If you are into bird watching, or even if you aren’t, you probably know about Big Bear’s bald eagles, Shadow and Jackie, who appear on the Big Bear Eagle Cam hosted by the Friends of Big Bear Valley. Many throughout the world watch each year as Shadow and Jackie return to thier nest each winter and ready the nest for eaglets. Their nest is located in the northwest part of the valley and is in a protected area which is closed to the public during mating season. Each year thousands watch as Shadow brings more sticks than they know what to do with. Jackie is constantly squawking orders at him. Many viewers have built an attachment to the birds and watch them daily.
Jackie laid her first egg of the season on January 22, 2022. The second egg arrived January 25th, 2022. Now the wait begins. The doting parents take turns sitting on the eggs, sometimes under a couple inches of snow, through rain, high winds and sunshine, bringing meals to each other and are a good team when it comes to caring for their young. They fend off crows and other birds of prey and preditors that try to penetrate the nest.
Raising baby eaglets is no easy feat. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, only about 50% of eggs/baby eagles survive their first year. Sadly, Jackie and Shadow have had a few rough years. They were unsuccessful in both 2020 and 2021 to raise baby eaglets. Losing thier eggs to crows, breakage, and the one pip that started to hatch never emerged. Their last successful hatch was in 2019 when they welcomed eaglets Simba and Cookie. Unfortunately, Cookie didn’t survive a rather harsh and cold storm that winter. Simba, to the delight of thousands, fledged the nest a few months later. We all have our fingers crossed for a successful hatch this year.
To view live footage of the Big Bear Eagle Cam click HERE.