A rare trio of bald eagles consisting of two males and one female are raising their own trio of chicks in a nest by the Mississippi River.
The two dads are named Valor I and Valor II, and the mother is Starr, according to the Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge, which hosts a livestream of the family.
The refuge said the birds all “take part in nest maintenance, incubation and raising the young.”
According to the National Audubon Society, there have been other documentations of such trios in the species, including in Alaska in 1977, in Minnesota in 1983 and in California in 1992.
But Audubon reports that this particular case is different because both of the male eagles are copulating with the female. Typically, the second dad has acted as a sort of live-in nanny in similar cases.
According to the nonprofit, prior to Valor II’s arrival, the nest was a place of much disorder. It also has reportedly been two years since the two dads lost their initial partner, Hope.
Audubon said that Valor I “wasn’t a very good partner or father” when he and Hope first began nesting.
He was said to have had trouble “incubating the eggs and feeding the eaglets, which were really his only two jobs.”
“Normally they will switch roles, but what happened was Hope would sit on the nest for a long, long time,” Pam Steinhaus, who serves as the refuge’s visitor services manager, told Audubon. “Valor I would never bring food in, so she’d have to get up and leave to hunt.”
“So he got replaced,” Steinhaus said.
Valor II eventually moved into the nest, but Valor I would stay. The trio began nesting cooperatively by 2016, according to Audubon.
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