Experts Say Famous Bald Eagle Eggs Will Not Hatch

Keith Menconi
February 26, 2020 - 3:29 pm
An inside look at a nesting Bald Eagle

Friends of Big Bear Valley


Thousands of people have watched a live stream of a bald eagle nest in Southern California for eaglets to emerge, but experts say the eggs in the nest are unlikely to hatch. 

The stream, operated by Friends of Big Bear Valley, has made Jackie and Shadow famous. The two eagles have a large online presence, thanks to dutiful viewers and commenters who are active on YouTube and Facebook. 

Appropriately, Facebook is where the National Forest Service announced the sad news in a post on Feb. 21. 

“It’s hard to say this, but the odds of our Big Bear bald eagle nest’s eggs will hatch this year are diminishing each day,” the post said. 

Officials said that eggs usually hatch in 35 to 38 days. Jackie and Shadow’s eggs are now 46 and 49 days old. 

There are numerous factors that could impact the success of a nest, according to the Forest Service.

“The eggs may have been infertile from the start (incomplete fertilization during mating, etc.) or the embryos could have died during incubation (from congenital defects, weather, or environmental factors) or the chicks may not have been able to successfully break out of their shells,” the service explained on Facebook. 

Zach Behrens, a spokesperson for the San Bernardino National Forest said that while this is obviously a disappointment, luckily, the Bald Eagle population is healthy. 

“It’s a great conservation and education tool for the public,” said Behrens. “To learn off real world examples, for better or worse.”

The Forest Service posted another update on the pair of birds on Tuesday, saying that they expect the eggs to be abandoned within the next week or so.

“We do expect that our Big Bear nesting pair of bald eagles will continue to defend this territory and will nest there again next season,” the post continued.