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Pair of bald eagle eggs in nest near Big Bear unlikely to hatch, experts say

It looks like Jackie and Shadow, Big Bear’s world-famous bald eagles, won’t be welcoming new eagles any time soon.

Thousands of viewers have anxiously watched one live camera on youtube, anticipating the hatching of two eggs that have been incubating for over a month in a nest in a tree high above the San Bernardino National Forest.

More than 17,000 people watched at one point over the weekend as Jackie was covered in snow during this weekend’s winter storm, sitting still on the nest and wearing the cold to keep the two eggs warm.

But on Monday, Friends of Big Bear Valley confirmed what many fans and onlookers had feared after the eggs showed no signs of hatching more than 40 days after they were laid. The organization noted that most eagle eggs hatch in about 35 days.

“It now appears that Jackie and Shadow’s eggs will not hatch this time,” says the organization, which runs the livestream camera, Posted on his Facebook page Monday.

It is unclear what happened to prevent the two eggs from hatching. The eggs rest in a nest in a part of the forest off limits to visitors, and animal experts say the recent string of storms was probably not to blame.

“They may not have fertilized, or may have stopped developing somewhere in the process for various circumstances and reasons,” the group wrote on Facebook. “Without seeing what happened in the eggs at every step of the process, we can’t know what happened. We’ll just trust nature to know best what it’s doing and why.”

Friends of Big Bear Valley executive director Sandy Steers assured viewers over the weekend that despite the cold and blizzard conditions of the past few days, the two eagles are naturally well equipped to withstand the extreme temperatures and keep the two eggs warm. to hold.

Still, there are several reasons why the eggs have not hatched.

Two other eggs Jackie laid years ago failed to hatch and were attacked by predators, Steers noted. Video showed that the cracked eggs still contained a yolk instead of a developing chick.

That could suggest the eggs weren’t fertilized, which could have happened again this year, she said.

About a week ago, Shadow and Jackie were also both seen leaving the eggs alone for up to two hours, which is considered odd behavior when eagles care for eggs.

“It’s sad for me that they had that hiatus, but we don’t know if that changed anything,” Steers said at the time.

On Monday, Jackie was still sitting on the snowy nest. At one point, she was seen getting up to eat some meat left on the side of the nest. Both eggs were visible.

On Facebook, Steers wrote that in the past the two eagles sat on the eggs for weeks, even though it was clear that they would not hatch again.

“As always, we will be patiently watching to see what happens from here,” she wrote. “We will allow ourselves to be open and curious and learn from nature despite the sadness in our hearts.”