What to Know
- Friends of Big Bear Valley have a much-watched "nest cam"
- Jackie and Shadow, the two celebrated eagles, having been preparing their lake-close nest over the last several weeks
- The pair's 2020 eggs were laid in January; past years have seen eggs appear later in winter
The months of November and December, for many people, are all about gathering.
You might gather rolls of wrapping paper, or chestnuts for your holiday stuffing, or stamps to send greeting cards.
But if you're a bald eagle, and you winter in the immediate vicinity of Big Bear Lake, the later part of the autumn is very much about the stick, as in many, many sticks, the sort of woody, twisty sticks that help you feather your large nest.
Or "stick your nest" seems more fitting in the case of Jackie and Shadow, the two world-famous, much-obsessed-over Big Bear bald eagles.
This is the pair that people in Southern California, and points around the planet, watch from an up-close nest cam, a high-in-the-sky eye that helps us keep tabs on their day-to-day activities and the important business of egg-laying.
Those eggs are traditionally laid in the winter — Jackie's 2020 clutch appeared on Jan. 8 and Jan. 11, respectively — which means that both birds spend a lot of time prepping the prospective eggs' home base as the year grows older and colder.
That's definitely happening in the final days of 2020, for a snowstorm arrived in Big Bear Lake overnight on Dec. 27-28. Which means fans of the feathered duo got to walk up to some brrr-ird action on the nest cam.
Of course, the eagles weather the flakes well, and while a potential egg-laying time could still be weeks or months away, there's excitement in the (literal) air on the Friends of Big Bear Valley and Big Bear Eagle Nest Cam social pages.
The anticipation feel even greater, as 2021, given the fact that Jackie's eggs did not hatch in early 2020 ("they were either not fertilized or development was stopped early on," says this informative page on the pair's history).
And, fingers and wings crossed, what possible egg-laying moments could be coming in the weeks or months ahead.