Eagle Update Stories

September 23, 2023 - Checking in…

Eagle Update Pictures

This morning Jackie and Shadow decided it was time to check in on what’s happening in the nest area. 

Jackie arrived first and landed on the top of the Stick Depot Snag. She immediately did a lovely chortling announcement, showing off her distinct identifying voice and making sure everyone knew she was in the area. Within a minute, Shadow arrived and joined her at the top of the tree. They sat together for over 30 minutes--just watching the area around their territory and apparently enjoying each other’s company. A few times, they traded looks, connecting and communicating silently as they shared their beautiful view.

Then one of them flew to a different limb and started hopping, branch by branch down to check out the tree’s mid-section where they have each deposited a collection of sticks over the past year. The other quickly followed, staying close even though they chose different routes down. They each in turn checked the pile of sticks, only to find that not many of those deposited sticks have stayed in place. Bald eagles sometimes create multiple nests in their territory, but this particular building project has so far not taken off the way Jackie and Shadow may have hoped.

Shadow was first to leave, off toward the lake for the day. Jackie stayed for another 20 minutes before heading out.

In the evening they were both back at the SDS, to check around the neighborhood. And by nightfall, they were together on their favorite roost tree near the nest.

For anyone who may be waiting anxiously, Jackie and Shadow have approved their new 2024 calendar—and it will be available in our online shop on September 25.https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/. For anyone local, Butcher's Block and possibly Chirp Nature Center will have calendars on hand.

Please be sure to thank Jackie and Shadow for checking in—it’s always great to see them on camera during their summer break!


September 12, 2023 - The good, the sad and the bad…

Eagle Update Pictures

The good…Today Jackie spent over 6 hours calmly watching over her territory from the Twin Pines perch. She seemed so at peace with just watching that even spotting an osprey and later a Peregrine falcon perching on her Stick Deposit Snag did not upset her. It was a lovely day to simply chill out.

On Saturday night, Shadow was back snuggling up with Jackie for a sweet night in the roost tree. And since those big birds were not at home in the nest, Fiona took the opportunity to zip around the nest a few times as she traveled up and down the limbs of ‘her’ home. A few days ago, both Jackie and Shadow spent the early morning chatting on the Lookout Tree, apparently discussing their day’s activities before heading out toward the lake.

The sad…we were very sad to hear that the company that banded Jackie’s first 2 chicks posted on Friday that they had reports from the U.S.G.S. bird banding lab that both Stormy (from 2018) and Simba (from 2019) had each been found deceased a few years ago in areas of California far outside of Big Bear. Today they added to their post, stating that they do not have additional information on causes or details. Friday was the first time this information was released for any of us to see and some of what was released was unclear. We called the bander to get clarifications before posting but did not receive a call back until today. They could not provide any additional details.

We know that this is hard news to hear for anyone who follows and falls in love with our eagle family the way we have. We are grieving with all of you.

The bad…there are some people who host FB or YouTube pages who are publicly accusing FOBBV of hiding information from the viewers. Contrary to that, we simply prefer to confirm information and make sure that anything we post is accurate and solidly backed rather than delivering drama simply to get attention. We’re sad that these people apparently need attention and drama so badly that they are not concerned with reassuring accuracy even when the information is deeply emotional. None of what they say about FOBBV is in any way accurate or true. Please ignore their attacking statements. And please give them a hug when you see them. It seems that they might need one.

As all of you do, we love Stormy and Simba very deeply. We are sad and wish we could have protected them out in the world. But since that is not possible, we will simply send them our heartfelt gratitude for being such a beautiful part of our lives.

Please be kind to yourselves and others in this time of sadness.


September 8, 2023 - Morning Routines and a Special Visit…

Eagle Update Pictures

This morning’s duet was led by Shadow, then Jackie quickly chimed in, such beautiful music they make together!

Jackie did a little stretching then handled her “business” before surprising the cam operator by heading straight to the nest for a short visit… not to worry, cam 2 was able to catch her graceful landing. We have not had an eagle in the nest since August 8th!

While Jackie was tootling around the nest, Shadow snuck out of the roost tree, and headed to the Stick Depot Snag. It seems Shadow is not quite ready to start his serious stick work at the nest and is still enjoying every last minute of his summer vacation.

Jackie didn’t keep him waiting too long, she flew by as Shadow kept his eagle eye on her. She stopped off at a another tree for a few minutes before heading over to join Shadow. They perched quietly together until the sun lit up the valley… they both did their “business”, we call this a PS (poop shot), before they headed off together to do what eagles do in the summertime… hunt and perch. 

Raptors often (but not always) relieve themselves before flying to lighten the load so to speak.

The new nesting season is fast approaching! Jackie and Shadow generally visit more often and start nestorations in October. The visits continue to get more and more frequent in November and December. 

The 2024 Calendar along with other new items are on the way and should be in the online shop by the end of the month! https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/

September 1, 2023 - Hello from our roost tree...

Eagle Update Pictures

Hello from our roost tree…

Jackie and Shadow have been spending a few nights a week at their nearby roost tree, and visible to the camera in the late evenings and early mornings. They were there yesterday morning and, as usual, chortled out a sweet little duet before they headed out for their daily adventures. They were also there both morning and evening the day before yesterday and the day before that. Tonight, with some local rain, they chose some other sheltered place to spend the night, but they did chortle out to the neighborhood an announcement that they are in the area.

For anyone who may not have received our latest newsletter by mail or email, I’ve posted it here. If you would like to be on the list to receive one, please send either your email or mailing address to fobbvinfo@gmail.com and ask to be added. 

Please note that we have opened up applications again for adding a few more amazing team members to FOBBV. We are seeking very special people (preferably ones who adore Jackie and Shadow!) to help us with communications, our website and our stories. If you would like more information, please contact us at fobbvinfo@gmail.com for details.

As we have mentioned, we gave a presentation to the Visit Big Bear board of directors regarding the devastating impacts that fireworks cause to wildlife, the environment, and humans. By request, we’ve made that presentation public at this link, in case any of you would like to see the information or use it for talking to people in your area. https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/presentations/

After our presentation, Visit Big Bear cancelled the fireworks show that had been planned for this weekend to celebrate Labor Day. We would like to acknowledge and thank them very much for cancelling this show! And we would encourage all of you to also thank them by leaving them a lovely comment on their FB page Labor Day post (right at the top of their page): https://www.facebook.com/VisitBigBear

We will be running some tests on our eagle cameras over the next few days, so the live stream may be up and down a bit. But the cameras will be back online quickly for you to keep your eye out for our favorite bald eagle couple.

Jackie and Shadow and FOBBV wish you all a beautiful and fun holiday weekend! Thank you for tuning in.


August 26, 2023 - We are here...

Eagle Update Pictures

We are here...

Jackie and Shadow’s appearances on camera have been a bit sparse this past week, often with only 1 of them seen at a time…until last night.

Starting in the late evening, they snuggled the night together on the same limb of their favorite roost tree, and were still side-by-side early this morning. After being quiet about it all night, they apparently decided that they should make a bigger deal of their presence…so they put out a full announcement to the neighborhood! Jackie started it, but Shadow quickly chimed in and happily had the last word.

Make sure to have the sound turned up as you enjoy their little stage show!


August 18, 2023 - Snuggled Together...

Eagle Update Pictures

Snuggled together…and a lightning show 

Jackie and Shadow continue to spend most nights together on their favorite roost tree near the nest. Sometimes they spend the night on separate limbs. Tonight, they must have sorted out all their differences--they were snuggled back together on the same limb.

In the meantime, a beautiful, silent lightning show was going off over the desert to the east. There was no sound of thunder heard on the camera, probably due to the distance away that the lightning was happening. The beautiful show was visible on both cameras. 



August 15, 2023 - Protecting Jackie and Shadow

Eagle Update Pictures

Protecting Jackie and Shadow…

Jackie and Shadow have continued spending most of their days hanging out somewhere around the lake, enjoying their summer vacation. Sometimes we see them passing through as they stop by one or two of their favorite nesting area perch trees.

Jackie did stop by the nest a few days ago for a short visit. She checked around inside the nest to make sure everything was in order and scanned the neighborhood to check that those ravens weren’t getting out of line. Unlike when Shadow visits, Jackie wasn’t called to move any sticks around—apparently, the nest sticks are being well-behaved for a change.

Even though their nest visits have been infrequent, Jackie and Shadow have often been spending the night together at their favorite roost tree that is just a short distance from the nest. Usually, they are on the same limb snuggled up together, but one night they slept in separate bedrooms, with one of them a couple limbs higher than the other.

While Shadow and Jackie are on summer break, we’ve been working hard. A few weeks ago, the Forest Service signed final approval for the North Big Bear Landscape Restoration project that we’ve mentioned here before. This 20-year project proposes massive tree and brush removal on 13,000 acres across the entire north side of Big Bear Valley. After detailed review of their proposal documents, we submitted comments and sent objections regarding the inaccuracies and insufficiencies of their environmental review and plan. Over 1000 of you also submitted comments and objections! (Thank you very much to all who took the time to do that!!). We also pointed out that a project of this magnitude and significant impact requires, by law, that an Environmental Impact Statement be prepared.

The Forest Service did defer the portion of the project set to create 47 miles of new trails and add e-bikes to all trails. But they completely ignored all comments and corrections of inaccuracies on the main portion of the plan and signed the final project approval with the completely false statement that the project would cause “no significant impact.”

