Something amazing is going on in an Illinois nest.
Two male bald eagles have been seen assisting a mother bald eagle in keeping her eggs warm in her nest.
However, bald eagles are very territorial. Bald eagle pairings are monogamous as well. As a result, this nest, which is located on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge, is rather unique. It’s also not the first time they’ve raised eaglets together.
According to Bird Watcher’s Digest’s blog, Out There With the Birds, “the three parents share incubation tasks for the eggs — three this year — as they did in past years.” “Their background is convoluted, much like their love.”
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
According to the Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge, a nonprofit group that, among other things, provides a live video of the nest, this trio has been together since 2017. However, the two boys, Valor 1 and Valor 2, have been together for a longer time – since 2013 — and they started off as rivals. Valor 2 attempted to dethrone Valor 1 as king of the nest, but Valor 1 refused.
Hope, a female, was in the nest at the time. In 2014, she and both Valors reared two eagle chicks together. Valor 1 and Valor 2 were both observed mating with her. The trio was again observed taking care of the nest the following year.