31-year-old male bald eagle, Murphy, who tried to incubate a rock, might be getting his own baby bird to raise after all!

I absolutely love this story! Meet Murphy, a 31-year-old bald eagle that lives at the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis, Missouri. According to their website:

World Bird Sanctuary was founded in 1977 by Walter C. Crawford Jr. to provide the St. Louis area with a hospital for sick or injured raptors. As the Sanctuary grew, so did our mission. Now located on 305 acres of Missouri hardwood forest in partnership with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, World Bird Sanctuary is home to over 200 animals representing over 60 species from all around the world. What began as a small rehabilitation center has grown into an internationally renowned rehabilitation, education, and conservation organization.

On March 24, the World Bird Sanctuary tweeted this video of Murphy, who had recently begun trying to incubate an "egg," which was really just a rock, with the description:

Very quietly and inconspicuously, one of our bald eagles, Murphy (male) has built an extremely simple nest on the ground and is incubating his single "egg" very carefully and attentively. We wish Murphy all the luck in the world, but we have yet to see a rock hatch.

Poor Murphy! The tweet and Murphy's story went viral, and folks all over the world were feeling sad for Murphy. Then on March 26, the Sanctuary posted an update:

Murphy does not need a real egg to feel accomplished!! He's quite content with his rock, and VERY protective of it! After his spring hormones have run their course, he will get bored and move on to other activities. Poor rock.

But that's still not the end of the story! Over on their Facebook page, the Sanctuary has been updating fans with the latest info on Murphy. And one kind Twitter user tweeted the screenshots for folks who don't use Twitter. Here's the gist: Shortly after Murphy began incubating his "egg," he was causing a lot of commotion in the shared eagle enclosure, so he had to be moved to a private space. That same week, an eagle nest with two chicks in it fell from its tree in a windstorm, near Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. Sadly, one baby bird died but the other survived, and was rescued and brought to the sanctuary. Staff wanted to introduce the chick to an adult eagle who could foster it, and after some deliberation they chose Murphy for the job. Although he is 31, he's never raised a chick, so sanctuary staff didn't know if this plan would work. They still aren't completely sure, but as of now, Murphy's parenting instincts are kicking in and he's exhibiting the behaviors that indicate he's up for the job. Stay tuned to the World Bird Sanctuary's Twitter for more updates. Yay, Murphy!