Both our federal and state environmental laws are written so that when the laws are being broken by an agency, the only way for the public to enforce these laws is through legal action. Since the Forest Service is clearly breaking the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations, Friends of Big Bear Valley, along with John Muir Project and the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society, has filed a legal complaint with the court. We sent out a press release with the details regarding why this action was necessary, and I’ve included it in the photos of this post to fill you in on the details.

This enforcement process is expensive for us to cover, so if any of you would like to assist in supporting that effort, you can donate at: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/donate/or send checks to FOBBV, PO Box 422, Fawnskin, CA 92333. Also, when you purchase things from our shop, it assists to support this and all of our projects. https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/ 

We are very grateful for any and all support and every bit of it goes a long way to helping us protect Jackie and Shadow, their habitat and all of the nature around them! Legal actions are usually a very slow process, but we will keep you posted on any updates going forward. If you have any questions, you can contact us at fobbvinfo@gmail.com

Thank you very much for all of your continued support of every kind. And for your love of Jackie and Shadow!


August 6, 2023 - Happy National Tree Day!

Eagle Update Pictures

Between every two pines there is a doorway to a new world. - John Muir

On the first Sunday of August we celebrate National Tree Day and recognize the importance of trees for Jackie and Shadow and myriads of ecosystem inhabitants - animals, plants and all other organisms forming our bubble of life.

Trees play a vital role in everyday eagle life. Eagles’ favorite pastime is perching and observing their surroundings, watching the fish swim by and people drive by. For this activity, that encompasses most of their day, they rely on tall prominent trees with lots of convenient landing space and great vantage points - snags (trees with dead tops) or dead trees are the best for that as they are void of foliage. As night falls, they seek shelter in more secluded roosting trees that provide protection from the elements and curious owls. For nesting they typically choose the tallest tree that allows them to keep an eye on their favorite fishing spots and the rest of the territory.

Our nest is built about 145 feet above ground in a Jeffrey Pine tree, one of the tallest in the area. It was started by the previous pair of nesting eagles, known as Ricky and Lucy (believed to be Jackie’s parents) in the fall of 2011. Jackie (hatched in 2012) took over the nesting territory in 2016 and Shadow established his presence in 2018. 

Observations from our live cameras show that Jackie and Shadow can bring to the nest something between 600-900 sticks per year. Such remarkable dedication turned a small postmark-sized nest into a huge comfortable condo - over 5 ½ feet wide and 6 feet deep.

The picture below is a composite showing how our nest has changed over the years. The lake level has undergone some dramatic changes too! Our lake is 100% rain and snowmelt fed and may fluctuate considerably depending on annual precipitation.

Nest building is an essential part of the bonding process for the eagles. Nest fidelity and diligence - and lots of bonding practice over the years - result in really humongous dwellings built by these compulsive nest builders. One eagle pair from St. Petersburg, Florida proudly established the Guinness World Record for the largest bird nest in 1963. Some eagle pairs are known to build multiple nests in their territories - sometimes up to 6 nests, sometimes multiple nests in the same tree. In fact, Ricky and Lucy had already started building the current nest before the one that Jackie was raised in fell down from all of Jackie’s intense pre-fledge bouncing and a big wind storm following her fledging.

Jackie and Shadow took note of that eagle fact and started bringing sticks to a nearby snag. We noticed this activity for the first time last October, after we installed the new Wide View camera. From the looks of it, stick shenanigans on the aptly named Stick Depot Snag have been going on for much longer.

Fall is fast approaching and we are patiently waiting for Jackie and Shadow to return to the nest around mid-October (based on previous history). Meanwhile we will keep our talons crossed for surprise bonus visits!

Learn more about the Big Bear eagle history here: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/eagles/eagle-history/ 


August 5, 2023 - Together Again…

Eagle Update Pictures

For the past few days, Jackie and Shadow had not been seen together, either on the nest or on the perch trees, even though they had each shown up individually…

…but whether they were having differences, taking separate mini-vacations or just staying hidden, they are now back together. Yesterday evening one of them (Jackie?) had been sitting in Twin Pines perch tree for nearly two hours when the other one (Shadow?) arrived at the Stick Depot Snag. (Though we aren’t sure about which one was where since they are far away from the camera, their overall build suggests Jackie in TP (right side of screen—red arrow) and Shadow on SDS.)

When Shadow arrived, Jackie didn’t immediately rush over to join him—which he may have been expecting. He turned his back to her. On the TP, she turned her back to him…but kept looking over her shoulder at him, maybe making sure that he was noticing she had turned her back. And there they stayed for over 15 minutes on their separate trees, with no discussion…

…until at one point, Shadow, maybe on his own, maybe encouraged by Jackie, decided that was enough and he flew over and joined her on the TP perch. And pretty soon they were side by side. 

They stayed together there for a short while, until it was nearly dark. Now, it was obviously time for some rest. One flew off, toward the roost tree. A minute later the other one flew off and then they had a long discussion about everything as they came together in the roost tree.

They spent the night snuggled together in their favorite roosting spot. All is happy in paradise again!


July 31, 2023 - Some very welcome visits…

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow each decided that they would take a little break from vacation time and let everyone know they are still around. It was apparently time to remind all the neighbors that this is their nest and they are the owners of this whole territory.

Shadow dropped in a couple days ago, with his requisite stick in tow. And in finding the proper home for that new stick, he couldn’t help but notice that other sticks had gotten sassy and moved to incorrect and obviously out of balance places in the nest. So, he immediately took the extra time and effort to rearrange them back to their appropriate locations. (We’d best not remind him that those silly raven youngsters had been in the nest messing with his sticks!) And then that was enough for one evening and it was back to vacation time. 

Earlier that afternoon, a beautiful mule deer buck was spotted having some quiet time below the nest. We got his permission to include his video here…of course we warned him that lots of other animals may want his autograph after this.

By nightfall, Jackie and Shadow had both settled into their favorite roost tree. They spent the warm, cozy night snuggled side by side, reaffirming their bonded connection, even while on summer vacation.

Yesterday afternoon, Jackie dropped into the nest amidst lots of warning raven calls. They may have been trying to scare her away from their area…but it had no impact. Instead, she decided to stay for a while…a little over 3 hours while! 

She apparently realized how much she missed just watching the neighborhood happenings, so she moved out to her best viewing spot on the front porch. As her neck-bending curiosity kicked in, she seemed to thoroughly enjoy everything she was watching. She even consented to some nice close-up views as she spent a bit of leisurely time preening out some old feathers—she of course has to make sure she’ll be beautiful by fall when her annual molting is complete.

Thank you for keeping up with Jackie and Shadow even as they are enjoying their summer break. They would like to announce that all of us can now relax—they heard that the Labor Day fireworks show planned for September in Big Bear Lake has been cancelled. Hooray!! 


July 28, 2023 - Unexpected Surprises...

Eagle Update Pictures

Unexpected surprises…

Earlier this week, Sandy and I were out doing some research on areas where bald eagles perch around the lake, we were not specifically looking for eagles... At one of our stops, we got out of the car, had not even closed the car doors yet and heard a LOUD chortle, it was obvious this was close by... then another chortle. We took a few steps and there was beautiful Jackie! As an added bonus, there was a sub-adult in the same tree… 

We would like to believe Jackie was chortling out, "hello, I'm right over here", but realistically, she was probably just letting the sub-adult know it was in her personal space. 

This sub-adult was banded with the ID JU1, hatched in Lake Hemet, CA in 2021. Lake Hemet is about 42 miles (as the eagle flies) from Big Bear Lake. The youngster stayed for 20+ minutes and then flew off. JU1 had been seen in Big Bear in August of 2022 and at another lake off the mountain in December 2022.

We stayed at a respectable distance and watched Jackie for over an hour as she perched, preened, and looked out over the lake. This is how Jackie & Shadow spend most of their time off from nest duty. They perch, relax and rejuvenate for the upcoming nesting season.

We later stopped lakeside and spotted a couple of Western Grebe families with chicks in tow, absolutely adorable! Then on my way to grab lunch before we jumped into more work, I noticed a female mule deer near the north shore. 

Such an amazing day at the lake!

July 24, 2023 - Volunteer Appreciation Wk

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have declared… 

…it’s FOBBV Volunteer Appreciation Week!

Jackie and Shadow (and we) recognize that we could not do all the things we do without our amazing volunteers who step up each and every week on our Social Media pages to help us protect our beautiful Big Bear Valley environment and teach everyone about the importance of what we have right outside our back door. 

Our social media volunteers include the awesome moderators of our YouTube chat and the amazing administrators and moderators of our private Big Bear Bald Eagles Official Group. The chat mods give you information, design quizzes and games and work diligently to answer all your questions. They are also our nest historians, who created and maintain the daily Recap--our essential archive of all things that happened on the nest. The FOBBV group admins and mods happily approve requests for new members to join, answer your questions, post announcements and review everything on the page so we all stay on track with the purpose of the group.

We send a heart-felt THANK YOU to each and every one of them!

