An unusual bald eagle family has lately gone viral on the internet. Not only have netizens been perplexed, but bird specialists have been as well. These three eagles in Illinois opted to raise their offspring as a family, despite the fact that they are a monogamous species (they routinely choose a lifetime spouse).
In their now-famous nest along the Upper Mississippi River near Fulton, two bald eagle males and one female are rearing three eaglets. Despite bald eagles’ proclivity for life partners, this isn’t the first time a rare incident like this has occurred. The first bald eagle nesting trio was discovered in California in 1992.
Despite this, bird scientists are at a loss to explain the highly unusual event. Their background is convoluted, just like their relationship, according to Bird Watcher’s Digest’s blog. “The three parents share incubation responsibilities for the eggs — three this year — as they have in previous years.”
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
As for the parenting duties, they’re equally shared among the three parents. “They all share parenting duties,” reporter Ally Hirschlag, who wrote about the birds for the National Audubon Society conservation group, said. “They all feed the babies. They all sit on the nest. They guard the babies. They take turns. It’s actually very civilized.”
The trio has been observed together since 2018, according to the Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge, a nonprofit group that oversees the uncommon bird family and offers a live stream of them. Take a look at the amazing tale below!