As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday 26 April 2019

2 dads, 1 mom: Bald eagles raising 3 young in rare single nest and you can watch

Sonja Haller  USA TODAY
Published 8:20 AM EDT Apr 15, 2019
 The trio of birds who are sitting on the nest take part in the parental care of three eaglets.
Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge
Every bald eagle does its part for the three fuzzy-headed eaglets.
The two males, Valor I and Valor II, assist the female, Starr, "in nest maintenance, incubation and raising the young" in Illinois near the Mississippi River, according to the Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge.
The family is nontraditional, but established after a history of death and drama.
They eagles have been documented as nesting together since 2017. Starr laid her first eggs in September 2018 with support of the two males. Both eggs hatched, and one of the eaglets successfully fledged, or left the nest. The other fledgling died from unknown causes. 
A complicated family history 
The history of how these birds became a feathered family is a soap opera of sorts. 
Here's a fun fact — the two dads were a family unit first. Because before there was Starr, there was the female Hope. But Hope was injured by other birds in March 2017 and never returned to the nest. That just left Valor I and Valor II, who had shared a nest with Hope. 
It's rare, but not unheard of that trios of bald eagles share nests, according to the National Audubon Society. Documented trios were found in Alaska in 1977, in Minnesota in 1983 and in California in 1992. Many times, one bird serves as a helper. But in this case, both birds were copulating with the females.

No comments:

Post a Comment