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Ravens eat the eggs of Big Bear Jackie and Shadow’s bald eagles, but there may be a new clutch this year

Ravens have eaten the eggs of a pair of bald eagles in the San Bernardino National Forest, according to Friends of Big Bear Valley.

Jackie and Shadow, who were being cheered on by thousands of people as they tried to be parents again, had left their nest with both eggs inside. Friends of Big Bear Valley, a group focused on defending the natural inhabitants of the valley, saw images of crows eating the eggs.

“If they developed, it was minimal,” said Sandy Steers, a biologist and executive director of Friends of Big Bear Valley, who has been watching the eagles for more than 10 years. She said that the eggs eaten by the crows were mostly liquid.

“The thing to know is that regardless of what Jackie and Shadow were doing, not being on the nest had no impact on the eggs, because even when the eggs were 30 days old, they were sitting on the nest all the time and swapping back and forth,” Steers said. “At that point, the egg would have been fully developed, so the eggs had already stopped developing.”

Friends from Big Bear Valley confirmed on their Facebook page Monday that after some wrangling, Jackie had convinced Shadow that all hope of getting the eggs was lost. The group noticed that the eagles had not visited the nest all day.

Eagle eggs typically hatch in about 35 days.

Steers noted that the recent surge of cold, wet weather may have stopped the eggs from developing. She said it’s common for not all eagle eggs to hatch, but it’s hard to say what happened without testing. In Jackie’s case, half of her eggs have hatched in the time she has been observed.

Steers said he wasn’t surprised the eggs didn’t hatch, since Jackie and Shadow weren’t sitting on them. However, he said there is reason to be hopeful, as in recent weeks, the camera caught Jackie and Shadow having “a nice romantic three-minute date” in the nearby trees. In previous years, Jackie has laid eggs until March.

“I always hope for the best, but when they stopped sitting (on the eggs), it seemed like something was wrong,” Steers said. “We’ll have to see what they do next.”