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Male Eagle Determined To Be A Dad Tries Hatching Rock — And It Kind Of Works?

bald eagle sitting on an egg

Spring has sprung, and a would-be eagle dad is going viral for truly hilarious reason.

At the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, Missouri, all of the rescued bird parents are busily building nests and incubating their eggs. Not to be left out, Murphy the bald eagle also created a nest in his enclosure, and he began tending an “egg” of his own.

World Bird Sanctuary CEO Dawn Griffard says staff members noticed that Murphy started guarding his clutch in recent weeks, getting aggressive with anyone who got too close to his nest and fiercely defending his future offspring. The only problem? Murphy’s egg is actually not an egg at all; it’s a rock!

Dawn shared a video of Murphy’s antics on Twitter, where it went viral. People loved the story of Murphy guarding his rock, and they had funny suggestions for what to call the rock. One person suggested “Dwayne the Rock,” while another said simply “Rocky” or “Rocco” fit the bill.

The normal incubation time for an eagle egg is about 35 days, and Dawn says it might have taken a while longer before Murphy realized he was trying to hatch a dud.

“He’s very protective of the rock,” she said, adding that there would have been no benefit to swapping out the egg for a real one, even if they could have found a fertilized eagle egg for him to have. For now, he’s “very content with his rock.”

Unfortunately, things got a bit ugly not long after Dawn made that statement. On Twitter, she shared that they had to move Murphy to a new private environment because he was getting a bit too hostile with the other eagles when they got too close to his rock-baby.

“Murphy has taken over at least one third of the huge enclosure, and is chasing the other four occupants – Siouxsie, Lewis, Boston, and Mitch – as soon as they approach the area,” she tweeted. “His territory buffering his nest and rock-baby has expanded and he is getting very aggressive!”

“Murphy is going to be THAT dad at Rock-Baby’s baseball games, isn’t he?” one fan replied.

Never fear; there is a happy ending to Murphy’s story. The sanctuary placed Murphy in an enclosure with a real-life eaglet, and his parental instincts seem to have transferred from rock-baby to real-baby!

This seems like the perfect solution, doesn’t it? Murphy was clearly born to be a dad, even if his parental instincts were a bit misplaced at first.

Share this story to wish Murphy well with his new baby, who we hope they name Rocky, for old time’s sake.

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