writes that the newborn is in the “cutest phase of development” which they call the “bobble-head” stage.
We’re so glad these two bald eagles successfully hatched their baby, weeks after unfortunately losing one of their eggs. We know this adorable little hatchling will be very well taken care of!
Please share this story if you love bald eagles! ❤️🦅