Please read about the specialness of each one of them so you can send huge, radiant Thank you’s to all of these generous, skilled and wonderful people—

Afton Marie House--YouTube Mod and Facebook Group Mod 

…fact finder and problem solver, always eager to learn and share new ideas

Amy MacDonald--YouTube Mod 

…resident Photoshop wiz with a sparkling personality

Cali Condor --YouTube and Facebook Group Team Lead

…eagle encyclopedia, if anyone has a question, she has the answer

Chrissy Haagenson--YouTube Mod and Facebook Group Mod

…cheering Jackie and Shadow (and Fiona!) from the state of aloha (by location and mindset)

Debbie Yeomans Shores--Facebook Group Mod

…bringing her bubbly personality and artistic flair to nonstop willingness to help

Judy Lindemann--YouTube Mod

…eagle spotter extraordinaire, can spot a flying eagle in the blink of an eye

Karen Tayman Pugh--Facebook Group Admin

…amazing historian and multi-tasker with a warm smile for everyone

Kathleen Casale--YouTube Mod

…chat room teacher, here to help you understand everything Big Bear, serious and funny at the same time

Linda Mann--YouTube Mod

…eagle eyes, can track and backtrack flybys like an eagle chasing prey

Maria Grigoriadou--YouTube Mod from Greece

…night spotter, keeps her eyes on the nest night and day even though she is thousands of miles away

Nina Vestergaard--Facebook Group Admin from Denmark

…welcome-to-the-eagle-family enthusiast, who holds down the fort overnight

Samantha Dove--Facebook Group Mod

…always kind and thoughtful to everyone, with lots of love for Jackie and Shadow

Sandy Woods--Facebook Group Admin and Monthly Birthday Greeter

…gifted and creative storyteller with a wealth of knowledge about our eagles

Sophie Wings--YouTube Mod

…cartoonist extraordinaire with a very creative mind

Stephanie Ross--Facebook Group Mod

…always-on-top-of-it weather girl, who keeps us updated about rain, snow and sunshine

Jackie and Shadow insisted that we send each of them a Jackie & Shadow mug as a small token of our appreciation! So, those are on their way.

Thank you from FOBBV, Jackie, Shadow, Fiona, all of Big Bear’s wildlife and


You can find all their beautiful work at these sites:

Facebook private group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fobbv 

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@FOBBVCAM

Recap page: https://bit.ly/3Md8TSz

July 20, 2023 - No Vacancy...

Eagle Update Pictures

While the eagles are away, the ravens will play!

2 adorable juvenile ravens visited the nest yesterday afternoon and boy did they have a lot to say. We can see a bit of pink on their gapes that tells us they hatched this year. The gape is the fleshy pink area at the base of their beaks. This family of ravens has been frequenting the basement of the nest tree this week and apparently their parents let them spread their wings and explore on their own… they even had the nerve to tinker with Shadow’s sticks!

Uh oh, a new life lesson for these youngsters…this pile of sticks isn’t a vacant playground and here comes one of the owners!

Jackie appeared out of nowhere, gliding gracefully with her landing gear down and ready. While keeping an eye on the ravens, she checked out the nest to make sure everything was still in the right place, and it was! Jackie also kept an eye on Shadow, he was over to the right, hunkered down in a nice shady perch tree overlooking the lake.

Jackie had a short conversation with ravens, probably making it clear this is her property and to keep their kids off her front porch! Once she left the nest, a quick flyby on cam 2 with Shadow in the background enjoying this quiet spot, where he relaxed for more than 3 hours… meanwhile, Jackie found a nice perch of her own in the evening sun with a view of the lake.

Once the sun had set, both eagles were spotted snuggled side by side, on a cozy branch in their favorite roost tree. 

A great ending to a beautiful day!

July 11, 2023 - Blast from the past…

Eagle Update Pictures

As Jackie and Shadow continue their summer staycation, we are bracing for a heatwave that will be coming to our area by the end this week. Unlike eagle pairs that live in other locations, Jackie and Shadow stick around their home base in summer, lounging in various spots around the lake.  Big Bear has a mild alpine climate, so even though the daytime temperatures might sneak up into the 90s through the week, the night times will still bring a nice reprieve down into the 50s. And, of course, the beautiful surrounding forest will provide plenty of shade in tall trees for the eagles.

We hope this little blast-from-the-past video will help you stay cool and carry on waiting patiently for Jackie and Shadow to visit the nest on occasion. There is nothing more satisfying than watching snow melt on a hot day and seeing our beloved eagles doing what they do best - worrying sticks, arguing about furniture placement and planting beaky kisses on each other.

Nestorations are just around the corner and we can’t wait to see what this fall brings for Jackie and Shadow! Meanwhile, we will keep catching glimpses of them on their favorite snags with the help of the new Wide View camera.

Stay up-to-date on all eagle activity by visiting our community Facebook group, where our group members report their sightings and observations: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fobbv


July 8, 2023 - Hooray! They decided to come home!

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow were both seen the evening of July 4 before sundown…then the fireworks show on Big Bear Lake happened…

It took 3 days, but Jackie and Shadow finally came back yesterday evening. For that time, we do not know where they went, but they were not seen on either camera nor around the lake by people who know where they usually hang out nor were any vocalizations heard from them. (Even though 3 days was hard to take, it was better than last year when they left for nearly 6 full days!)

Shadow showed up first in the early evening yesterday, hanging out on the roost tree. He was there for almost 2 hours, checking out the neighborhood, upsetting a raven or two by his presence, doing a little stretch yoga, and climbing up to his favorite sleeping spot to make sure everything was still in order. Jackie made herself known with a nearby chortle, like only Jackie can do…but she stayed well-hidden until later.

Shortly before sundown, Jackie finally showed herself as she and Shadow joined each other on their favorite perch tree, the Stick Depot Snag. They each moved, branch by branch, closer to each other on the tree until they were beak-to-beak. Apparently, they needed to have a little private conservation time. And after this sweet late-evening togetherness, they both took their place, side-by-side, on the sleeping branch of their favorite roost tree for the night.

Early this morning found Jackie and Shadow still together on their roost tree branch as they sang a beautiful chortling duet to welcome the morning and announce that they were glad to be home.

Yes, we, like many of you are very concerned about the impact that fireworks, especially in the middle of a National Forest, have on the surrounding wildlife and environment. Yes, we felt the worry when Jackie and Shadow chose to be away from their home territory for an extended period. And yes, we are very, very happy to see that they decided to return home!

For any of you who might be interested, we are gathering information on the intense and detrimental impact that fireworks have on wildlife, on the lake, on the environment in general and even on domestic animals and humans. If any of you have references to studies about any of this, please share them with us at fobbvinfo@gmail.com. Thank you!

And for today, let’s all celebrate that Jackie and Shadow are back home!




July 1, 2023 - Summer Days…

Eagle Update Pictures

Thursday the wide view camera spotted Jackie doing what we would all like to be doing, perched lakeside taking in the summer view. A couple of ravens interrupted her quiet time with a quick flyby, but soon all was quiet again. 

Later that evening we saw Jackie & Shadow fly into the stick depot snag, where they perched together for a bit before heading to roost for the evening. Shadow stopped by the nest and of course had a nice hefty stick in his talon, found the perfect spot for it right away, while it appears Jackie got the good spot in the roost tree! 

Shadow couldn’t help himself after seeing the nest was such a mess and moved another stick, and another, followed by another… all the while keeping an eye on his lady who was getting comfy in the nearby roost tree. After his short visit, Shadow headed over to join Jackie where they were perched side by side for the night. 

Just when we thought summer vacation was in full swing, and we haven’t seen Jackie at the nest for 9 days… here she is Friday afternoon! This was not a quick check on the nest visit, Jackie stayed for over 3 hours! Once out on the front porch, a noisy Steller’s Jay was flipping around the branches, screeching loudly at Jackie. Eventually she was done, snapped at the Jay, who seemed to get the message and soon left her alone. 

Jackie spent the rest of her visit preening, taking a quick nap and looking out over the valley. Just before heading out, she seemed to be calling out to Shadow, letting him know to return to the habitat, the day was just about over!

Thank you for tuning in and staying up to date on Jackie & Shadow!

June 29, 2023 - All around the lake…

Eagle Update Pictures

Both Jackie and Shadow showed up for fans at our Outdoor Adventure Days event!

Shortly after Saturday’s activities got under way, Shadow flew into the nest. He immediately shouted at all the nearby ravens, possibly showing off for the fans watching him through the spotting scope from ½ mile away across the bay. Shadow spent 40 minutes in the nest, arranging a stick or two, keeping a sharp eye on those ravens and giving a bunch of fans a chance for a live scope view of him. 

A short way up the road, the Outdoor Adventure Days vendor information booths were drawing a crowd—a few hundred event participants were there registering for activities, buying Jackie and Shadow t-shirts and souvenirs, and visiting booths to chat, learn and create. In between the booths, people checked out their own wingspan compared to Jackie’s—no one came close.

One group of birders headed to the nearby trail to spot local birds, some headed off to kayaking, hikes, forest yoga, wildflower walks and boating adventures, while others gathered for the annual Jackie and Shadow fan party. At the party, everyone enjoyed the beautiful Native American dances of Eric Runningpath and his son, Braden. (Here is the video: https://youtu.be/0vmv7lW_-go). Then I gave a talk on the background of Jackie and Shadow and the nest camera, and everyone got a chance to ask their questions about our widely loved bald eagle pair. (Here is the video: https://youtu.be/IUZe0_W9_DE) 

On an early evening Eagle Spotting and Lake Birding tour, several FOBBV team members were thrilled to spot Jackie hanging out on a snag near the lake shore! Then they enjoyed beautiful lake scenery and other birds—including a common loon, a Western or Clark’s grebe, a grebe in its lake top nest, a flying great blue heron and historic Treasure Island.

Lots of people enjoyed a historic tour of the lake on the Big Bear Queen. And as a proper close to the day, Shadow visited the nest shortly before roost time to make sure everything was still in order. 

