It’s Three’s Company For These Bald Eagles in Illinois
A group of bald eagles in Illinois are living in a "Three's Company" type of situation.
Since we are 96.7 The Eagle, whenever there's a story about our mascot in the area, it makes sense to cover it.
This one is rather strange.
Before I start, here are a couple of things you should know about these birds of prey. They're monogamous and territorial. Basically, they have serious couple relationships and don't like anything else coming around their nest.
That's why this situation is so interesting.
In the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge in Fulton, Illinois, there are three eagles living together in one nest (two males and one female). The threesome is sharing all the parenting duties.
This arrangement goes against everything we know about bald eagles.
They don't usually live this "risky" lifestyle.
Their relationship status on Facebook would be complicated.
According to otwtb.birdwatcherdigest.com,
- Male 1 was spotted at the nest in 2012. There were 2 eggs but they didn't make it.
- In 2013, two males hung out at the nest. Male 2 replaced Male 1 and produced two young with the female.
- The next year all three appeared and tended to the young.
- In 2015, the three adults were clearly seen tending the nest:
- In 2016, it was documented that both males were copulating with the female.
- Disaster struck in 2017: After two eggs hatched, two other adult eagles attacked the nest. The two males defended the nest, but the female disappeared, never to return. Both dads raised the babies.
- That September, a new female came to the nest, and both males courted her. She laid two eggs in 2018, and all three adults tended them.
- In 2019, she and her mates produced three eggs.
As you can see, these eagles are having a cable TV show type of romance.
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