The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources EagleCam, which is presented by the Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program, has been captivating people from across the country for quite some time. That was especially true when the first egg was spotted in the nest on February 15, 2023.

Shortly thereafter, a second egg was discovered. Unfortunately, that second egg ended up breaking, leaving the eagles just one to take care of, which they did through the worst of winter weather.

Good news arrived on March 27, when the DNR announced the lone egg had hatched:

Minnesota DNR Nongame EagleCam egg has hatched! We have the new star of 2023! This single chick will be one well-cared-for eaglet.   The egg hatched on 3/26 sometime in the afternoon.

Get our free mobile app

However, just a week later, tragedy struck. It seems that all the snow and strong winds were just too much for the eagle's nest and on the morning of Sunday, April 2, it fell from the tree. That shocking moment was captured on the EagleCam, leaving everyone stunned

Of course, everyone wondered what had happened to the eagles when the nest fell, especially the chick. The Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program provided an update on the situation Sunday morning on its Facebook page. It was news nobody wanted to hear:

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

UPDATE: The Minnesota Nongame Wildlife Program provided the following update on Monday, April 3, along with a photo of the nest on the ground, after DNR staff searched for the chick.

At 7:53am on Apr. 2, the EagleCam nest fell. DNR staff immediately went to the site. After a few hours of searching, the chick was found deceased and taken into DNR possession.
We don’t know why the nest fell, but after seeing the site we have a few theories. The most likely scenario is that the heavy snow we received during the April 1st blizzard finally became too much weight for the branch to support. The branch was dead and the nest was over 20 years old and weighed over 2,000 pounds. In the area and neighborhood near the nest there were many fallen trees and branches from the heavy, wet snow.
The adults were seen flying around the area. We do not know if they will rebuild in the same area, but it is likely. Eagles are loyal to their territory. However, it is highly unlikely that the female will lay another egg this year, even if they do have an alternate nest. Minnesota’s nesting season is simply too short for her to incubate another egg. However, we will keep the camera on for now and will let you know before we turn the camera off for the season. We will also keep an eye out for the adult eagles and update you if they stay around the area.
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 nest is on state land and is both State and Federally protected. Trespassing is not allowed in the area.
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. Thank you for your donations, condolences, and your words of support for our team, you are so very important to the Nongame Wildlife Program and Minnesota DNR.

Their Facebook page was then flooded with comments, with everyone mourning the loss of the chick and offering condolences on the tragic turn of events.

LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world

From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.
Get our free mobile app

LOOK: 30 fascinating facts about sleep in the animal kingdom

More From 106.9 KROC-FM