Unusual Wildlife Bond: Bald Eagle Adopts Baby Hawk in Northern California

In an extraordinary display of interspecies care, a bald eagle in Northern California surprised onlookers when it brought a baby red-tailed hawk to its nest, where its own eaglet was already residing.

Rather than becoming a meal for the hungry eaglet, the eagle embraced and nurtured the baby hawk as if it were one of its own.

Watch the video at the end.


Photographer Jann Nichols captured this heartwarming moment and regularly documented the unique bond between the two birds.

Image 135

Amidst the lush scenery of Northern California, Lola the eaglet and Tuffy2 the hawklet have been seen developing what appears to be a sibling-like bond.

The eagles provide food and care for the young hawk alongside their eaglet sibling, displaying remarkable nurturing behavior seldom seen in the wild.


This phenomenon has caught the attention of British Columbia-based Eagle Biologist David Hancock, who has documented similar cases in the past. However, the sibling-type bond observed in this instance is considered unprecedented.

Image 136

On one occasion, Nichols captured an astonishing shot when the hawk seemed to fall from the nest, only to be rescued by the surrogate eagle mother, reaffirming the depth of their connection.

Recently, misinformation surfaced, prompting Nichols to address the issue. It’s essential to understand that the eagles’ behavior is not due to confusion but rather to their paternal instincts.


Upon hearing the hawklet’s begging call, which resembled their own eaglet’s call, the adult eagles instinctively responded and fully accepted Tuffy2 as a family member. The sibling relationship formed in this unusual alliance has fostered a loving and protective environment.

Image 137

As witnessed in similar cases, eagles do not harm or kill their own young, and once they embrace an outsider as part of their family, that bond remains permanent.

Despite facing challenges, Tuffy2 has proven to be a survivor in the eagle’s nest, thriving alongside its much larger eagle siblings.


Observers and photographers have been fortunate to witness this remarkable occurrence in nature and are encouraged to help others understand and appreciate the science behind these rare and captivating events.

In summary, this exceptional display of interspecies bonding between a bald eagle and a baby hawk in Northern California has captivated wildlife enthusiasts and researchers alike, shedding light on the profound instincts and behaviors that exist in the natural world.

Watch the video below:


Read more Wildlife News.