Murphy, a bald eagle, gained notoriety after he took up a rock at a Missouri wildlife refuge. He is currently the foster father to an abandoned eagle chick

Murphy the bald eagle went from incubating a rock (left) to bonding with an orphaned eagle chick.
A bald eagle who went viral for adopting a rock at a Missouri sanctuary recently took a new baby bird under his wing.

The 31-year-old bird named Murphy went viral in March after photos of his enclosure at the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, Missouri, were shared on Twitter. A sign on the enclosure’s fence informed visitors that Murphy was looking after a rock.

“If you see an eagle lying down in the back left corner under a perch, that’s Murphy! Murphy is not hurt, sick, or otherwise in distress,” the sign read. “He has built a nest on the ground, and is very carefully incubating a rock! We wish him the best of luck!”

The tweet racked up more than 4.5 million views and nearly 140,000 likes. On March 26, the sanctuary posted an update on Facebook about Murphy and the stone, which they later dubbed “RockBaby.”

“Although it might make you feel sad that Murphy has built a nest and is nurturing a rock as an egg, it’s just his hormonal response to spring. Murphy is not sad, so you don’t need to be,” the post read.

In a subsequent update on April 4, the group said Murphy had grown so protective of RockBaby that he took over a third of the 90,000 cubic-square-foot enclosure he shared with four other eagles.

Murphy the bald eagle went from incubating a rock to bonding with an orphaned eagle chick.

Due to Murphy’s aggression, he and the rock were moved into their own space not accessible to the public.


Still, good news was on the way for Murphy. On April 2, the sanctuary shared photos of an injured bald eagle chick they received after a storm blew its nest down. The organization said the baby would be placed with an adult eagle because it was at high risk of imprinting on a human.

Although Murphy wasn’t a contender for the job at first, the sanctuary wrote on April 12 that he turned out to be the chick’s best option.

“It was then decided that we would give Murphy a chance at fostering the eaglet. Murphy’s dad instincts were already in high gear, but at 31 years old, he had never raised a chick before,” the sanctuary wrote. “It’s definitely a gamble, but also the chick’s best chance.”

The baby was introduced to Murphy in a small wood and wire box the group jokingly refers to as “Baby Jail.” Once the box was placed in Murphy’s enclosure, staff monitored their interactions as Murphy learned to accept the chick. The chick was then removed from the box and allowed to interact with Murphy, who began to feed and protect it.

“It’s just too much for the heart to handle. The fact that the chick’s face is blurry is incredibly endearing. That mouth is very busy peeping away,” the group captioned a photo of Murphy and the chick on Facebook. “It wants more and more food! Good thing Murphy has all of us to supply it!”

After a round of severe weather and tornadoes in Missouri on April 16, the sanctuary said it found the chick suffering from hypothermia and shock. It was treated at the sanctuary hospital and returned to Murphy and a newly “fortified and improved” nest to continue their bonding.

The World Bird Sanctuary did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Related Posts

Elephants at the Oregon Zoo Playfully Smash a Giant Pumpkin During a Festival

In celebration of the autumn season, the 23rd Squishing of the Squash festival took place at Oregon Zoo, featuring the delightful antics of playful elephants. The event’s…

Raytheon Awarded $372M Contract for Growler and Super Hornet Aircraft Improvements

Raytheon Intelligence and Space, El Segundo, California, is awarded a $372,137,000 сoѕt-plus-fixed-fee, сoѕt reimbursable, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract. This contract provides for updates, improvements, and enhancements of tасtісаɩ…

The World’s Greatest Tank – Beats M1A2 Abrams And Leopard 2 Tank (Video)

In the realm of modern armored warfare, the K2 Black Panther has emerged as a powerhouse, showcasing exceptional capabilities that place it among the elite tanks on…

Exploring the Tiefen: 403 Full-Scale Human Statues Below the Water’s Surface

Cancun Underwater Museum or MUSA is an unusual exhibition of sculptures made by Jason DeCaires Taylor placed in the waters surrounding Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc…

Cracking the Code: Viking Artifacts from the 9th Century Reveal a Century-Old Curse

A Viking metal rod which left experts baffled for more than a century has finally been identified as a ‘magic wand’ used by a witch to cast…

Getting the Most Out of Efficiency: Moving Huge Wheel Loaders, Bulldozers, and Excavators (Video)

In the world of heavy equipment, the efficient hauling of massive wheel loaders, bulldozers, and excavators is crucial for the success of any construction project. This article…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *