White-tailed eagle adopted chicks for the first time and shocked even ornithologists with his behavior

(ORDO NEWS) — A real drama unfolded in the nest of eagles from Latvia: a stranger chased away the father and frightened the mother sitting on her eggs. But what happened next, no one expected.

White-tailed eagles are monogamous. These huge birds, a little less than a meter tall, form pairs in their youth and remain faithful to the chosen one until their death – and they live for a long time, up to 25 years in the wild, up to 80 – in captivity.

Once having built a nest on the top of the most powerful century-old pine, they visit it every year to lay their eggs. The male strengthens the nest every spring with fresh branches and softens it with moss, down and leaves. The female sits on the eggs most of the time while the male forages.

Noble birds have no enemies other than humans, but sometimes excesses do occur. A pair of Latvian eagles, Milda and Raimis, were preparing to add to their family when they were attacked. Strangers flew into the nest: a female with a ring on her paw and a male.

Probably, if Raimis had not repulsed the attack, the newcomers would have occupied the nest. Most likely, they would have thrown other people’s eggs, and the female laid her own – this happens in the world of eagles. But the father repulsed the attack, and Milda did not leave the masonry, no matter how the strangers attacked her.

White tailed eagle adopted chicks for the first time and shocked even ornithologists with his behavior 2

Raimis flew away – perhaps chasing strangers. But he did not return either in the evening of that day or the next day. The alien female, upset by the failure, also ran away, but the male did not lag behind – he spun around the nest, irritated Milda, made her nervous and fidgeted on her eggs.

The worst thing was that Raimis did not return. Day after day passed, the eagle became more and more hungry, but she could not leave the clutch, could not let the eggs cool, could not leave them alone with a dangerous stranger.

Moms are just incredible – look how the female bald eagle does not budge, although she is already covered in snow to the very beak.

But on the eighth day, Milda still could not stand it. So without waiting for a partner, she flew off to get food: to catch some small creature in the nearest river. She was gone for six hours. The stranger took off after her, but then returned and visited the nest.

At that moment, everyone who was watching the broadcast had a heart attack. Will the new one now throw his eggs down from the top of the pine tree? Will Milda not see the chicks this year? But he limited himself to touching and rolling the eggs, but did not harm them.

Milda’s absences became more frequent, but the stranger still remained in the nest and did no harm to the masonry. And then something happened that no one expected – neither ordinary spectators, nor ornithologists.

The newcomer began to bring spruce branches and brushwood to the nest, to finish building and strengthening the perch. And, when the female once again went hunting, he sat on the eggs and incubated them while his mother was away.

Humans can become nest protectors too – an entire village once turned off electricity to give the chicks time to come into the world.

True, we do not have very many chances to see the offspring: after all, for several days for six hours in a row, the eggs remained without life-giving maternal warmth. But after what has already happened – how not to believe in a miracle?

Moreover, recently attentive viewers could hear a scream and a squeak that seems to come from an egg. Milda is worried – the chicks should have been born yesterday – and checks the clutch every half an hour.

We hope for the best with her and look forward to the next addition. Chip, as the newcomer was called for his piercing cry, will surely write down the kids in his name.


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