A Bald Eagle Trio’s Babies Are Being Raised Together

In an Illinois nest, something extraordinary is taking place. Two male bald eagles were spotted helping a mother bald eagle keep her eggs warm in her nest.

Bald eagles, on the other hand, are extremely territorial. Bald eagle pairs are also monogamous. As a result, the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge’s nest is rather distinctive. It’s also not the first time they’ve worked together to rear eaglets.

“The three parents split incubation chores for the eggs — three this year — as they did in previous years,” according to Bird Watcher’s Digest’s blog, Out There With the Birds. “Their background is convoluted, much like their love.”

This pair has been together since 2017, according to the Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge, a nonprofit organization that, among other things, broadcasts live footage of the nest. Valor 1 and Valor 2, on the other hand, have been together for a longer time – since 2013 – and began as competitors. Valor 2 tried to depose Valor 1 as king of the nest, but Valor 1 stood firm.
At the moment, Hope, a female, was in the nest. In 2014, she and both Valors worked together to raise two eagle chicks. Valors 1 and 2 have both been seen mating with her. The next year, the trio was observed taking care of the nest. In 2017, the trio hatched and raised three eaglets. In the end, the out-of-the-box situation worked out.

However, catastrophe struck in 2017. Hope flew out and never returned when unknown eagles attacked the nest. Without their spouse, Valor 1 and Valor 2 reared the two eaglets who hatched that year jointly. Starr, a new female, arrived in the nest later that year.

Starr chose to live in the nest with Valor 1 and Valor 2. That’s who we see today in the nest.

Starr and the Valors are now incubating three eggs that were deposited in the nest in February. And the nest has been assigned to baby-monitoring duties.

What Valor 1 and Valor 2 have gone through together over the years may have given them a great lesson in loyalty and endurance. It’s also likely that having three eagles in the nest makes it safer and more secure.

For the second time, Valor 1 and Valor 2 will become dads. We’re also fortunate in that we can keep an eye out for the first hints of little beaks breaking through eggshell.

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