This trio has been together since 2017, according to the Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge, a nonprofit organization that, among other things, provides a live stream of the nest. But the two males, Valor 1 and Valor 2, have been together for longer — since 2013 — and they began as rivals. Valor 2 tried to replace Valor 1 as the king of the nest — but Valor 1 decided not to leave.
At that time, there was a female in the nest, Hope. She and both Valors raised two eagle chicks together back in 2014. She was seen mating with both Valor 1 and Valor 2. The trio was seen the next year, too, taking care of the nest. In 2017, three little eaglets were hatched and raised by the trio. Somehow, the nontraditional situation seemed to just click.
But in 2017, tragedy struck. Unknown eagles attacked the nest and Hope flew away and never returned. Valor 1 and Valor 2 raised the two eaglets who hatched that year together, without their mate. Later that year, a new female, Starr, showed up in the nest.
Starr decided to make the nest her home — with Valor 1 and Valor 2. And that's who we see in the nest today.