Bald Eagles in Big Bear Lake
Jackie & Shadow, Big Bear's celebrity eagle couple, welcome their newest egg this week!
Update: Second egg laid in Big Bear Lake!
The second egg of 2020 was laid at 5:09 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11.
“We are very excited to see bald eagles continuing to successfully reside and raise young in this part of the forest,” said Marc Stamer, district ranger for the Mountaintop Ranger District. “But that success is shared by the public who continue to adhere to an area closure around the nest.”
Bald eagles are known to abandon nests, eggs and young when feeling threatened by human activities. A forest order has prohibited entry into the Grays Peak area since Dec. 1, 2019, and will continue until nesting activities have concluded in the spring or summer. Snow play and off-trail use in the area is not allowed, nor is using the lower section of the Grays Peak Trail and Grout Bay Picnic Area. A map of the closure can be seen here.
Local celebrities Jackie & Shadow - Big Bear’s resident bald eagle (and cutest) couple – welcomed a new egg to their nest on January 8th at 5:34 PM. This is the eagles’ second nesting venture in less than a year and we’ve got our fingers crossed for a successful hatching and fledging. You can watch the eagles’ newest journey on the Live Big Bear Eagle Cam hosted by Friends of Big Bear Valley.
According to Friends of Big Bear Valley, the eagles’ nest has been in active use since the fall of 2013. The surrounding area is closed to the public from nesting to fledging to protect the eagles.
For the safety and well-being of the eagles' nesting, hiking trails like the Grays Peak and Hanna Flat trails along with the Grout Bay Picnic Area have posted signage of closed sections. Hikers, bikers, and snow play seekers are asked to please respect the area’s closures as bald eagles have been known to abandon nests when disturbed by humans.
In 2012, the first bald eagle chick (at least the first in recorded history) hatched in 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.