Thank you to very much to all of you who were able to come and enjoy our Big Bear Valley Ecotourism event with us! We very much thank the event sponsors—Friends of Big Bear Valley and Big Bear Eagle Nest Cam and Visit Big Bear—our activity-supporting sponsors— Big Bear Lake Chamber of Commerce, Big Bear Discovery Center, Lucky Bear Fishing Charters, Big Bear Queen, Captain John's Fawn Harbor & Marina, andGetboards.com Ride Shop—and our activity leaders—Matthew Schreiner, Robin Martin, Dr. Timothy Krantz, Ed Wallace, David Johnstone and Abbi Van Dyke. 

And thank you to all of the agencies and organizations who participated with a vendor booth—these included Big Bear City Community Services District with their Xeriscape demonstration garden, Visit Big Bear, City of Big Bear Lake, Department of Water and Power, Replenish Big Bear, San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust, Sierra Club Big Bear Group and their make a pine cone bird feeder activity, Baldwin Lake Stables, CAL FIRE with one of their fire trucks, Southern California Mountains Foundation and Big Bear Valley Ecotourism with their kids’ coloring and activity booth.

The high turnout for this 8th annual event set new records! 

We are very grateful for all of this phenomenal support and eagerly looking forward to next year’s event!


June 24, 2023 - Still here and owning the neighborhood...

Eagle Update Pictures

The past few days, Jackie and Shadow have mostly been on summer vacation somewhere around the lake, but they stopped by the nest a few times to remind everyone—especially those pesky ravens!—that they are still the owners of this nest and territory.

One morning, Shadow arrived bright and early, straight from their night together on the roost tree. So, he greeted Jackie when she arrived and helped with the new stick she brought in. She let him take care of placing the stick, while she watched around, checking out everything in the neighborhood. After a bit of work, Shadow couldn’t help himself and had to nibble on Jackie’s wing…then he ducked quickly, unsure how she might react to his flirting. But Jackie was apparently in a good mood. She just gave him ’a look’ and went back to her neighborhood watch. That seemed to be all he needed as he went back to his essential nest repair, working here and there all across the nest.

Shadow’s diligent work seems to be contagious and pretty soon Jackie had to start pitching in. She first softened the nest bowl, then got busy on a big ‘sticking-up stick’ that had obviously gotten feisty and moved to the wrong side of the nest. She set about carrying it across the nest and Shadow, of course, had to jump in to assist with this major work of getting that stick to its proper location. As a reward for Jackie's hard work, Shadow nibbled her wing. This time he had a bit of mischief in his eye as he nibbled again and again until he got a nice reaction out of her.

A few days later, those neighborhood ravens had obviously gotten too brazen, so a zipping and zooming chase was in order. Jackie zipped into the nest mid-chase and continued shouting at them while Shadow zoomed by the nest squealing that he was hot on their tail. He arrived with a quick announcement that he had showed them a thing or two about who is boss in this neighborhood. Then Shadow went to work on his nest arrangements while Jackie kept a sharp eye on those ravens, still squawking in the background.

When Jackie moved to the front porch for a nice rest from the work, Shadow joined her there for some lovely side-by-side time. But those neighbors were still stirring up trouble. Shadow soon took off after them, and Jackie followed quickly to join in the chase. There was lots of yelling in the background from both sides as Jackie and Shadow gave those ravens a run around the neighborhood. Then Shadow made one more quick visit to nest, the front porch and the upstairs to check on everything before heading out off the top balcony.

Our big Outdoor Adventure Days event and Jackie and Shadow bald eagle party is today! (www.bigbearecotourism.org and https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092756674299). 

We look forward to seeing some of you here. And please know that we will have all of you in mind with deep gratitude for your caring and support of Jackie and Shadow and the beautiful nature around them. Thank you!!


June 17, 2023 - Fun with Feathers…

Eagle Update Pictures

Last we heard, Shadow had a good case of the grumpies, but that didn’t last long… The next day while visiting the nest, Shadow was on his game having too much fun pulling at Jackie’s feathers!  Jackie didn’t seem too excited about being Shadow’s source of entertainment and moved out to the front porch… Poor mischievous Shadow bowed his head in disappointment that the fun was over… for now (ha ha).

Jackie and or Shadow have been visiting the nest daily this week, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for a few hours. They have added sticks here and there, put in a bit of work on the nest, but seemed perfectly content to spend most of their time perching, preening and relaxing. Eagles spend up to 90% of daylight hours perched. 

This week they gave us some eagle-tastic photo opportunities that will surely make it into next year’s calendar! We’ve added a few of these moments to the end of the video. 

Jackie and Shadow are excited to announce new items added to the shop! A new mug, t-shirt, baseball hat, 2 new jigsaw puzzles (all featuring our favorite couple), and earrings!

You can find all Jackie & Shadow must haves in our online shop at: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/

Please remember our Outdoor Adventure Days and Bald Eagle party coming up June 24-25. Check out our ecotourism website and Facebook page for details--www.bigbearecotourism.org and https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092756674299 . (For questions, contact us a fobbvinfo@gmail.com )

*If you plan on attending the Outdoor Adventure Days event this coming Saturday, we will have all shop merchandise available.

Thank you for your continued support, you make all this possible!

June 14, 2023 - Protect, Build and Bond…

Eagle Update Pictures

Two days ago, Jackie watched from the nest as Shadow whizzed past, in hot pursuit of two bothersome ravens. Then he popped into the nest with a new stick still in his talons. He went to work immediately on the furniture rearrangements and Jackie jumped in to help. Shadow was fine with the assistance, until she got a bit kissy and he snapped back at her—it seems like all the molting may be making him a bit grumpy.

As Shadow continued working, Jackie stayed out of his way, watching around the neighborhood and showing off her own tiny molting feathers. Since Shadow still seemed a tad grouchy, Jackie did only minor complaining as those raven neighbors kept up their dialogue in the background.

Later, when Jackie brought back her own stick, Shadow helped her properly place it—as is required by his ongoing ‘OCDedness.’ Both Jackie and Shadow worked on the nest bowl, watched the neighborhood and sometimes tossed in a few beaky kisses for good measure, as the wind continued bringing in more dense clouds and cold.

Eventually, Shadow had to get back to work on those stinker sticks near the side entrance that just never seem to sit right or stay in place. Jackie pitched in and made the big sticks a joint effort. At this point, Shadow seemed to be making his beaky kisses include a little less ‘grump.’ That side deck needed a lot of corrections and the apparent thrill of all the nest work got him back to his usual teasy self—several times he continued nipping Jackie’s wing or tail until he got a loving reaction from her….

…and the work continued into the evening, with both Jackie and Shadow set on getting that nest upgraded.

Please remember our Outdoor Adventure Days and Bald Eagle party coming up June 24-25. Check out our ecotourism website and Facebook page for details--www.bigbearecotourism.org and https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092756674299.  (For questions, contact us a fobbvinfo@gmail.com)

In the meantime, enjoy Jackie and Shadow’s ongoing summer visits to the nest!


June 10, 2023 - Summertime, molting not easy!

Eagle Update Pictures

Just a few days ago Jackie and Shadow were sitting side-by-side in companionable silence. Shadow gently and meditatively plucked one feather off his wing followed by another off his shoulder. Jackie observed the proceedings from her favorite spot on the front porch and even gave Shadow a few beaky kisses for his molting efforts. 

Eagle plumage consists of over 7000 feathers made of keratin that zip together in an elaborate pattern. This intricate overcoat makes Jackie and Shadow thoroughly equipped for cold climates. As capable as they are, all feathers eventually deteriorate and weaken, and need to be shed and replaced.

Molt is an annual process that requires a lot of energy and a lot of time. It usually begins in spring, as the breeding cycle starts winding down. Bald Eagles molt symmetrically (the same feathers are shed on each wing at the same time) and in sequences (not all feathers are shed at the same time). This “schedule” allows them to retain the ability to fly and fend for themselves during molt.

Since molt is limited in time and must be completed with the onset of winter conditions, not all feathers can be replaced in one annual cycle. Southern birds tend to have longer summers and shorter winters; they can afford to replace more feathers than their northern counterparts.

If you observe Jackie and Shadow closely, you can easily spot older feathers (carried over from last year), as they tend to appear worn, bleached by the sun and have frayed edges. New feathers are usually darker (more colorful) and shiny. This eclectic mix of old and new feathers may sometimes form a checkerboard pattern

Both Jackie and Shadow may look a little bit “scraggly” and “unkempt” during molting. Rest assured that they will look their stylist best in the fall, when it’s time again to flirt at the nest and rearrange furniture for their future chicks.


June 7, 2023 - While you were out…

Eagle Update Pictures

While Jackie and Shadow were out enjoying their summer vacation, their home security system picked up an adorable intruder! 

This Sub-Adult eagle popped in to check out the “open house” and decided to try out its own furniture placement. The intruder moved sticks, fluffed some fluff, checked out the front and back porch and inspected the camera all while keeping an eagle’s eye out for the homeowners. 

The eagle eyed the camera setup closely and even threw a couple of karate kicks at it. It is likely the eagle was seeing its reflection in the dome and was trying to get to that other magnificent looking eagle!

Looking at the plumage, eye and beak coloration, this sub adult is at least 3 years old. This eagle is the wrong age to be Spirit, Simba or Stormy. It is also a bit young to be searching for its own nest. Maybe the word is out about Shadow’s superior architectural work and this eagle wanted to see how it is done…

Since bald eagle’s sense of smell is not that great, Jackie or Shadow won’t even know the visitor was there, though surely Shadow will notice each and every stick that is out of place…which he did!

Jackie and Shadow were spotted together in one of their favorite perch trees this evening. Shadow stopped by the nest on his way to roost, tidied up after the young one and met up with Jackie in their favorite roost tree for the night.

Such an exciting treat to have this beautiful and healthy eagle visit us this morning!

