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The rising morning sun reflects off of Big Bear Lake as one of the Big Bear eagles checks on the two eggs laying in the nest in Big Bear on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. (Courtesy of the Friends of Big Bear Valley)
The rising morning sun reflects off of Big Bear Lake as one of the Big Bear eagles checks on the two eggs laying in the nest in Big Bear on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. (Courtesy of the Friends of Big Bear Valley)
Madison Hart
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Two weeks after watchers of a Bald Eagle nest near Big Bear Lake hoped to catch sight of two eaglets chipping their way into the world, there are still no signs of cracks in the eggs.

The eaglets may now never emerge, according to , the nonprofit group that hosts a livestream of the nest.

“It appears now that Jackie and Shadow’s eggs are not going to hatch this time,” Sandy Steers, Friends of Big Bear Valley’s executive director, said Monday, Feb. 27, on .

“We cannot know exactly why — they could have not been fertilized, or could have stopped developing somewhere along the process for any of a variety of conditions and reasons,” Steers added.

Jackie and Shadow, Big Bear’s resident eagle nesting pair, had two eggs this season. In the past, Jackie’s eggs have hatched about 38 days after being laid. This year, the first egg was laid about 47 days ago. The second was laid about 44 days ago.

The first egg was set to hatch around Feb. 14, and the was set to hatch a few days after Valentine’s Day.

Nearly two weeks later, neither egg has hatched.

One of the Big Bear eagles checks on the two eggs laying in the nest in Big Bear on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. (Courtesy of the Friends of Big Bear Valley)
One of the Big Bear eagles checks on the two eggs laying in the nest in Big Bear on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023. (Courtesy of the Friends of Big Bear Valley)

Steers said “something unusual” occurred two weeks ago, which caused Jackie and Shadow to leave the eggs unattended for longer periods. The eggs were left uncovered for one to two hours at a time.

There are multiple variables that impact the eagle parents and the eggs. Steers said solar flares, earthquakes, confused hormones, intruder eagles, weather conditions and more may have called Jackie’s and Shadow’s attention away.

The nesting pair continued to care for the eggs Monday. Steers said they may do so for a few more weeks before they realize the eggs are not hatching. The eggs may end up prey to other birds, she said, or be left buried in the nest.

“As always, we will patiently watch to see what happens from here,” Steers said. “We will allow ourselves to be open, curious and learning from nature even through the sadness in our hearts.”

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