FULTON, IL (KFVS) - A nontraditional family of three bald eagles now have three eaglets.
The trio includes two males and one female: Valor I, Valor II and Starr.
The nest is located in the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge near Lock and Dam 13 in Fulton, Ill. on the Mississippi River.
According to Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge, in 2013 they noticed three adult eagles around a new nest location. They said the behavior indicated Valor I was replaced with Valor II and the pair successfully raised two eaglets.
In late 2013 and 2014, the Refuge moved its camera and the eagles moved nesting locations. By 2015, two adult male eagles and an adult female eagle were seen at the 2013 site, but the group was unable to hook up a camera due to a disturbance.
In 2016, the trio of eagles successfully fledged three young. According to the Refuge, it was finally documented that all three adult eagles were sharing in all aspects of nesting.
In March 2017, two other adult bald eagles attacked the nest. the webcam recorded the attack and the adult female in the trio, called Hope, did not return to the nest. Two adult male bald eagles made a second recorded attack on the nest. According to the Refuge, Valor I and Valor II defended the chicks. The Refuge states that daily attacks occurred throughout April “with an occasional flyby in May.” They say the two males continued to raise the eaglets and Hope was considered MIA and was not expected to be found.
By September 2018, a new female was seen with Valor I and Valor II. All three were seen at the nest bringing in and moving sticks around. The three went on to lay two eggs.
The first egg of 2019 was laid on Feb. 18, and hatched on March 27. The second egg was laid on Feb. 21 and hatched on March 29. And, the third egg was laid on Feb. 24 and hatched on April 1.