One of the chicks on the DNR Eagle Cam has died

The youngest chicks are sometimes killed by their larger siblings.
Publish date:
Screen Shot 2020-04-14 at 9.50.47 AM

The brutal nature of ... well, nature has been on show this week on the Minnesota DNR's Eagle Cam.

Footage from the live eagle nest in recent days has shown that the third of the three chicks born in the nest this year wasn't moving, and the DNR confirmed on Monday that the chick had died.

The DNR said it suspected this might happen, with E3 (the third chick that hatched) the smallest of the trio and never caught up in size to its older siblings, with "competition for food ... fierce."

"We watched the chick fight hard, and it was alive as of last evening. But this morning there has been no movement. The parents have not yet removed or recycled its body and it remains in the nest bole."

In an earlier post, the DNR noted that larger chicks can tend to pick on the smaller ones.

"They can really bash on each other's heads, and that's difficult to watch," it said. "This behavior toughens up the smaller chick, or it kills it.

"If it does survive, it means that chick will carry on the genetics of resilience and durability to its own offspring, thereby helping the bald eagle population stay robust and healthy into the future."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

It had warned that there may be "brutal moments ahead" that some may prefer not to watch as the siblings compete for food.

It also noted that this is the third time the youngest chick has died in the Eagle Cam nest, and on one previous occasion the dead chick was fed to its siblings.

"This is real nature, not Disney," the DNR said.

Here's the live feed from the nest.

Next Up