BIG BEAR, CA — Southern California is getting a little antsy waiting for the first two bald eagle eggs of the season to hatch in Big Bear. The hatchlings are running late, but patience is required, according to Friends of Big Bear Valley, which has a camera zoomed in on the nest of Mama bird Jackie and her mate, Shadow. (Scroll down to view livestream.)
The wild pair is doing a fine job of keeping the clutch warm and safe as the public tunes in online via the Big Bear Eagle Nest Cam, as it is officially called.
“There is lots of talk going around different chats and FB pages about what the status is with the eggs and whether they will hatch,” Friends of Big Bear Valley posted Wednesday on its Facebook page. “Rather than worry, speculate or make pronouncements, we would prefer to be diligent observers of nature in all of its beauty and its amazing processes, curiosities and possibilities.”
Still, it’s hard not to get a bit anxious. Jackie’s first egg was noticed the night of Jan. 8 by an observant nest cam viewer. A second egg was laid just three days later, which means the chicks were due to hatch sometime around Valentine’s Day.
According to the National Eagle Center’s website, female bald eagles typically lay a clutch of two eggs over a period of three to six days, and the incubation period is about 35 days.
But Friends of Big Bear Valley said Mother Nature is in charge.
“Every eagle pair is different, every nest and nesting season has a multitude of variables and every bald eagle has its own unique way of being in the world,” the group posted. “Jackie, for example, was ‘supposed to’ mate for life with Mr. B. But apparently Jackie forgot to read the rule book and against all human speculation, decided she liked Shadow better. We will continue watching and learning and humbly allow the eagles and nature to show us what will happen next.”
Friends of Big Bear Valley was able to zoom in on the eggs a few times Wednesday, but saw nothing definitive. It marked day 42 for egg #1 and day 39 for egg #2.
“We’ve got our talons crossed as we head off to bed,” Friends of Big Bear Valley posted Wednesday night.
Watching the nest cam live on Thursday, the bald eagles seem to have egg-care duties well taken care of. Storm has been busy bringing more grasses and sticks to the nest, no doubt preparing for Saturday’s forecast that’s expected to bring a few inches of snow.