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A trio of bald eagles successfully raising eaglets in the vicinity of the Headwaters of the Mississippi River in the state of Illinois.
The trio, which consists of two males (with the name of Heroes 1 and Courage (II) and a woman (Starr) live on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge.
“For a number of years, fans from all over the world are viewing these non-traditional family through a webcam as the eagles deal with the trials and tribulations of parenthood,” explains the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on its website.
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The 2019 breeding season is going well, according to the Stewards of the Upper Mississippi river Refuge, which notes that three eggs were hatched on the nest between 27 March and 1 April. “The pantry is always full with a variety of fish, birds and the occasional muskrat and the turtle,” the organization said in a YouTube post at a webcam of the nest.
The nesting bald eagle trio. (Photo courtesy of Stewards of the Upper Mississippi Refuge)
“The original trio formed in 2013, after the woman chose a new partner,” according to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Even though the original man, known as Valor I, was replaced by a new man, known as Valor II, he hung around the nest in the breeding season and was believed to be involved in the nest.”
The nest of the original female, Hope, was killed by another eagle in 2017, with Starr’s arrival in September of that year. They successfully laid two eggs in mid-February 2018, supported by the Valor I and valor II. Both eggs hatched, but one of the boy died of unknown causes three weeks later.
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“Having more than two birds help with feeding and raising of young people is not all that uncommon, but it is interesting to see that these men seem to prefer the teamwork approach to raising a family,” explains the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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The three parents work in shifts during the eggs incubation period, according to the officials. “During every shift change in the nest, the ease of adults, it will land in the nest and the nudge incubator to take over tasks,” they explain. “If pushing doesn’t work, then more aggressive moves such as walking on the tail feathers or the back of the relentless incubator is carried out. If there is still no movement, the reliever will be good against the incubator and wait for a change of mentality.”
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers