Bald eagle parents lose ‘miracle’ egg after tending to nest for a month. ‘Heartbroken’
A bald eagle “miracle” egg has delighted hundreds for over a month as it has been incubating through California snowstorms, rain and strong winds.
But bald eagle parents Liberty and Guardian’s egg won’t be hatching, the Friends of the Redding Eagles (FORE) said in a Tuesday, March 28, Facebook post.
“We have lost our little Miracle eggie. This is devastating to all of us here at FORE,” the group said.
Pieces of what appear to be the broken egg were visible on the eagle camera before 7 a.m. PT. The egg was seen intact on March 27.
“Heartbroken for sure,” the group said.
Liberty laid her first egg Feb. 14 in the nest at Turtle Bay, but it fell apart three days later. That same day, Feb. 17, she laid her second egg.
This egg should have hatched after 35 days, but it’s not clear why it didn’t. As of March 27, the egg had been incubating for 38 days.
There are a few reasons it might not have, including if the egg was not fertilized or if there was an developmental issue with the embryo, according to Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.
External factors like the egg cracking could have also caused it to not hatch.
“We do not know why the egg did not develop and burst this morning. There will be a lot of speculation, but the fact remains we lost our little Miracle today,” the nonprofit said.
The group had plans to name this eaglet Miracle if it hatched, McClatchy News previously reported.
Eagles weather rain and snowstorms
During these past several weeks, Liberty and Guardian have protected their only egg against rough weather conditions and predators.
On March 9, the resilient eagles were blanketed in snow.
The snow “doesn’t seem to be fazing them,” founder and director of Friends of the Redding Eagles Terri Lhuillier told McClatchy News by phone March 17.
Although, Guardian did step on Liberty’s back at one point when she was covered in snow.
The group also said Guardian had to challenge a predator from the nest at one point, too.
“Our Warrior Guardian was fierce and threw the intruder out. He protected his precious egg by keeping himself between the intruder and the egg,” the group wrote.
Despite the challenges, the two determined parents continued to take care of their egg.
“Sadly it seemed like the odds were against Liberty and Guardian this entire season. Such heart breaking news this morning,” one member running the Facebook group wrote.
Bald eagles that tragically lost egg now welcome new eaglet, Minnesota video shows
Bald eagle dad Shadow stares at nest left empty by hungry ravens, California video shows
Watch bald eagle parents tend to fuzzy babies after 2 eggs hatch in Ohio. ‘So sweet’