Never abandon your dreams.
A seemingly confused bald eagle at a Missouri wildlife preserve has won hearts on the internet after meticulously building a nest around a rock and guarding it vigilantly.
A visitor to the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park posted a now-viral tweet on Saturday which showed an image of Murphy sitting on the ground. A photo of a sign posted on his enclosure read, “Is this eagle hurt?!
“If you see an eagle lying in the back left corner under a perch, it’s Murphy!” the sign continued. “Murphy is not injured, sick or otherwise in distress. He has built a nest on the ground and is incubating a rock very carefully! We wish him good luck !”
Seeing all the attention the future eagle dad was getting, the World Bird Sanctuary shared more information about Murphy’s situation on Facebook ― and assured fans that they didn’t need to feel sorry for him.
“While it may make you sad that Murphy built a nest and nurtured a rock like an egg, it’s just his hormonal response to spring,” the post read. “Murphy isn’t sad, so you don’t need to be.”
Although Murphy lives among four other eagles in the aviary, he only showed interest in the rock.
“He hasn’t chosen a mate, so he very clearly wants to do this on his own,” the shrine said. “He wants nothing (real eggs) but his rock.”
Due to a permanent wing injury, Murphy cannot fly and will live out his life at Sanctuary.
Although Murphy’s situation is unique, it’s not unusual for male bald eagles to take an active role in parenthood. They assist in egg incubation and, once the eaglets have hatched, help provide food and keep the nest.
But as a single dad, Murphy is doing just fine.
“Murphy doesn’t need a real egg to feel accomplished,” the nonprofit wrote. “He’s pretty happy with his rock, and VERY protective of him!”