So happy he got to be a father to a little one. 😉🦅
A lucky coincidence has given Murphy the opportunity to nurture an eaglet of his own
So happy for Murphy. He’s fulfilling his dream…!
I’m in a bit of a bind. I found this rock that looked like an egg and I started ‘looking after it’ as a joke, I soon realised it was great for pulling the girls, my Mum stopped bothering me about ‘settling down’ and the humans thought it was cute and gave me extra food and toys, so I kept it. Now my rock has hatched and I’ve got this chick screaming at me and demanding food all the time. I don’t know how this happened. I could have sworn it was a rock!
And he probably kept telling everyone in the zoo “SEE? I TOLD YOU IT WAS AN EGG. Y’ALL THOUGHT I WAS CRAZY, BUT LOOK! IT HATCHED! HA!” 😂😂😂
In early March, a bald eagle named Murphy, a resident of the “World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, Missouri”, was ready to become a father. He crafted his nest carefully in the bottom of his enclosure, his home for most of his 31 years of life since an [in.ju.ry] left him unable to fly. As time went on, he became more and more protective of his offspring, screeching and charging at anyone who tried to come near.
Dawn Griffard, CEO of World Bird Sanctuary, tells the “Washington Post’s” Praveena Somasundaram: We’ve never had a bird at the sanctuary protect a nest like that.
Griffard share: Only one thing stood in the way: His careful brooding and nurturing was being spent on a lifeless rock. Murphy was experiencing a spring hormonal surge compelling him to brood, despite not having an egg of his own, which can lead birds to care for egg-like objects.
As it progressed along, he became more and more dedicated to his rock. Murphy became so [ag.gre.ssive] in protecting his nest that he had to be moved to a separate enclosure. Keepers at the sanctuary assumed that Murphy’s fatherhood fantasy would pass with the season and he would move on from his rock.
Then, news came from Ste. Genevieve, Missouri: A young eaglet had [fa.llen] from its nest during a [st.orm] and needed somewhere to stay. The World Bird Sanctuary realized that this could be Murphy’s big chance.
To see if Murphy could safely act as a surrogate, a few days after the eaglet’s arrival, keepers began a bonding process between the two birds. They removed the “rock baby” and put the eaglet, protected by a cage, into the enclosure with Murphy.
Griffard said: He was already showing the hormonal aspects of raising a chick,And he was taking such good care of his rock that we decided that he would be our best bet.
Soon, Murphy began to respond to the eaglet’s peeps. A week after their introduction, the cage was removed so the two could interact more closely. When they were given food, a whole fish for Murphy and bite-sized pieces for his young charge, rather than each eating their separate dish, Murphy took his portion and ripped it up to feed to the baby.
Griffard says to the Times: You can definitely see the imprinting happening, which is exactly what we wanted.
The sanctuary hopes to release the eaglet back into the wild this summer. Griffard tells the Post that Murphy will know when the time is right. Until then, Murphy will get the chance to experience parenthood in earnest.
Griffard share: He was sitting on a rock and everybody told him, It’s a rock, it’s not going to hatch, And all of a sudden, in his mind, it hatched and he has a chick.
The baby is actually almost fully grown now! Murphy has been an excellent dad and his “rock baby” is soon to be ready to leave hopefully!
Good for Murphy, just in time for Father’s Day! Goes to show you dad’s out there who seem to be nurturing rocks, one day your rock may turn into a real live Rock Star! 😉🦅🪨
This is the best story! Really warms the heart! ‼️❤️‼️
God bless all of you at the sanctuary! 🙏🙏🙏 Happy Father’s Day Murphy!! Good work! 💙♥️💙
H/t: World Bird Sanctuary / New York Times