Late-season blizzard dooms famed Minnesota eagle nest

Minnesota DNR’s EagleCam became a viral sensation after two eggs were laid during the winter, but unfortunately, one never hatched, and the other chick died during a fall. Minneapolis and much of the Land of 10,000 Lakes saw record or near-record snowfall during the winter of 2022-23.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – An eagle nest that drew a viral following from a 24-hour webcam has become the apparent victim of the brutal Minnesota winter, with the nest crashing to the ground, killing at least one baby chick.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reports the 2,000-pound nest fell after the April 1 snowstorm dumped heavy, wet snow across the state.

The DNR said the massive nest, which had been a fixture for over 20 years, was situated on a dead branch and, like many other nearby trees, couldn’t withstand the gusty winds and heavy snow.

A bald eagle laid two eggs in the nest in mid-February, but soon after, one broke, leaving only a single egg behind.

The DNR reports the remaining egg hatched on March 26, and the single chick was being cared for by its parents.

Within a week, a late-season snowstorm dumped several inches of precipitation and helped propel Minneapolis’ season accumulation total to within nine inches of setting a record.


It was on April 2 that the nest collapsed, and DNR staff said they found the deceased chick.

"This is an emotional time for all of us, but please refrain from visiting the nest. This was already a major disturbance for the eagles, and many visitors will only cause more stress," the Minnesota DNR said.

Since the collapse, the adult eagles have been spotted hovering around the area, and experts say they will likely rebuild a nest nearby.

"We appreciate the amazing community and support of all the EagleCam viewers out there. Rest assured, we are feeling this with you and are committed to the EagleCam. It will return, either with a new nest in a new location or the same area. For this year however, the chick season has sadly ended," DNR staff stated.

It is not believed that the eagle will try to nest again this year, but the agency promised a live camera will return if a new nest is built.


A group of eagles in the Sunshine State recently faced a similar fate with their nearly 50-year-old nest at the Kennedy Space Center.

Recent storms and an invasion of pine bark beetles severely damaged the nest, forcing the birds to make a new home.

Due to a dramatic increase in population, the bald eagle is not considered to be an endangered species but is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.