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Eagle chick found dead after EagleCam nest falls

The Minnesota DNR announced the end of chick season since the chances of the female eagle laying another egg are very slim.

MINNEAPOLIS — Followers of a popular live-streaming camera from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources got devastating news on Sunday morning when the DNR posted to social media that the eagle's nest had fallen from its tree.

Officials said on Sunday afternoon they have a few theories about what happened to cause the nest to fall, including the weight from the heavy snow on April 1. Officers noted that the branch supporting the nest was dead and that the 20-year-old nest weighed more than 2,000 pounds. 

Earlier in the day the fate of the single eaglet inside the nest was unknown, but around 10 a.m. the DNR posted the chick had been found and did not survive the fall. 

Update: We have found the chick. It did not survive the fall. If you know where the nest is, we ask that you refrain...

Posted by Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program on Sunday, April 2, 2023

This news was published several hours after officials said they were in the area assessing the situation of the EagleCam nest. The nest fell just before 8 a.m. and crews posted several updates to social media throughout the morning. The live stream camera, found here, can be reversed to Sunday morning around 7:53 a.m to watch the nest fall. 

The DNR is asking anyone who might know the location of the nest to stay away and not visit. The area is on state land and is protected by both state and federal laws. Trespassing is not allowed. 

We wish we weren't writing this post, but the EagleCam nest fell out of the tree early this morning. Staff are onsite assessing the situation. We will give another update when we have more information.

Posted by Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program on Sunday, April 2, 2023

On Sunday DNR officials saw adult eagles flying around the area and said it would be unlikely the pair would rebuild their nest in the same area. Even if the couple does rebuild, the chances of the female laying another egg are very slim.

Just one week earlier, on March 26, the only egg in the nest hatched, revealing a tiny, fuzzy eaglet. 

This eagle pair has had an eventful year, including the loss of one egg and more than one heavy snowstorm

"The nest has been in the tree and added to several 100 lbs. probably every year since 2003, that's when the nest was first found and located by DNR, so it's a 20-year old nest," said Lori Naumann, with the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program. "It's devastating, I was in shock. 

Much of Minnesota received heavy, wet snow over the weekend, pushing snow totals for the year to the third heaviest in recorded state history. 

The DNR's EagleCam has been in operation for 10 years and is part of the Minnesota DNR Nongame Wildlife Program, which helps to support more than 700 species in the state. The EagleCam's 24/7 live video stream is supported by donations.

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