Never give up on your dreams.
A seemingly confused bald eagle at a Missouri wildlife sanctuary has captured hearts across the internet after meticulously building a nest around a rock and vigilantly guarding it.
A visitor of the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park posted a now-viral tweet on Saturday that showed an image of Murphy sitting on the ground. A photo of a sign posted on his enclosure read, “Is that Eagle hurt?!”
“If you see an eagle lying down in the back left corner under a perch, that’s Murphy!” the sign continued. “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!”
Seeing all the attention the would-be eagle dad was getting, the World Bird Sanctuary shared more information about Murphy’s situation on Facebook ― and assured admirers they don’t need to feel sorry for him.
“Although it might make you feel sad that Murphy has built a nest and is nurturing a rock as an egg, it’s just his hormonal response to spring,” the post read. “Murphy is not sad, so you don’t need to be.”
Though Murphy lives among four other eagles in the aviary, he has not shown interest in anything but the rock.
“He has not chosen a mate, so he very clearly wants to do this on his own,” the sanctuary said. “He does not want anything (real eggs) but his rock.”
Due to a permanent wing injury, Murphy cannot fly and will live out his life at the sanctuary.
Though Murphy’s situation is unique, it’s not unusual for male bald eagles to take an active role in parenting. They assist in incubating eggs and, once eaglets are hatched, help provide food and guard the nest.
But as a single rock dad, Murphy’s doing just fine.
“Murphy does not need a real egg to feel accomplished,” the nonprofit wrote. “He’s quite content with his rock, and VERY protective of it!”