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Snow Covers Expectant Bald Eagle Sitting on Eggs in Nest Near Big Bear Lake

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A coating of snow on a bald eagle nest near Big Bear Lake is not deterring a pair of expectant parents from keeping their two eggs warm, even as the birds themselves get covered snow.

With a storm bringing precipitation to much of Southern California, the San Bernardino Mountains are on Tuesday getting their first snow of the year – including at the site of a bald eagle nest where the eggs were laid last week.

A still from a livestream of a bald eagle nest near Big Bear Lake is shown on Jan. 9, 2018. (Credit: Institute for Wildlife Studies)

A still from a livestream of a bald eagle nest near Big Bear Lake is shown on Jan. 9, 2018. (Credit: Institute for Wildlife Studies)

The nest, which is visible around the clock on a livestream set up by Friends of the Big Bear Valley and the Institute for Wildlife Studies, is in the Grays Peak area.

Video from the livestream showed snow falling on one of the nesting parents midday Tuesday, leaving a coating of white on its feathers and the nest. The parents share incubation duties and will switch off during the day, according to a San Bernardino National Forest spokesman.

Several inches of snow are expected in the area on Tuesday.

Bald eagles were on the federal endangered species list until 2007, and the U.S. Forest Service continues to monitor the local population.

The female partner in the nesting pair is believed to be a young first-time mother who was hatched in the San Bernardino Mountains in 2012, according to a news release from the Forest Services. Biologists can’t know for certain which bird she is because she is not banded.

The area around the nest has been closed to public access through June 22, the end of the nesting season, because bald eagles may abandon their nests if disturbed. The eggs are expected to hatch around Feb. 10.

The monthly winter bald eagle count for the San Bernardino National Forest is this Saturday. The public is invited to volunteer, and details are at the National Forest’s website. During last month’s count, four eagles, including the nesting pair, were spotted in the area of Big Bear Lake.

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