A bald eagle is an example of everything mothers do to protect and care for their young. In Shepherdstown, West Virginia, USA, a mother eagle called Bella fights to keep her eggs warm amid bad weather. As long as she keeps the little ones safe from her, she doesn’t even mind getting coated in snow up to her head.
As they have done every year since 2011, Bella and her partner Smitty went back to their nest 100 feet up in a magnificent huge sycamore tree close to the Potomac River to raise their brood.
While both parents take turns taking care of the eggs, typically the female eagle spends 80% of her time sitting on the nest while the male usually goes fishing and hunting.
An instructional systems expert at the National Conservation Training Center named Randy Robinson posted the following on Facebook:
“Eagles make excellent parents. They remain seated on the eggs throughout the night and day, seven days a week.
The eagles are prepared to resist all types of adverse weather, including snow and hail, even freezing rain, as soon as they deposit their eggs.
Because of this, the mother eagle continues to guard her offspring from outside threats, even during a harsh snowfall.
Randy further clarified:
The weather is quite harsh with snow and ice like we have witnessed here in the previous two weeks because they marry and lay their eggs very early in the year, in January or February. The young hatch early, which is a major benefit of early egglaying. Additionally, there will be plenty of food available when these eggs hatch in mid-March.
The female, who is often bigger than the male, is responsible for providing significantly more care for the eggs to ensure a successful hatch. She must flip the eggs every hour in order to get them properly heated since they always contact the naked skin of her abdomen, which is known as the brood pouch.
In addition to all of this, make sure the grass is kept dry to provide the eggs with a cozy environment.
The eagles’ thick feathers help them stay warm in harsh weather, and their strong, pointed beaks and talons are good for fending off any threat that approaches the nest.
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