WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A dramatic month at the Standley Lake eagle’s nest has continued with the possibility of a new romance ... and possibly a love triangle.
To recap: on April 6, the mother and father eagles were attacked by a mystery female. Mom has been MIA ever since (the hope is she’s been nursing herself back to health), and at least one of the hatchlings has died. It’s unclear if any of the eggs in the nest remain viable.
Father eagle has stayed in the area … and so has that mystery woman, dubbed the “floater” in Standley Lake Regional Park’s detailed and near-daily updates. While observers say dad was initially standoffish and aggressive to the floater, he has recently warmed up to her.
>>> Watch the video above to see the floater attack the nest.
It began, like many relationships do, with casual conversation.
“Dad has become increasingly at ease with the floater and has often stopped his alarm vocalizations altogether when she is near him or even in the nest,” an April 17 update on the Standley Lake Regional Park Facebook page reads.
As time went on, the pair got even closer.
“Yesterday and today, dad and the floater were very chummy with each other, sitting side-by-side on the branch above the nest,” Tuesday’s update from the Standley Lake Regional Park Facebook page says. “As time passes, we look into new terms for the floater since she no longer appears to be passing through.”
Indeed. In fact, it appears the father eagle might be pursuing a future with this mystery woman … or at the very least, is trying to make her more than just a friend.
“This morning, dad made a move on her, looking like he’s attempting to mate,” Tuesday’s post goes on to say. “He was not successful at mating, but it does indicate that he is much more comfortable with the idea of her staying.”
The park says it’s possible the two could have offspring together.
And at this point, maybe you’re wondering about mom. The park says rangers haven’t seen injured eagles in the area, and that she’s likely nursing her wounds and keeping her distance, since a mystery woman appears to have scooped up her man.
Of course, there’s reason to feel sympathy for the floater too. Here’s an explanation from the Standley Lake Regional Park’s Facebook page.
“It is likely we are experiencing this situation because of human intervention,” it reads. “The floater may have lost her nesting site, a clutch of eggs or a mate and humans are often the root cause of these situations.”
The park emphasizes that people should not intervene with the nest at all, and neither will wildlife officers, for the most part. This is nature, and nature is a wild place.
The park posts frequent and detailed updates about the eagles to its Facebook page. It’s definitely worth a follow, if eagle drama is your thing (and it probably is if you’ve gotten this far in the article).
The park has also been streaming the eagles for years. Click here for the live stream.
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