Bernheim Forest golden eagle gets a second chance at love

Athena’s heart will go on.

Profile shot of an eagle head.

Athena was first tracked after being discovered with her former partner Harper in 2019.

Photo by Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Love is in the air at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. Specifically, for its golden eagle Athena.

Her love story begins in 2019 with her first eagle mate Harper. Together, they became the first pair of golden eagles to be tracked in eastern North America. Unfortunately, in 2021 Harper died during a hunting trip in Canada. Athena was forced to leave their nest to hunt on her own and was tracked the following year traveling more widely — possibly searching for a new mate.

Athena’s search came to an end in the winter of 2022 when she was spotted (and heard) canoodling with a new golden eagle, who is yet to be named or tagged for tracking. According to data, it appears Athena and her new partner likely fledged a chick in Wapusk National Park in Canada — the same country Athena and Harper nested together.

A third, juvenile golden eagle has also been seen in the same vicinity as Athena and her new bird friend, which is likely the duo’s chick.

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