It’s hatching time for Southern California’s beloved bald eagles


BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — Southern California’s most famous pair of nesting bald eagles have laid two eggs with one hatching Thursday evening.

Mother eagle Jackie and father Shadow have been incubating their eggs near the mountain community of Big Bear east of Los Angeles for the past few weeks. High up in the mountains above Big Bear Lake, the group Friends of Big Bear Valley, set up a live camera to watch the hatching live.

“We have a pip! Hatching in progress!!” the Friends of Big Bear Valley announced on its Facebook page.

Videos show from Thursday evening show Jackie waking up throughout the night to tend to her baby eaglet and check on her egg.

In an update from last week, the duo diligently incubated both eggs “through wind, sleet, snow and whatever else nature throws their way”, Friends of Big Bear Valley said. Pip watch began Monday and that both eggs were expected to hatch this week, the group said.

The first egg of the year was destroyed by ravens in January. Two raves flew into the nest when Jackie and Shadow were away and cracked the egg, according to nest footage. Two other eggs this season have also been destroyed.

In 2020, Jackie laid two eggs but neither ended up hatching. In 2019, she hatched two chicklets, Simba and Cookie. But Cookie died of apparent hypothermia after a late-season snowstorm in May. Simba fledged successfully in July and left the nest in August.

Big Bear bald eagles were first tracked back in 2012 but the nest egg camera wasn’t installed until fall 2015.

Bald eagles are the only eagles that don’t migrate elsewhere and lay their eggs in Southern California.

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