Heartwarming Story: Bald Eagle Gets a Chance to Nurture and Protect

Injured Bald Eagle at Sanctuary Takes Up Unique Task

A bald eagle residing in a Missouri bird sanctuary due to a permanent flight injury recently caught the attention of caretakers with unusual behavior.

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This eagle, named Murphy, lived at the World Bird Sanctuary (WBS) when a keeper named Kerstin noticed something intriguing. Murphy had meticulously created a depression in the ground, adorning it with leaves, branches, and a solitary rock at its center.


Keeper Kerstin observed Murphy sitting on the rock as if it were an egg, a ritual he continued for days. This behavior stems from the natural tendency of male bald eagles to participate equally in raising their young.

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WBS’s Lighthearted Take on the Situation

In a lighthearted tone, the sanctuary shared, “Every so often, he rearranges the sticks in his nest and cackles at any other eagles that come too close.


We wish Murphy all the luck in the world, but we’re not telling him the reality of the situation.” The sanctuary playfully added, “We have yet to see a rock hatch!”

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Not Just Loneliness: A Unique Choice

Many viewers speculated that Murphy might feel lonely and need a mate, but the sanctuary keepers emphasized that Murphy’s actions were voluntary.


Despite cohabiting with four other bald eagles—two males and two females—Murphy has intentionally chosen this path. WBS clarified, “He is not welcoming help with his nest, nor is he seeking it! He has not chosen a mate, so he wants to do this alone.

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He does not want anything (real eggs) but his rock. Eventually, he will get bored and abandon it, but we love watching him care for it now. No need to feel bad for him! He is perfectly content and very spoiled!”

A Remarkable Turn: Nurturing a Real Baby


In a remarkable turn of events, Murphy, who had never raised a chick before in his 31 years, was allowed to foster a real eaglet. The chance came when a nest containing two chicks near Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, was blown down by strong winds.

One chick tragically perished, but the other was rescued and brought to WBS’s Wildlife Hospital. Even though it was a gamble, the sanctuary’s staff decided to introduce the surviving chick to Murphy’s care.

The Magic of Connection


Upon being introduced to the eaglet named “BabyRock,” Murphy took about an hour to approach and examine the young bird. Though initially curious, Murphy didn’t immediately feed the eaglet. However, a heartwarming moment occurred when the eaglet left its nest to get closer to Murphy.

The sanctuary shared an update with excitement: “IT’S HAPPENING!!!! MURPHY FED THE BABY!!!!” A heartening photograph was posted, capturing the touching interaction between Murphy and the eaglet.

Supporting the Eagles


If Murphy’s story touches you and you want to contribute, consider donating to the World Bird Sanctuary. This heartening tale reminds us of the connections and cares that transcend species boundaries.

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