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Viral Eagle Rock-Hatching to Successful Foster Parent



Quick Smiles:

  • Murphy, a bald eagle, tried to hatch a rock and went viral.
  • The World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis made him a foster parent to an orphaned chick.
  • Murphy successfully raised the chick, which has now been released back into the wild.

A bald eagle named Murphy had the internet in stitches when he tried to hatch a rock. Now, he’s showing the world what a fantastic dad he can be! After observing the eagle protect a rock as if it were his own offspring, the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, Missouri decided to make him a foster parent. They had recently rescued an orphaned chick from a fallen nest, and they believed Murphy was the perfect bird to take the eaglet under his wing.

It’s a good thing the animal sanctuary stepped in when they did. Apparently, the bald eagle was so protective of his “rock child” that he was making the enclosure unsafe for the other birds! However, when Murphy began to parent an actual eaglet, observers reported that he was “a wonderful, gentle papa.”

“This is the kind of bonding we’re looking for,” the World Bird Sanctuary said, according to Fox Weather.

Unlike Murphy, the chick did not receive a name. The sanctuary had some bad luck with named creatures in the past, so they’ve simply been referring to the little bird as 23-126.

“The rehab superstition is that named patients are cursed and either end up dying or being non-releasable,” they said.

Despite any concerns for the orphaned eaglet’s future, Murphy did an excellent job raising his real-life child. In fact, the young bird has been released from the enclosure and allowed to fly free! The World Bird Sanctuary celebrated the occasion on social media.

“After an incredible journey, 23-126 was released back to the wild earlier today!” they wrote. “Thank you to all who attended, tuned into our live stream, or have supported our mission and followed 23-126’s journey.”


Let’s not forget to thank Murphy, the determined eagle dad who went from incubating a rock to parenting a child of his own!