June 6, 2023 - Home Sweet Home…

Eagle Update Pictures

Over the past several days, Jackie and Shadow have visited the nest almost daily, sometimes staying for a few hours. Apparently, it’s just nice to hang out at home. And with the lake level much higher, their fishing grounds are once again easy to see from the nest. – (the lake level is now 11 feet higher than in January.)

On Thursday, after a beautiful sunrise, Jackie and Shadow spent much of the day out and about. Jackie arrived first in the late afternoon and showed off her huge wingspan that spreads beyond the edges of the nest (her wingspan is over 7 feet!—the nest is just under 6 feet across). She was soon joined by Shadow…with a big stick to add to that ever-growing nest…

…but one stick wasn’t enough for Shadow. He was soon out and bringing back another, bigger stick for his building project. Then he spent some nice one-on-one time on the front porch with his precious Jackie. But the sticks were calling…so he was out again and back this time with an especially long and twisty stick. He had to work hard rearranging other sticks to make it all fit together. Both Jackie and Shadow were in the nest for over 2 hours. And even after Jackie left, Shadow had some more stick work to get done before he joined her in the roost tree.

The next day, Jackie brought a HUGE fish to the nest to enjoy her lunch at home…then she spent over 2 hours hanging out in the upstairs part of the tree above the nest. Soon after she came down to the front porch, Shadow joined her there for almost an hour of lovely side-by-side together time. This day, Jackie spent over 5 hours hanging out at the nest before joining Shadow in the roost tree for the night.

Jackie and Shadow have also been doing some roost tree visits during daylight hours. On Saturday, they were both there in the early evening. But apparently Shadow felt like he hadn’t accomplished enough for the day…so he left and delivered 1 stick to the Stick Depot Snag and 1 stick to the nest before heading back to the roost tree to rejoin Jackie for the night.

Sunday, again, they were both out all day until evening. Then they each brought a stick to the nest before roost time—but, of course, Shadow had to leave and bring a second stick before he felt complete enough to snuggle up to Jackie for the night. And yesterday, only Shadow visited the nest…with his requisite stick delivery before he joined Jackie at the roost tree.

For anyone close enough to attend, please join FOBBV for our 8th Annual Outdoor Adventure Days in Big Bear for free outdoor activities on June 24 and 25, plus the Jackie & Shadow Eagle Party on the 24th. For continuing details, please visit our Big Bear Valley ecotourism website www.bigbearecotourism.org and FB page https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092756674299 (for questions, contact us a fobbvinfo@gmail.com).

Thank you to all of you for keeping up with Jackie and Shadow!


May 29, 2023 - A little guarding, a little working, a little lovi

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow spent a quiet Thursday night together in the nearby roost tree, as they have been doing most nights.

Bright and early Friday morning Shadow was at the nest and yelling at those raven neighbors to stay out of his territory. With that task done, he went to work on arranging the nest bowl…

Jackie soon flew in to join him and delivered a new stick. Knowing that the new stick would want to find a home immediately, Shadow pulled and tugged on it to try and get it out from under Jackie’s feet. Finally, she took it herself and placed it beside the nest bowl. But obviously, that was not the correct location, and Shadow had to step in. Jackie happily moved aside to oversee the operations while he worked to make certain that stick—and every other stick in the nest—got put into the place they belong.

After all of his dedicated work, Jackie decided to help a bit. But Shadow quickly turned around to assure her that he had everything handled. After all, only he knows exactly where each stick belongs. So, again, Jackie backed off the stick arranging and this time gave Shadow a bunch of sweet beaky kisses for all of his hard work.

As she scanned the neighborhood, Jackie noticed that those ‘raveny’ neighbors were still hanging around the area. So, she quickly moved to a higher lookout and told them a thing or two about being too close to her nest—and Shadow joined in to put an added punch on her announcements.

Jackie kept an eye on things from her high perch, while Shadow went out to bring back another perfect stick. He had that one placed shortly after he arrived and then had to find a new home for the one his bouncy landing knocked askew. Not enough can be said about the level of dedication it takes to keep all those sticks properly placed in perfect harmony.

And just when you’d think the morning chores might be complete, those determined ravens started making noise again…so, of course, both Jackie and Shadow had to reiterate that this is their territory and those ravens had better watch out.

Thank you all for keeping an eye out for Shadow and Jackie’s visits to the nest and the perch trees in the area. They both seem to have lost interest in egg-laying for this season, but are very much continuing their protection and maintenance of their beautiful nest even as they spend more time out and about other parts of the lake.


PS, keep a look-out on our Big Bear Ecotourism page for new information about our upcoming Outdoor Adventure Days (June 24-25) and Jackie & Shadow eagle party. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092756674299

May 26, 2023 - Defending the homestead…

Eagle Update Pictures

From the behaviors going on around Jackie and Shadow’s nest area, it seems that both the neighboring ravens and the nearby hawks have active nests this spring. They both are working hard at keeping the giant eagles away, which makes Jackie and Shadow get more protective defending their territory.

A couple days ago, Jackie ‘came in hot’ to the nest—flying full speed and yelling the whole way in at ravens and a hawk. She stayed around, guarding from the front porch, until a raven came too close and she dove off after it.

In the meantime, Shadow was dive-bombed by a red-tailed hawk as he was bringing a stick to the Stick Depot Snag, one of Jackie and Shadow’s favorite perch trees. Shadow turned talons up to defend himself from the hawk, while Jackie zipped by chasing the ravens and screeching out assistance. Even after all of that, talented Shadow managed to keep a hold on his stick and bring it to the snag as he intended.

A couple hours later, Shadow arrived at the nest to work on the furniture arrangements. He apparently had gone out to lunch in the meantime since his crop was very full. But, no worries, he worked hard on all those sticks—getting them into just the right spot and biting off any annoying little twigs standing in the way of proper function. With all that, he easily worked off any extra calories.

Later, when Jackie brought a stick to the nest, she had to keep yelling at those pesky ravens getting too close…and Shadow was yelling and chortling at them from a nearby tree, working as loud as he could to make sure they know who owns this territory. When the ravens wouldn’t skidaddle, Jackie took off to chase them away from her nest. 

The next evening, Jackie and Shadow visited the nest together, but Jackie left early to head to the roost tree. Shadow stayed, as he often does, to get every last bit of work done before roost time. This time, as he was working, something showed up in the area to put him completely on guard—his head feathers gave him away as they started slowly to rise up until they are all standing out and he was obviously in full alert mode. It took him a few minutes of scanning the area before he relaxed enough to join Jackie in the roost tree for the night.

For anyone who might be able to travel to Big Bear next month, please join us for this year’s “Outdoor Adventure Days” and the “Jackie & Shadow Eagle party” on June 24 and 25. Check out the details on our ecotourism website: https://bigbearecotourism.org/ and our new ecotourism Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100092756674299 (where you can please like and follow!)

Thank you, everyone, for your awesome support of Jackie and Shadow!


May 21, 2023 - A nice, long visit…

Eagle Update Pictures

After being at the nest for only short visits over the past week, Jackie and Shadow spent over 4 hours at the nest yesterday…

Shadow arrived mid-morning after apparently noticing that the nest fluff had diminished. After all, those stinker tiny swallows have been zipping through on occasion nabbing a pine needle or two for their own nests. But, no worries, Shadow replenished it with a big bunch of soft stuff and rearranged it just right.

Later, Jackie zoomed in, yelling at ravens the whole way to the nest and still shouting at them as she arrived. She kept a sharp eye on those noisy neighbors for over an hour until Shadow arrived to assist.

Shadow brought a stick and then focused on fixing up the place, since obviously the nest organization had gotten severely out of hand. Jackie supervised, of course, and took time to give him some sweet thank you nibbles for all his hard work.

To do her part, Jackie left and brought back a long stick that took both of them to properly position in the nest. Then she went out to guard from the front porch while Shadow continued the furniture arrangements.

After both of them hung out watching the neighborhood for quite a while, Shadow left to go check on the nearby roost tree. He quickly got into a shouting match with those ravens. So, Jackie rushed off to join him in the roost tree to assist. By the way the ravens attack and scream at Jackie and Shadow whenever they are at the roost tree in the day, it is very likely that the ravens have a nest very nearby. 

Jackie and Shadow spent much of the afternoon bringing sticks to one of their favorite perch trees where they continue to deposit new ones. Eagles often have more than one nest, so they could be working on building a 2nd nest. So far, of the many sticks they’ve brought to that tree, only a few have stayed in place.

But they are still bringing sticks and fluff to the nest tree, so the new tree is simply an addition, not a replacement.

We have some new merchandise that you might like…a new children’s book, this one focused on Jackie and Shadow—“Jackie and Shadow Sitting in a Tree”, plus two new window clings (see photos below). You can check out all of our eagle merchandise at:


Thank you to each of you, as always, for your ongoing support of Jackie and Shadow and FOBBV!


May 14, 2023 - The stick deliveries continue…

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have continued visiting the nest almost daily, bringing sticks, fluffing fluff, chasing ravens and sometimes just hanging out.

One early morning, Shadow stopped by to work hard on fluffing up the nest bowl. Jackie soon flew in with a beautiful stick to add to their collection. But...Shadow was still working diligently in the middle of the nest…and Jackie just couldn’t get that new stick over him or around him to put it in the spot she had her eye on, which happened to be on the opposite side of Shadow. In her determination to get by, she shoved on Shadow a bit, then finally compromised and put the stick down beside him instead of behind him. So, it was certainly just an accident when Shadow later shoved on her trying to get by to the front porch. She caught herself with her wing when he tipped her over, so all was fine. So, it was obviously a simple coincidence that she happened to look straight into the camera right after that, as if to say “did you see that?”

