Watch as famous lovebirds Jackie & Shadow renew hopes for another generation of bald eagles at California’s Big Bear Lake after losing their first egg to ravenous ravens.
Wildlife watchers are enraptured with the ongoing struggles of Big Bear’s Bald Eagles. Perhaps California’s most famous wintering bald eagles, wild breeding pair Jackie & Shadow are currently attempting to rear the next generation of American bald eagles.
Their entire lives within their skyscraper-high nest are on display, too, as conservationist group Friends of Big Bear Valley have placed a webcam just out of sight. As a result, wildlife enthusiasts are able to watch everything from mother Jackie laying her eggs, to both parents swapping incubating duties until their little ones hatch.
Nature, however, is sometimes hard to watch. Tragedy struck for the pair this past Thursday as a duo of local ravens found Jackie’s egg while she was out-of-nest. While part of the circle of life, watchers the world over were heartbroken to see the bald eagles’ first offspring consumed before it got a chance to develop.
Now, Jackie & Shadow are getting another chance at continuing their lineage as a part of America’s rehabilitating bald eagle population.
California Bald Eagles Recover from Tragic Loss
Thanks to widespread conservation efforts, bald eagles are thankfully no longer an endangered species in the U.S. Balds are, however, alongside their golden eagle cousins, still protected under extensive federal laws and regulations.
All of this considered, Jackie and Shadow are still the only two bald eagles living on California’s Big Bear Lake. Friends of Big Bear Valley have been monitoring the pair since 2015, and have become quite attached – as has the rest of America.
“It’s always emotional,” Sandy Steer of Friends of Big Bear Valley tells local CBS 8, referencing the drama of the past week. Steer adds that – although emotional – she knows it is all part of the circle of life. “A lot of times it’s hard to watch nature. All the animals are doing what they need to do to survive,” she clarifies.
Things are looking up for Jackie & Shadow, though. As of last night (Saturday, Jan. 9), Jackie has laid another egg. Viewers watched as the mother eagle laid, then rarely left the side of, her new offspring through the night. FoBBV’s livestream offers a rare chance for wildlife enthusiasts to witness remarkable acts of nature such as this. And this, Steer says, is what makes it all worthwhile.
“People haven’t had the chance to really watch nature up close and see what really happens as opposed to reading about it in a biology book,” she adds.
Jackie & Shadow: Mated for Life
Intimate viewings like this, too, go a long way in legitimizing conservation efforts in the eyes of the public. Most will never have the chance to see bald eagles this up close and personal within a lifetime. As such, it’s easy to dismiss their plight as something distant, or inconsequential.
Offering people a plain view into the affection a mated pair shows one another and their hatchlings, alongside the painstaking work required to rear another generation – works wonders for public perception in turn.
For instance, the monogamous nature of the species is a trait that helps folks identify – and sympathize with – our wild neighbors. Bald eagles mate for life, and pairs like Jackie & Shadow will not part unless the other dies.
In addition, their nests are built as true homes, just like ours. Most mating pairs will return to their same nest year after year so long as it remains standing. And considering it takes up to 40 days for a single bald eagle egg to hatch, they’ll need their nest for no short period of time.
Knowing all of this, Californians (and Americans at large) are now far more likely to want to respect – and protect – these remarkable raptors.
Watch Jackie & Shadow’s Journey:
Watch Jackie & Shadow‘s 2021 journey with their offspring so far below, and relish in the majesty that is the North American bald eagle:
Thousands of people are rooting for these birds and their growing family.CBS 8, San Diego
For more on these two fateful lovebirds, check out our previous coverage of Big Bear’s Jackie & Shadow.
[Source: CBS 8]