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  • Writer's pictureBecky Faulks

Hatch Watch is Underway – Live Action Nest Cam shows Bald Eagle Pair Awaiting their Chicks

Non-profit organisation Friends of Big Bear Valley is monitoring the birds in Southern California


*UPDATE 14th March 2024*

Sadly, as of now the bald eagle eggs seem unlikely to hatch. Jackie laid three eggs in January, and after 35 days viewers eagerly awaited the first pips. However, the pips have still not happened and the eggs are now outside their expected hatching window. This is the second year in a row that Jackie and Shadow have had this happen despite all their efforts, and fans around the world have shared their sympathies.

Sandy Spears, Executive Director of Friends of Big Bear Valley, shared her thoughts in an interview with KCAL News.

'It's still possible that something could happen,' she said yesterday. 'Right now it's past the time where Jackie's eggs have hatched, but I think another day before it's past the time that any eagle eggs have hatched. But those are just the ones on record, we don't know what's happened in the deep forest! It is actually more common than we would like to think that eagle eggs don't hatch. And it's all kinds of reasons, it could be environmental reasons such as the temperatures happening when the eggs laid or when they're incubating, it could be the percentage of humidity in the air, and for us it could also be the oxygen levels because we're at such a high altitude, higher than most eagle nests, or any. It could be biological, that something was off when they created the eggs, or when they were laid, there's all kinds of reasons, and unfortunately we don't have any way of knowing what, this time, the reasons are.'

Viewers have been very supportive, with one commenting: 'Thank you to the entire team that has kept us updated. Although we all have heavy hearts, it’s so beautiful to watch J&S interact and tend to the next. Nature is incredible.'

It is unlikely that there will be a second clutch this year, but we will wait to see what Jackie and Shadow have in store.

High in the mountains of Southern California, bald eagle pair Jackie and Shadow are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their brand new chicks. Mother Jackie laid her eggs in late January in a tree overlooking Big Bear Lake, and has since guarded them through all weathers, including a recent winter storm. The San Bernardino Mountains regularly experience sub-zero temperatures, and Jackie sat on the eggs for 62 hours without a break after snow blanketed the nest. Father Shadow has not been idle either, sharing incubating duties with Jackie.

The arrival of any animal is exciting, but the majestic and endangered bald eagle attracts particular attention. American bald eagles nearly went extinct before the pesticide DDT was banned in the 1970s, and their comeback has been celebrated as one of the biggest in history. With the chicks edging closer to their expected arrival date, nature enthusiasts everywhere are keeping their eyes on the live stream, eagerly watching for signs of pipping. The eggs are expected to hatch on Thursday or Friday this week.


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