Skip to main content

Central Minnesota bald eagle adopts duck egg

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Eagle, eagle ... gray duck?

A family of bald eagles in central Minnesota is getting a lot of attention for adopting a duck egg.

Over the weekend, a mother eagle in central Minnesota that is featured on Minnesota Bound's live bald eagle cam discovered an egg inside a duck the birds had ripped apart and were eating for dinner, FOX 9 reports.

One expert believes that what happened next was natural instinct – a mother eagle pulled the egg under her and is caring for it like it's her own.

"There is just an innate urge to respond. So, for instance, bringing the egg under her to brood. That's just an, you know, egg – you put it under you to brood," Julia Ponder, of the the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center, told FOX 9.

ScienceBlogs notes that, typically, eagles would also eat the egg, but because the eagles are nesting, they chose to nurture it instead.

Here's a YouTube video of the adoption:

Will the duck egg survive and hatch? Ponder told FOX 9 that after the eagle incubated her own eggs for 35 days, it's unlikely she'll stick around for another 28 days to hatch the duckling, especially as her eaglets get older.

This set of eagles laid three eggs back in March and, according to attentive viewers on the Minnesota Bound eagle camera's Facebook page, the last of the three eaglets hatched over the weekend.

Ponder says if the duckling does hatch, the eagles will recognize right away that it's not an eaglet, which won't bode well for the young bird, FOX 9 notes.

Watch the eagle cam (Note: The camera is solar powered, so a picture isn't always available – especially when it's rainy):

Video streaming by Ustream

This set of eagles is not to be confused with those featured on a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources EagleCam that has gained worldwide attention since the eaglets hatched at the end of March. On Tuesday, the DNR said the eaglets, which are a few weeks older than the Minnesota Bound's eagles, will be ready to take their first flight in the next month or so.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 9.31.25 PM

Boy found in Brooklyn Park; appeal to find his parents

The boy was found shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday.

police tape, crime scene

1 dead, 1 arrested after shooting involving teens in Duluth

A 17-year-old was arrested around 1:45 a.m. Sunday. Neither the victim nor the suspect has been identified.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 1.03.19 PM

NASCAR driver joins MN boy in reclaiming 'Let's go Brandon' slogan

Brandon Brundidge gained recognition when his mother shared the story of how he found inspiration in "Let's go Brandon" signs.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 10.20.27 AM

White supremacist propaganda flyers distributed in Cottage Grove

The department said the flyers have been left in driveways throughout the city.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 9.32.09 AM

6-year-old Northfield girl missing, mother dead of apparent suicide

Anyone who had seen the girl or her mother in the past two weeks should call Northfield police.

Pixabay - jet skis resting

Jet skier injured in explosion on Minnesota lake

The explosion happened on Little Lake 14 in St. Louis County.

Krisit Noem

Kristi Noem's response to 10-year-old Ohio girl pregnant after being raped

Abortion is illegal in South Dakota unless the mother's life is in danger.

police lights

Sheriff: Deputy shoots gun-wielding man in western Wisconsin

One deputy fired on the man, striking him in an unknown area of his body.

Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 7.28.32 AM

Man found dead in 26 inches of water in Le Sueur County

The 45-year-old was found in near the shoreline on Lake Washington.

police lights

Man arrested after abduction attempt in Bemidji

The incident occurred in Cameron Park on June 25.

betty danger's

Betty Danger's in NE Minneapolis for sale for $4.2 million

The asking price includes the restaurant's ferris wheel, as well as a nearby single-family home.