We have all heard the news by now. Jackie and Shadow are expecting again. The famous Big Bear bald eagle couple have two eggs in the nest with possible hatching date around Valentine’s Day.
This is their second year in a row to produce two eggs. Three years ago Jackie laid two eggs, but the father of those chicks was Mr. BB. One chick has survived each of the last two hatchings to grow to young adulthood. The mortality rate for bald eagle chicks is 50 percent.
While everyone watches the Friends of Big Bear Valley’s eagle nest cam the next few weeks, the San Bernardino National Forest sent a reminder to stay away from the nesting area. Bald eagles are known to abandon nests, eggs and young when feeling threatened by human activities. The San Bernardino National Forest issued a forest order prohibiting entry in the Grays Peak area on the western end of Big Bear Lake on Dec. 1. That order will remain in place until July 31.
A violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
Snow play and off-trail use in the area are not allowed. Use of the lower section of Grays Peak Trail and Grout Bay Picnic Area are also off limits.
The best way to view Jackie, Shadow and the eggs is through the Friends of Big Bear Valley webcam, which can be accessed through the organization’s website at www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org or various YouTube channels.
For more information about bald eagles and viewing opportunities, call the Forest Service at 909-382-2790.