The bald eagle is a truly remarkable and majestic creature. Serving as the national bird of the United States, this species was once on the brink of endangerment. However, thanks to nationwide conservation efforts, it has successfully staged a comeback.
Witnessing the hatching of a baby bald eagle is always an inspiring sight, as it brings another one of these magnificent birds into the world. For a particular pair of Minnesota bald eagles, it was even more heartening news, as they welcomed a newborn eaglet weeks after the heartbreaking loss of one of their eggs.
Viewers who followed the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ EagleCam this season were treated to a rollercoaster of emotions as a male and female eagle worked diligently to hatch their eggs in their nest.
For weeks, the devoted eagle couple invested time and effort in preparing their nest, carefully arranging soft grasses and leaves. According to the department, the female has consistently laid eggs in the same nest for four consecutive years. In mid-February, she accomplished the task once again, successfully laying two eggs, spaced three days apart.
However, on February 23, the nest faced a formidable challenge when a heavy snowstorm struck, depositing a substantial 13.4 inches of snow. Despite the adverse weather conditions, footage captured the eagle mom resiliently remaining in her nest, ensuring the safety of the eggs even as the snow piled up around her.
Tragically, on February 28, the couple experienced the loss of one of their eggs. According to the DNR, during a switch in incubation duties, “the male rose with one egg stuck to his brood patch.” It remains uncertain whether the egg was already broken at that moment or if the incident occurred earlier.
The agency, as reported by the Kansas City Star, stated, “In the 10 years we’ve been watching this nest, we have never seen this occur.” Despite this setback, the determined couple continued to incubate their remaining egg. Experts noted that the surviving egg’s chances of thriving actually improved.
Explaining the situation, the Minnesota DNR stated, “The survival rate of bald eagle chicks to fledging (successful flight) is 50%. 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!”
In a turn of fortune, the remaining egg successfully hatched on March 26.
“This single chick will be one well cared-for eaglet,” they wrote.
It’s truly heartening to see these two bald eagles successfully welcoming their baby into the world, especially after the unfortunate loss of one of their eggs. We’re confident that this adorable little hatchling will be well taken care of and wish the eagle family all the best.