That evening Jackie was first to arrive and take on the nest bowl fluffing duties, and Shadow brought the stick this time. They finished the work ‘swift and easy,’ but then hung around the nest together until long past dark. They had to keep all eyes on those pesky raven neighbors that apparently were having a loud, rowdy party somewhere nearby.

The next morning, Shadow had to yell away intruders again before getting down to his work. In the evening he brought in a lovely Christmas tree-shaped branch that just wouldn’t settle itself down no matter which side of the nest he put it on. Even biting off some of the little twigs didn't seem to help.

After dark, Jackie arrived first, and according to the size of her crop (the large bump just below her chin), she had just come from having a large dinner. (The crop gives eagles—and other birds—a place to store food so they can digest it as needed.) Jackiecouldn’t decide about staying or leaving, but finally left the work to Shadow. As usual, Shadow worked hard on his stick rearranging to get it just right before he could allow himself to join Jackie in the roost tree and snuggle up for the night.


May 7, 2023 - Ravens and sticks and snow, oh my…

Eagle Update Pictures

Right before the latest snow storm, Jackie and Shadow spent the afternoon yelling at and chasing ravens away from intruding into their private territory. By the time they had finished showing those guys who are the bosses around here, the nest needed a little cleanup and maintenance. They rearranged a few sticks and Shadow went out to bring some more, all under Jackie’s expert supervision. Jackie even posed for a few close-ups before making sure the nest-building continues properly by bringing in her own stick selection…

…then came a day of snow.

After the snow had once again completely covered the nest, Shadow was the first to arrive for a survey of the situation…and he ‘surprisingly’ decided more sticks were in order. So, he brought back a chunky fellow to start the process. Then Jackie pitched in with a long, windy, skinny one…and then it was time for a fluff delivery by Shadow to cover up some of that annoying white stuff.

Later that morning Jackie and Shadow delivered a few sticks to their favorite Stick Depot Snag, but, as usual, none of them would stay in the tree…

…so, by evening they were back to rearranging their nest and then roosting together in their favorite roost tree.

Yesterday, Shadow decided it was time for more fluff and nest softening. Jackie couldn’t decide which was more needed, so she brought both fluff and a stick. While she worked hard getting that arranged, Shadow brought in a rather messy stick. But with effort, they managed to get everything properly situated. So, Shadow took a little break on the front porch and Jackie decided a nest bowl softness test was in order. Wanting everything just perfect, she made a few needle-by-needle adjustments…

…but, she had to quickly hop up to help Shadow keep an eye on the neighborhood raven, again flying too close for his own good. After a morning of so much work, they both flew off toward the lake for the afternoon.

As always, we cannot predict what might be next…so we will all watch and see what they have in store for us.


May 5, 2023 - Checking in and protecting the homestead…

Eagle Update Pictures

After being less often at the nest for a couple days, Jackie and Shadow checked in to make loud announcements that they were home and protecting their territory.

In the mid-afternoon, Jackie was already yelling at a raven as she flew into the nest with a fluff delivery. She and the raven continued squawking back and forth as Shadow arrived with his own bunch of fluff. Of course, he joined into the yelling fray, making his sweet voice heard in the ongoing announcement that “this is Jackie and Shadow territory and all ravens better get out!” That raven just wasn’t paying any attention. So, Jackie continued the argument with it for over 5 minutes while Shadow worked behind her to get the nest arranged just right. Jackie even posed for a close-up before they flew off together.

They returned a short time later--this time Jackie brought fluff and Shadow brought a nice, sturdy stick. It took both of them working in unison to get that tough stick placed just right near the front porch. With that big task complete, Jackie rewarded Shadow with a little beaky kiss. 

Throughout the visit, they were both very much guarding and keeping watch around the area…

…and the wide-angle camera caught track of them rushing off the nest to both soar back and forth, chasing a group of ravens around the nest area. They swooped after them with some fancy flying and loud chortling to make those ravens skidaddle. After such a successful chase, both Jackie and Shadow stopped by the roost tree for a late afternoon rest before heading out to finish up the work day.

Today they hid out all morning as a spring snow storm whisked through the area dropping a few inches of that wet white stuff all over the nest. 

Thank you for continuing to watch as Jackie and Shadow surprise us each day with their ongoing decisions and activities.


April 28, 2023 - Jackie’s fast-moving friends…

Eagle Update Pictures

Who comes out at night to raid Shadow’s pantry and loves Jackie’s wing slaps? Fiona & Fast Freddie: you might have seen them, heard them, or heard about them! 

They come out to show off nearly every night on the nest camera - our local San Bernardino Flying Squirrels are affectionately known as Fiona and Fast Freddie. Being strictly nocturnal, they feel quite comfortable around Jackie and Shadow once they have figured out that eagles cannot see very well in the dark. Fiona seems to like to get Jackie to do wing slaps at her! And she is an expert at skidaddling at high speed, sometimes ‘flying’ right over Jackie’s tail as she launches herself out of the nest. When Jackie is sitting on eggs or chicks, Fiona seems quite perturbed to discover that one of those pesky eagles is home instead of out for the night.

They can glide for distances of more than 300 feet using parachute-like flappy panels of skin (patagium) that stretch from wrist to ankle, so don’t worry when you see them jump into the abyss, expertly avoiding Jackie and Shadow’s wingslaps. Fiona and Fast Freddie have it all covered. Sometimes you can even hear their cheeky backtalk - it is their nest too after all!

Since they are a no-show during the day (the most convenient time for observations), our camera, with the ‘invisible-to-eagles-and-humans’ infrared night light, provides a unique insight into their lives. After several years of watching, we can confirm that these squirrels, who are known for spending considerable time foraging on the forest floor searching for their favorite truffles, are in fact very much omnivorous. They are very fond of Shadow’s fish tails, coot feathers, egg shells, and even crunchy beetles!

Little Flying Squirrel ‘kits’ (babies) usually remain with their mothers in the safety of a den until they are fully grown, so we are still waiting for a chance encounter with juniors. A full grown flying squirrel can fit into the palm of your hand. It is only about 10 inches long, half of which is tail, so the kits would be very tiny. Maybe one day… err… night!

Fascinating fact - Humans have long sought to replicate the flying squirrel’s gliding abilities. Base jumpers and skydivers have developed a special suit that mimics the flying squirrel. The suit works to slow their descent and allows them to maneuver through the air. 

These tiny squirrels are our best clean up crew, working diligently to find every munchable tidbit in the nest. But, we still cannot tell them apart. That’s why we call one squirrel Fiona, two squirrels - Fiona and Fast Freddie, more than two - Fiona, Fast Freddie and Friends.

They are extremely fast, so don’t blink tonight or you will miss them!


April 24, 2023 - And the work goes on...

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have continued to visit the nest every day…bringing sticks and then bringing more sticks and then bringing fluff. They usually visit together even though one sometimes hangs around much longer than the other.

Two days ago, they spent a lot of nest time working on sticks, rearranging tiny bits of fluff and each trying out the nest bowl. After a hard day of work, it was time for some snuggling in the roost tree. And while they snuggled together off-site, Fiona, the San Bernardino flying squirrel that lives somewhere below their nest, visited the nest several times, checking for bits of food and anything else of interest that she can carry off.

One evening after some productive nest work, Jackie completely surprised Shadow when she left the nest to head off to roost while he was still in the middle of working…oh, well. He overcame his shock and soon followed after her to the roost tree for their togetherness time.

Jackie and Shadow have also continued to meet on their lookout snag in the early morning or late afternoon for a little go at mating. And they have been spotted hanging around other parts of the lake in the afternoons—yesterday, I watched one of them soaring over the east end of the lake, circling higher and higher on the breeze until they disappeared from view into the blue sky.

Yesterday morning, Jackie and Shadow were in the nest doing stick work together…and Jackie stayed for a long time after Shadow left, just watching out across the neighborhood. Then in the evening, it was time to bring more sticks and make sure everything was in order. Jackie had to try again on that stubborn stick that keeps sticking straight up instead of laying down. It remained stubborn…but while she was there, Shadow took the chance to play his little teasy game of nibbling on her wing…which turned into a bit of beaky kissy before bedtime.

There has also been a visitor, a sub-adult bald eagle, spotted around the lake, and one night roosted in view of our cam2—though not near Jackie and Shadow’s roost tree. It headed out when Jackie and Shadow made a loud fuss in the morning about it being there.

Thank you, as always, for keeping up with Jackie and Shadow as they continue to show us what might be next.


April 18, 2023 - Up, up and to the top!

Eagle Update Pictures

After several years of extreme drought conditions and shrinking lake levels, things are finally looking up for Big Bear Lake. 

This season we have received about 9 inches of rain and over 120 inches of snow (over 240 inches at the resort level!). The snow keeps melting, the gurgling streams keep filling the lake up. Some of those seasonal streams can get very loud and easily heard by the sensitive microphone installed in the nest.

Big Bear Lake is a man-made lake located at about 6750 feet above sea level in the San Bernardino mountain range of Southern California. It is about 7 miles long, ½ mile wide and 72 feet deep when full. The lake begins its history in 1885 with the completion of the first dam, which was replaced by a higher multi-arch dam by 1912. 

Being 100% rain and snow-melt fed, the lake level may fluctuate considerably depending on precipitation. The lowest level was recorded in 1956, when the lake dropped to 24.42 feet (almost 44 feet down from full).

