Photos: Eagle cares for eaglets after mother's death

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NORFOLK, Va. -- Earlier this year, a jet landing at Norfolk International Airport collided with a female bald eagle.  The eagle was mother to three recently hatched eaglets and was known by millions worldwide as the star of Eagle Cam, a popular web cam. 

Despite their best effort, veterinarians were not able to save the mother eagle. 

In the wake of their mother's death, the eaglets were moved to the Wildlife Center in Waynesboro, Virginia, where they could be looked after by a team of biologists.

As the three tiny birds settled in to their new surroundings, something quite remarkable happened.  A male eagle arrived at the nest.  This was not just any male eagle, but the father of the three eaglets.  Less than 10 hours after their mother died, their father returned to the nest and began caring for the eaglets.

"I'm literally, I'm shaking. I'm happy. I'm crying. I'm excited, you know, and I'm hoping he can take care of them," said Shelly Fowler after seeing the return.

Fowler is a photographer who has chronicled the lives of eagles at the botanical garden since 2004. She was among several people who gathered to watch the eaglets.

"If he can take care of them for another month, you know, they'll make it," Fowler said.

The next morning the father eagle was busy feeding the youngsters.  He brought a fish to the nest just after sunrise.  After sharing their breakfast, the three eaglets huddled together and went back to sleep under the watchful eye of their father.