Mother Eagle protects eggs even in snow, storm by risking own life

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We all know that motherhood is a glimpse of a supernatural power that only a mother possesses to ensure the survival of her offspring. A recent example of this can be seen perched on a tree top – a nest of an eagle.

Despite the stormy weather with sub-zero temperatures, the mother eagle does not abandon her nest and sits firm upon her eggs till they hatch. In the process, the mother eagle can repeatedly be seen completely submerged in snow.

But much like a miracle, the eagle displays a heroic stance in bringing her offspring to life. Once hatched, the mother ensures that the newborn eagles are well fed by bringing them food and feeding it to them with her own mouth.

Bella and her mate, Smitty, have returned to their nest 100 feet up in a large sycamore tree near the Potomac River every year since 2011 to raise their chicks.

While both parents take turns caring for the eggs, the female eagle can be found sitting on the nest 80 percent of the time, while the male typically does the hunting and fishing. Once the eagles lay their eggs, they have to endure all kinds of difficult conditions — from snow and hail to sleet and freezing rain.

The eagles’ thick down and feathers help them survive the cold temperatures, while their sharp beaks and talons allow them to fight off anyone who threatens the nest.

The female eagle is the larger of the two, and must constantly care for the eggs so they hatch successfully. That means making sure the eggs are always touching the bare skin on her belly, known as a brood pouch, and turning the eggs every hour so they heat evenly. She also has to fluff up the dry grass that acts as bedding so that the eggs have a soft and cozy place to rest.

Once the babies hatch, the work doesn’t end for the devoted parents. The young stay in the nest for about  three more months while they gain the strength to fly and then, even after leaving the nest, their watchful parents continue to feed them and teach them to hunt.

People from around the world have been watching Smitty and Bella care for their babies on the National Conservation Training Center’s eagle nest livestream. And seeing the eagles’ loyalty to their eggs couldn’t be a more touching reminder of a parent’s love.

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