Today, the lake level has reached 63 feet 7 inches (8 feet 8 inches down from full) - a stark contrast with drought conditions we experienced just several months ago, when the lake dropped to 54 feet 9 inches (17 feet 6 inches down from full) in October 2022. If you stare at the nest camera long enough, you can see it rising in real time! The two pictures below tell the story.

With the lake level on the increase and the bay near the eagle habitat filling up, Jackie and Shadow will no doubt find new places to fish and forage for food, or rediscover the old ones. We may notice some changes in their habits, or see them perching in different trees in the habitat and all around the lake. 

We trust that all eagle followers who visit Big Bear in the summer will respect the eagle habitat. Please remember that the nest can be viewed safely and legally from the Dana Point parking lot. Do not forget to bring binoculars to fully enjoy and appreciate the eagles and the nature that surrounds them.


April 17, 2023 - Soaring high…

Eagle Update Pictures

In case anyone might have the idea that Jackie and Shadow work all the time…

Shadow was on his way to the nest, carrying a huge branch in his talons, when suddenly the beautiful day and swirling thermals merged to become irresistible. He caught them over the lake behind their favorite perch trees…and he circled, rising up and up, looking like he was thoroughly enjoying taking this hefty branch on a fun joyride before he swooped it in to become part of the nest.

And Jackie was watching from the front of the nest, waiting for him. As soon as Shadow swept into the nest beside her, he went to work to find a place to put his newest treasure. Obviously, if he can soar high with that huge branch, he shouldn’t need any help with it once he had it in the nest. So, Jackie stepped aside and just watched as he maneuvered and placed it, then climbed and lifted it, then rearranged and shifted it until he found a spot to leave it…and go work on something easier, like fluffing up the mountain of fluff in the nest bowl.

Not to be outdone, Jackie brought in a giant complex stick with even more tiny branches than Shadow’s soaring stick from the day before. As soon as she landed and flipped the stick over, Shadow snatched it right away from her and hustled across the nest to find its correct spot. But this one was stubborn and would not agree to settle down in to any of the obvious places. Even after Shadow lopped off a few of the ‘sticking-out twigs’, it would not cooperate. So, finally, he moved it back across the nest to the outer edges…but that silly stick immediately got all tangled up in Shadow’s prize soaring stick from the day before. And then what a mess.

Jackie saw that he could use some help and with a few sweet little beaky kisses convinced him to let her assist. Then, using her ‘much-bigger-than-Shadow’ physique, Jackie carried the whole big, conjoined mess over to the other side of the nest. Shadow followed her and they worked in unison, tugging on both ends, to find somewhere that conglomeration would fit. After their joint work ended with the sticks being basically back where they started, Shadow was able to get his prized stick unlocked from Jackie’s and he placed it properly just where it belonged. And Jackie went back to work on that tall, uncompromising stick in the back of the nest that continues to insist on standing straight up instead of laying down politely like everyone else.

Jackie left first. But it was obvious even to stick-man Shadow, that after such a rough and tumble evening of tricky stick work, it was time for a cozy snuggle together on their nearby roost tree.


April 12, 2023 - Sticks and play on a windy day…

Eagle Update Pictures

As usual when they bring lots of sticks to the nest, both Jackie and Shadow sometimes bring troublemakers…

While Shadow was diligently working on the nest bowl, Jackie arrived with one of her many-branched monstrosities. Shadow kept focusing on his own work and let Jackie deal with that big stick…until she put it almost on top of him. Then, of course he had to jump in and help her get it into the right place. They worked together, pulling it this way and that from both ends, even getting it wrapped around Jackie. So, Jackie latched onto it and stretched high enough onto her tippy toes to walk that stick across the nest. And since the stick was then too high for Shadow to reach, he had to let her put it where she wanted…but, that wasn’t the end of it. Each time one of them got it placed, the other decided it needed to be moved to a different spot. After a full 3 minutes of work on that one stick, a raven saved the day by circling the nest and drawing Jackie and Shadow’s attention away from that stubborn stick.

When Jackie had gotten comfortably situated in the nest bowl, she started arranging each tiny twig and pine needle around her…that is, until Shadow popped in with a new stick too long to handle. After getting poked a few times, Jackie stood up. But she left Shadow to handle that stick on his own. A few maneuvers were enough before Shadow deserted that one and went to work on some more cooperative sticks on the other side of the nest.

Later that morning, Jackie found a straight up stick that simply would not move no matter how much she tugged and pulled and twisted and bent it. After Shadow arrived and placed his own stick, he decided that the best way to help Jackie was to nip at her wing and tail enough to get her involved in some beaky kisses. And it worked…for a minute. Then she went back to work on that same stick...so Shadow had no choice but to work his magic all over again. And finally, Jackie left that uncooperative twig to stick up where it wanted.

By afternoon, the exact position of the sticks seemed way less important as Jackie and Shadow both got busy poking at each other with little nibbles and kisses.

To celebrate a fun day, the evening’s gusty winds blew the clouds into a beautiful, pancakey shape visible from our 2nd camera.

And for tomorrow, there will be more work to be done, coaxing those stinker sticks into proper alignment.


April 11, 2023 - Checking the nest for treasure…

Eagle Update Pictures

Apparently, when Shadow arrived with a stick to find Jackie sitting on the nest for a long time, he got a little nervous and wanted to check things out. So, he used his tried-and-true method of the ol’ stick on the back trick…but Jackie didn’t get up. Now what? He got busy with sticks and avoiding looking at her, maybe trying to wait her out…but that didn’t work either. So, he spun around, giving her a bit of a breezy haircut. No reaction. He stared at her, but that still didn’t do it. Maybe another haircut will work. Nope. Then, finally, for no reason at all, Jackie stood up…and Shadow rushed over and looked up and down the nest bowl underneath her, checking for anything that might be under there…like maybe some little white oval things. He checked and double checked, but found nothing. So, he went to work helping Jackie keep the nest bowl in perfect shape.

That night, Fiona showed up to discover that Shadow had left a lovely fish tail in the nest, obviously a gift for her. So, she had a nice long dinner, sitting in the nest nibbling on her golden treasure for over 20 minutes…until Fast Freddy decided it was his turn and chased her off. He started crunching on small pieces and then decided that he better just take the whole tail with him…he dug it out and off he ran with it! But no worries, there were still enough fish bits left to continue dining at the nest and they both did that off and on over the next couple hours.

Yesterday, after testing out the nest bowl, Shadow decided to work on the outer edges of the nest where some giant sticks had obviously run amuck and gotten out of their proper places. When Jackie arrived with a stick, he had to help her with that ever-thickening bowl of fluff in the center of the nest—it must be at least a foot thick with all the recent fluff deliveries. All of that hard work of course merited a little appreciative wing nibble and some beak kisses.

Shadow was panting yesterday, from the nice, warm sun that has finally decided to hang around for a while. Like dogs, eagles do not have sweat glands, so they pant to let off extra heat.

And Shadow was apparently still feeling a bit flirty. He kept teasing Jackie with little bites on her wing while she was perched on a higher limb to watch around the neighborhood. She didn’t seem to mind too much as she only snapped little warnings back at him--they are both considering themselves still in nesting mode and have been mating almost daily on their favorite snag.

Like Shadow, we will keep checking to see what Jackie has in store for us.


April 9, 2023 - Sticks and more sticks. Then sitting. A beautiful

Jackie and Shadow have again been very busy at the nest the last few days. 

While Jackie was sitting in the nest bowl, Shadow flew in with a stick just long enough to keep bumping Jackie…so, of course, she had to get up and assist him with that bumpy stick. Working in unison, they got it into just the right location. And afterward, Jackie gave Shadow a few sweet kisses for all of his hard work.

Jackie also brought her own big stick…but she’s a big girl and when she stretched up tall, she got it across the nest and placed all on her own…well, with only a few rearrangements to other sticks needed to be completely satisfied.

Jackie was kneeling in the bowl watching Shadow circle to fly in with yet another stick…and that darn stick pushed Jackie right out of the nest bowl. This time she stepped aside and watched as Shadow worked to get that troublesome thing located correctly…and apparently Shadow was so pleased with his work that he had to tease Jackie by biting her tail a couple times. Then he laid down in the bowl to test it out.

Shadow didn’t step aside for Jackie’s next giant stick delivery, but grabbed right onto it. There was some tugging and pulling…and then some more pulling and tugging in both directions on that stick before they found where it properly belonged.

When Shadow sits in the nest, he usually busies himself with arranging the sticks around the bowl while he’s there…it’s important to always keep working! And when that was done, he waited for Jackie under the pink full moon…but instead of coming, Jackie called him from a distance. He answered…and then went to meet her on one of their favorite perch trees, the stick deposit tree. 

By the next day, when Shadow brought a really long, complex stick, Jackie just kept standing where she was while he worked hard behind her to get that uncooperative stick to settle down into place…then to Shadow’s amazement, she flew off without even acknowledging all that hard work or proper placement.

Jackie has spent long periods at the nest the past few days, either hanging out on the front porch or working the nest bowl. When it’s just soft enough, she lays in the bowl—and her lay-downs have each day been getting longer—even up to an hour. Like Shadow, she works while she’s sitting to rearrange every tiny little piece of fluff into just the right formation. 

The nest bowl now has 2 or 3 times more fluff than it has ever had! And still Shadow brought in another huge bunch, which he delicately arranged while Jackie kept a close eye from the front porch making sure he didn’t knock anything askew.

Then, time for a little break…and they stood side-by-side on the front porch like the beautiful matched pair that they are, watching out across their expansive neighborhood.

Jackie and Shadow have then been spending nearly every night snuggled together on their nearby roost tree, resting up for another day of important work.

