The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources suspects that snow from an April 1 blizzard weighed down the branch with the nest on it, causing the nest to fall to the ground.
A bald eagle that went viral for protecting her eggs through a Minnesota winter with multiple snow storms has actually lost her only surviving chick.
After protecting her nest via the harsh season– a heroic act caught on the Minnesota Division of Natural Resources Eagle Camera– the mother eagle and her friend welcomed an eaglet. On March 27, the company reported that the baby bird had actually hatched on March 26 and would be “one well cared for eaglet.”
Sadly, the Minnesota Division of Natural Resources (DNR) recently announced on its website that the Eagle Camera nest, home to the bald eagle family, fell on Sunday. The DNR’s team went to the site to search for the chick and found it deceased after hours of searching.
The agency claimed it did not know the cause of the nest’s fall however theorized that it may have been due to the snowstorm on April 1, which dumped snow on the branch holding the nest. The DNR also noted that, when found, the nest’s branch was dead, and there were other dead tree branches on the ground in the area of the nest’s fall.
” This is an emotional time for all of us, however please refrain from seeing the nest,” the Minnesota Division of Natural Resources wrote on Facebook. “This was already a major disturbance for the eagles, and several visitors will just cause even more stress.”
The bald eagle family first garnered the public’s attention after the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources shared a time-lapse video on YouTube last month featuring the female eagle tending to her eggs as snow piled up around her. In one scene, only the mother bird’s head looks via the snow sitting on her nest. The video has more than 42,000 views.
The female bird laid 2 eggs over the winter, one which broke on February 21 and another which completed its incubation period and hatched on March 26. The agency’s Eagle Cam captured the moment the chick hatched.
The DNR said it was ” not likely” that the female bald eagle would lay another egg this year, even if she had an alternate nest, as “Minnesota’s nesting season is simply too short for her to incubate one more egg.” The agency said it would certainly also take “weeks” to rebuild another nest.
The company noted that the bald eagle moms and dads were spotted flying around the nest’s website after the nest’s fall. According to the DNR, it was likely that the pair would rebuild a nest near the same website because the birds are ” faithful to their territory.”
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” We value the amazing community and assistance of all the EagleCam viewers out there,” the company said. “Rest assured, we are feeling this with you and are committed to the EagleCam. It will return, either with a new nest in a brand-new location or the same area. For this year, however, the chick season has sadly ended.”