A fascinating scene was caught happening in a nest in Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge, Illinois, where two male bald eagles were helping a female bald eagle keep her eggs warm and safe.
The incident was especially fascinating because eagles are very very territorial and bald eagles are especially monogamous. However, this is not the first time such an incident took place.
“The three parents share incubation responsibilities for the eggs — three this year — as they have in previous years,” according to Out There With the Birds, the blog of Bird Watcher’s Digest. “Like their relationship, their history is complicated.”
Bald Eagle Trio Paired for Life? A nesting trio is a rare occurrence among bald eagles, but this is not the first such case. A bald eagle nesting trios was documented in California in 1992. https://t.co/dB0fTp2hkZ pic.twitter.com/HnXZboY1pu
— Tuleyome (@tuleyomeorg) March 10, 2019
The stewards at Upper Mississippi River Refuge, an organization that provides a live stream of the nest, claim that the trio has been together since 2017. Moreover, the acquaintance of the two males, named Valor 1 and Valor 2, date even further back to 2013. But initially, they were rivals. Valor 2 actually came to the nest to take Valor 1’s place as the king but Valor 1 never left.
The female, Hope, lived in the nest at that time. And in 2014, Hope and the two males ended up raising two chicks together. In 2015, they were seen again, taking care of the nest. In 2017, the trio took care and hatched three eaglets. It seemed as though it had become a tradition.
But something tragic happened in the nest the same year. Some unknown eagles attacked the nest, scaring Hope so much that she flew away and never returned. There were 2 eggs in the nest and Valor 1 and Valor 2 hatched them together, without her. Later, a female eagle came to the nest and hatched another female eaglet, who was named Starr.
Starr made the nest her home, despite Valor 1 and Valor 2 being there.
The trio is taking care of eggs laid in February. There is now a baby watch set near the nest.
Both the Valors are going to be dads again and luckily, all of us will be able to watch the eggs hatch from the very first moment!
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