Murphy the bald eagle went viral in March for the way he was lovingly caring for his egg, which happened to be a rock. One month later, Murphy is getting the opportunity to put those parenting skills to use with an orphaned eaglet.

The eaglet survived falling from a tree at just about a week to two weeks old. With this eaglet needing a parent, and Murphy showing obvious interest, he was the best choice for the task. Murphy took his fatherly duties at the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, Missouri, seriously — passing each parenting test the zoo threw at him, The New York Times reported.

“You can definitely see the imprinting happening, which is exactly what we wanted,” Dawn Griffard, chief executive at the sanctuary, told the Times.

How does a bald eagle become a foster parent?

Protocol requires introducing the two in stages, but Murphy is doing well so far. This week, he will be able “to have direct access to the chick and we will see if he accepts it completely,” the World Bird Sanctuary shared in a Facebook post.

The eaglet has not been given a name because of a ‘“superstition” that when a wildlife rehabilitation center names one of its patients, that animal will not end up being able to be released back into the wild,” per HuffPost.

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According to Roger Holloway, the sanctuary executive director, Murphy is acting on spring egg season instincts.

“It’s not out of the complete ordinary for an eagle if they don’t have an egg and they’re going through nesting behavior to try and incubate something,” Holloway told Fox 59.

Murphy is a permanent resident at the sanctuary because of a wing injury and will continue to follow protocol to being accepted as the father to the orphaned eaglet.

“Murphy is doing what we want him to do,” Thomas Guillebeau, a wildlife technician, told Fox 59. “He’s showing him what it takes to be an adult eagle.”

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