How did this arrangement come to be? Researcher David Hancock, from the Hancock Wildlife Foundation, has been keeping a close eye on this family. This is his best theory.
"I think the hawk was picked up by the eagles as potential food and brought back to the nest," Hancock told The Dodo. "That’s not an unheard-of event."
But rather than tear the little hawk apart, the eagle parents apparently had a change of perspective.
"It’s a great biologically rooted question. If an eagle has two of her own babies in the nest, why does she not feed one to the other? Obviously, there’s some mechanism there that prevents it," said Hancock. "It could be that the baby hawk is similar enough in appearance, or it made a begging sound that triggered the nurture response. It’s an interesting concept."
Whatever the case, Hancock calls it a "lucky break" for the hawk. (And the little guy certainly isn't protesting.)