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A close-up headshot of a bald eagle in residence at the Big Bear Alpine Zoo. The bird is black & white with a yellow beak

Big Bear Bald Eagle Watch 2024

Posted: 02/07/24

Feb 8, 2024 Update

Big Bear Eagles are Record Setters!

With the ongoing storms blanketing the Big Bear Valley in snow, bald eagle couple Jackie & Shadow have worked tirelessly to protect their new clutch - their group of eggs. Never has the pair produced three eggs in a single nesting season, this phenomenon is rare among bald eagles in general and an exciting time for viewers of the Live Eagle Cam.

Over the past three days, Jackie has continuously sat on her clutch, totaling over 61 hours and 58 minutes before allowing Shadow a turn in the nest. This is the longest stretch Jackie has incubated the eggs uninterrupted.

Just how does she stay warm and dry under all that snow? Sandy Steers of Friends of Big Bear Valley explains on KTLA 5:

From Egg Watch to Pip Watch!

1/31/24 - Jackie laid a third egg this evening making this the first time she's laid a 'full clutch' of eggs in a nesting season. Pip watch - or hatching time - begins on Leap Day - Feb 29.

1/28/24 - We have a second egg in the nest. Congratulations to Jackie & Shadow!

1/25/24 - It's here! Jackie the Bald Eagle laid her first egg of 2024 at 4:55 PM

A screenshot of a Facebook post regarding the Big Bear bald eagles and the first egg of winter 2024.

Jackie & Shadow are Big Bear Lake's resident wild bald eagles. Each year, the duo returns to their nest in the valley to prep for a new round of eggs and hatchlings. The Friends of the Big Bear Valley non-profit organization maintains the famous Big Bear Eagle Cam that draws thousands of viewers year-round to watch the life and times of Jackie & Shadow.

Watch the Live Eagle Cam!

Forest Closure Order

Every year, the San Bernardino National Forest places a Forest Closure Order to protect the eagle habitat from human activity in their vicinity. Disturbances can cause eagles to abandon their nests, even when eggs or eaglets are present.

Please respect the forest closure in place from December 1, 2023. The closure includes:

  • Gray's Peak Trailhead (closed until July 31, 2024) See Closure Order
  • Grout Bay Picnic Area (closed until July 31, 2024)

Gates will be closed to block off these areas to traffic.

A bald eagle spreads its wings to fly from a snowy tree branch in a green, pine forest. Snow is visible on all the branches.

History of Bald Eagles in Big Bear

According to Friends of Big Bear Valley, the eagles’ nest has been in active use since the fall of 2013. The surrounding area is annually closed to the public to protect the eagles.

In 2012, the first bald eagle chick (at least the first in recorded history) hatched in the Big Bear Valley. She was successfully raised to fledge. Since then, about a dozen eggs have been laid with just a fraction of them hatching and growing to maturity. Roughly 50% of eaglets survive to adulthood, making protection of their nesting habitat that much more important.

And what about that neat camera capturing all the excitement? The Eagle Cam was first installed in the fall of 2015 and recorded its first eagle nesting season in 2017.

To learn more about the history of the Eagle Cam and its impact of the nesting eagles, visit the Friends of Big Bear Valley website for some FAQs.

CATEGORIES: Wildlife