A blanket of snow absolutely swamped the bald eagles’ nest. But mama eagle wasn’t going anywhere. After winter storms hit Minnesota in February, a remote wildlife camera caught one stalwart bald eagle pair resolutely warming their eggs despite being inundated with over a foot of the powdery white stuff.
Many nature lovers have been following the lives of the majestic bird family, their future hatchlings included, tracked in real-time on the state Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) popular EagleCam. This particular heart-warming scene prompted officials and bird lovers alike to will for the survival of the avian family.
The livestream, which has been running for a decade, showed the pair welcome their first egg in mid-February after weeks of preparing a soft nest. This was followed by a second egg a few days later. A few days after that, snowstorms hit the Twin Cities and surrounding areas, though remarkably the eagles seemed prepared.
“Both of the eagles have delivered more nesting material in anticipation of the coming snow storm,” Minnesota’s DNR stated on its website. According to researchers, the intelligent birds can detect incoming storms due to their ability to hear infrasound, revealing the first rumblings of severe weather.
While heavy snowfall might seem like a hindrance for the nesting birds, exposed as they are in their open-air tree abode, it may actually help the little chicks stay warm by providing shelter and warmth.
“The snow will provide insulation for the eggs as they incubate,” DNR stated. “The eggs are now nestled further down in the soft fur, feathers, leaves, and grasses tucked in around them.”
As the female eagle calmly settles in to protect their fragile eggs, the male keeps a lookout for potential threats and predators, never straying too far from the nest, while also bringing home food. The pair also take turns sitting.
Responding to a DNR Facebook post featuring the webcam clip with mama eagle blanketed by snow, one viewer queried how the pair manage the seemingly precarious switch.
“Very carefully!” DNR responded. “They switch every morning and a couple of times during the day.”
As the buried female is seen hunkering down neck-deep in snow, moments later, her partner returns to take over and they execute the handoff without a hangup.
“Eagles are tough, just like the MN humans!” commented one fan in response to the clip.
Another named the female “Mom of the Year.”
(Courtesy of Minnesota DNR)
Sadly, by the end of February, one of the eggs had broken, leaving the pair with a sole eaglet to nurture.
“The eagle pair will continue incubating it just as they have been, until about March 23,” said officials, who informed the public that an egg watch will begin on March 22.
The survival rate of bald eagle chicks reaching successful flight is 50 percent, they stated, adding, “It is sad and unfortunate to lose an egg, but since there will only be one chick to care for, the survival chances increase dramatically!”
Interested Minnesotans, and eagle lovers at large, are surely rooting for warmer weather for when the adorable, fuzzy-headed chick arrives. Meanwhile, mama’s soft fur and feathers and a plush nest—with an extra layer of frozen insulation to boot—sounds kind of cozy.
Each of the adult bald eagles, meanwhile, has around 7,000 feathers, including stiff exterior vane feathers zipped together to act like an overcoat, resisting water and stopping heat from escaping. All that is lined by soft down feathers underneath that trap warm air close to the bird’s body.
Share your stories with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and continue to get your daily dose of inspiration by signing up for the Inspired newsletter at TheEpochTimes.com/newsletter