A bald eagle named Jackie laid an egg on March 6 and another one on March 9 on National Forest land near the north shore of Big Bear Lake, according to the U.S. Forest Service. She and Shadow, a first-time father, have been taking turns incubating the eggs—as captured by a livestream from the nonprofit Friends of Big Bear Valley.
Hundreds of viewers cheered when the first eaglet arrived around 8:20 a.m. on Sunday, many of them offering encouraging words for the new father, whose “fussing,” according to Friends of Big Bear Valley, helped the chick emerge all the way out of its shell.
“Shadow, you’ve got this!” one Facebook commenter posted. “We knew you’d be a great dad,” wrote another.
Not long after, Friends of Big Bear Valley reported an “epic standoff” at the nest.
“Shadow won’t get up,” the organization said. “Jackie has used all of her powers of persuasion, to no avail.”
Minutes passed before Shadow finally got out of the way so Jackie could have her turn on the nest.
Over the next several hours, footage shows Jackie trying to feed the new chick and Shadow bringing in nest supplies while the second egg remained intact.
The Institute for Wildlife Studies predicted it will hatch on Monday, and soon enough, the chick looked like it had broken its shell.
“Here’s to another day glued to the computer screen!” Friends of Big Bear Valley posted at 7:06 a.m.
The first chick pipped Friday night but did not manage to get out until Sunday morning, the group noted, so there’s a chance the second one will stay inside its shell through Tuesday.
But the nonprofit said at 9:21 a.m., the eaglet’s behind is already “flashing the world.” Video shows a wing poking out around 11 a.m. before one of the eagles covered it.
“If you do watch the live cam of the Big Bear nest, one thing you might notice is that you will not always see the chick,” the U.S. Forest tweeted. “After hatching, the chicks cannot thermoregulate so the parents will continue to keep them warm for a couple of weeks.”
Volunteers in March counted a total of 13 bald eagles across the Inland Empire, including two adults and four subadults in Big Bear Lake.
In 2018, there were 15 bald eagles confirmed in the area, the San Bernardino Sun reported.
“Several dozen bald eagles typically spend their winter vacations around Southern California’s lakes, adding to a few resident nesting bald eagles that stay year-round,” the U.S. Forest Service said.
According to Friends of Big Bear Valley, 7-year-old Jackie was the first recorded eagle to be hatched in Big Bear Valley. She was initially named Jack before she grew bigger than her parents, indicating that she was female.
Meanwhile, near the Mississippi River in Illinois, an unusual parent combination of two male and one female bald eagles are raising three eaglets.