On March 8th earlier this year a keeper at the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis County, Missouri, noticed something strange. A male eagle named Murphy was guarding a spot in the middle of his pen.

“The spot was sparsely but carefully decorated with leaves and branches, and featured a simple rock right in the center,” the nature preserve shared on its Facebook page.

Upon closer inspection it was discovered that Murphy the eagle was nudging and becoming protective of a rock as if it was an egg. The keepers finally put up a sign which said:

“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. He has built a nest on the ground, and is very carefully incubating a rock! We wish him the best of luck!”

The keepers then put this on their Facebook page and it went viral!

It seemed as though Murphy would be incubating a rock for the rest of time until tragedy struck in late March when World Bird Sanctuary came across a orphaned eagle in need of a parent.

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“Murphy’s dad instincts were already in high gear,” the sanctuary wrote early April “but at 31 years old, he had never raised a chick before. It’s definitely a gamble, but also the chick’s best chance.”

So far Murphy and young Murphy are getting along and Murphy is in full Dad mode.

The staff at World Bird Sanctuary have promised to keep frequent updates of the little eagle family on their Facebook page!

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