If all goes well, Big Bear’s resident pair of nesting bald eagles can expect the hatching of not one but two eaglets next month.
That’s because bald eagle mama Jackie laid her second egg of the week around 5:10 p.m. Saturday — much to the delight of viewers who watched it on a live camera, according to the San Bernardino National Forest.
Jackie and her mate Shadow welcomed their first egg of the new year on Wednesday.
Incubation takes about 35 days after the first egg is laid, meaning the first eaglet will hatch around Valentine’s Day, forest officials said.
Bald eagles take turns vigilantly protecting and keeping the eggs warm during the monthlong period, but it’s expected that Jackie will do most of the incubation herself based on the past two nesting seasons.
“She’s never let Shadow incubate overnight or during big storms,” officials explained after the first egg was hatched.
That’s not to say Shadow is lazy, however. In the past, he’s brought her meals and given Jackie some much needed rest, relieving her during breaks.
Last spring, the couple successfully hatched two eggs, but one — Cookie — died of apparent hypothermia as a late-season snowstorm hit the region in May.
The other eaglet, Simba, fledged in July. He made his first flight when he was about 14 weeks old.
In a post on Facebook, the U.S. Forest Service reminded visitors that the area around the nest — located on the northwest side of Big Bear Lake — is closed off.
“Nesting bald eagles that feel threatened by human activity may abandon the eggs,” the post stated.
However, the public can still watch the nest and — if timed just right — view the eggs hatching in mid-February on the live “Eagle Cam” operated by the Friends of Big Bear Valley.