Update from our eagle shop: there are 2 new shirts (Jackie—“Don’t mess with Jackie” and Shadow—“Happy wife, happy life,” and by popular request, a new Jackie and Shadow jigsaw puzzle. Plus, for those waiting, the Neighborhood Watch shirts are back in stock.

Thank you to all of you for your beautiful support!

And for those who are celebrating today, Happy Easter!


April 3, 2023 - New cycle. Loving, working, rest, repeat…

Eagle Update Pictures

For the past few days, Jackie and Shadow have been busy busy busy…like they are on a nesting mission.

First on their agenda is usually mating on their favorite lookout tree…then off to work, bringing sticks to the nest, rearranging the sticks already there…bringing fluff to the nest, rearranging the nest bowl already overflowing with fluff…bringing food to the nest, multiple times a day and either giving it to Jackie or eating it yourself when she doesn’t show up…helping each other with the stick arranging, which often allows them to sneak in some beaky kissing…trying out the fit of the nest bowl…working until way after dark to get everything just right and then off to the nearby roost tree for some cuddly shut-eye before it all starts over the next morning.

In the past 4 days, they have mated 7 times, brought in 44 sticks and 10 bunches of fluff to the nest and had 8 meal deliveries (all 8 delivered by Shadow.)

After the latest snow storm, their day began with intense nest work. Jackie and Shadow both brought big sticks and shared the job of placing them, and then shared a few sweet beaky kisses. Jackie almost crashed into Shadow a couple times with her giant stick deliveries, but also found time to cuddle up to him during the work.

The next day started with a love-making rendezvous, followed, as usual, by both of them singing out an announcement to the neighborhood. Shadow went back to work on the nest…then time for another rendezvous—the time span from flying in to meet on the snag to the completion of their announcement singing is usually about 30 seconds—very efficient. When they returned to the nest, they gave themselves a little break to watch around the neighborhood. But they were soon back to work, this time with a fluff delivery and tender cuddle time as they helped each other arrange it.  (Fluff is little bunches of soft grasses or pine needles for the center of the nest bowl.)And then a new record-setting third rendezvous of the day on the lookout tree. After that full day, they had a young eagle visitor who landed on the nest tree below the nest. Jackie, especially, kept a close eye on it until it flew away.

Yesterday, Shadow made an early morning visit to the nest for a look around the neighborhood, before their usual lookout tree rendezvous. Then both Jackie and Shadow spent time at the nest with more giant stick deliveries and hard work. Shadow was in an especially flirty mood all afternoon, nipping at Jackie’s tail or wing to get her attention…and, of course, some of her gentle kissing. 

Now, once again, it is rest and cuddle time in the roost tree to be ready for whatever shows up tomorrow.

We can all hold beautiful thoughts for Jackie and Shadow to get whatever they are working so hard to accomplish. They and we thank you for your assistance!

If you would like to share your own Jackie and Shadow photos, stories and videos, you can join our private eagle FB group--Big Bear Bald Eagles - FOBBV Official Group  -- https://www.facebook.com/groups/531281757566020

Thank you, as always, for your support!


March 31, 2023 - A day of sticks and tugs

Eagle Update Pictures

The day before the latest snowfall, they started in the early morning…first Shadow, then Jackie. Bringing sticks to the nest. Shadow’s stick was big and he worked hard to find the just right place for it. Jackie’s stick was a bit complex so Shadow decided she needed assistance with it…but before he could get a good hold on it, Jackie plowed forward and nearly toppled him over in her rush to get that stick to where she could see it belonged. Then she moved Shadow’s stick…which obviously, was not allowed. He tugged that stick right away from her and moved it himself to a new perfect spot.

A bit later, Jackie brought in a particularly troublesome stick…it was such an odd ball that she spent over four full minutes moving that stick to each and every side of the nest and still could not get it correctly situated to her satisfaction. She gave it so much attention that a raven came and landed on the front porch…probably on a double dare from his buddies, betting that she was so busy she wouldn’t even notice him. But they underestimated Jackie, who has her priorities in full alignment. She immediately focused her full attention on that raven, keeping a keen eye on him until he left the premises.

After all that intense work, Jackie took a little break on the front porch and watched a flock of white pelicans start circling the area. The circling started with a few, and as they often do, more and more individual pelicans joined in and the whole group spiraled upward on the wind currents. Many white pelicans migrate through the area in autumn and spring. Though a few sometimes stay through the winter, they mostly use Big Bear Lake as a good stopover point on their route.

Nightfall found Jackie and Shadow working together again, this time arranging and softening the material in the nest bowl. In the midst of all that bumping closeness, they, of course, had to take a little time for some sweet beaky kisses. Then, while Shadow tried one more time to find the right spot for that big stick he brought in the early morning, Jackie settled in for a little sit down in the nest bowl. It seemed to fit nicely as she made a few minor adjustments to surrounding fluff…and then she headed off to roost, leaving Shadow to finish the final nest work of the day.


March 28, 2023 - Mating Before Fish and Pushing

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow started Saturday off with some early morning mating on their favorite lookout tree. Shadow seemed so determined to make this work that he stayed longer than usual on top of Jackie…which she seemed a little displeased with. But then he made up for everything when they moved to the nest—first, he brought her a fish…and in the afternoon he brought her another fish…and a little while later he brought her yet one more fish! Each time, Jackie squealed out her claims of ‘mine, mine, mine.’ And each time Shadow turned the fish over to her without question. Never mind that the last one was already half eaten when he delivered it—Jackie seemed perfectly happy with her share.

In the evening, Jackie arrived first, with Shadow close behind. After the past few days of adding sticks and fluff on top of the snow, the nest bowl is visible again. Jackie decided to try out the fit and apparently it wasn’t quite up to par—she and Shadow both immediately started working on moving the soft materials around the next bowl, sometimes one strand at a time. Shadow, of course, knows that he knows best where each little bit of nesting material goes. But Jackie is the one who had tried out the fit. That combination created a bit of a pushing and shoving match, sometimes with wings overlapping onto each other, as they each focused on fixing the nest bowl up ‘properly.’

Being the ‘big’ girl that she is, Jackie eventually moved aside and let her loving partner finish the arranging as he saw best. When Shadow finished, Jackie made a few final modifications before following him off the front porch to a nearby roost tree for the night.

Lots of people are asking…yes, it is possible, though not guaranteed, that with all these nesting activities they could have another clutch of eggs this season. We will observe and enjoy as they continue to teach us new things about bald eagles, nesting and nature.


March 24, 2023 - Not Again!

Eagle Update Pictures

The morning after the latest snow storm, Jackie landed in the nest to find it completely snow-filled. Shadow landed right behind her…and they both seemed astonished that their nest had completely disappeared…again. Jackie couldn’t find the nest bowl. Shadow could not find a single one of his sticks to rearrange. Nothing was visible. Nothing was movable. Now what?

They both wandered around the nest searching for what to do next. Jackie even laid down on top of the snow for a few seconds, like she was trying to see if the nest still fit. Shadow tried to lay down where Jackie had, but couldn’t actually get himself to touch his chest on that snow.

Later in the morning, Shadow started bringing in new sticks—first a small one, then a giant one. The small one easily found a home, but that big one was a tough cookie. It didn’t seem to fit anywhere in exactly the way Shadow liked, so he kept moving it to new spots.

By their evening visit, the nest was refilled with new snow. Jackie looked around in disbelief, then waded through the snow to adjust the new stick Shadow brought earlier. At least that was something she could do. Everything else was buried. When Shadow arrived, he helped her with that stick.

Jackie finally gave up trying to figure out what to do with the nest for the evening and went out to sit on the front porch. Shadow never gives up on things quite as quickly. He had to try once more to get that big stick in the right place. Then he joined Jackie on the front porch.

After he moved to his own spot on the left, he and Jackie had a long discussion about something…maybe about what they planned to do with all this snow. And, as is often the case, Jackie had to get the last word in.

All the sitting without being able to work, apparently gets a little stiffening—Jackie had to do a few of her yoga stretches to loosen up. She very regularly does these when she gets up from sitting on eggs or chicks.

Shadow followed Jackie back into the nest for one more look-about. When there still wasn’t anything that could be done with the nest or furniture, they headed off to their nearby roost tree. Shadow, who prefers to be positioned next to the trunk of the tree, worked his way around the branches until he could squeeze into his favorite spot for the night.

Note: While they are sitting side-by-side on the front porch (especially starting at minute 16:30 of the video), it is easy to see the distinct difference in their size—Jackie, on the right, is at least 1/3 bigger, heftier and taller than Shadow, on the left.

Jackie and Shadow are still very determined. Since the storm stopped, they have been bringing more sticks and more fluff to the nest, stacking them on top of the snow, defending the nest and moving forward with getting everything ready for whatever they have in mind. And, as always, we have no way of knowing what that might be. The continued cold and wintery feel may keep them in nesting mode. Another clutch of eggs is still possible, since it has happened in the past, but we do not know whether that might happen this time—we will watch and see what Jackie and Shadow have in store for us.


March 21, 2023 - Days Full of Activities

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow visited the nest several times a day for the past few days, bringing sticks and more sticks, fluff and more fluff and then even more fluff, and occasionally a home-caught lunch. Sometimes Shadow delivered the lunch to Jackie. If she didn’t show up right away, he ate it himself.

They rearranged sticks in every part of the nest. They spread and smoothed all the soft fluff in the nest bowl.

And after so much work, Jackie took a nice turn sitting in the bowl to try out the fit. When her sit was a bit interrupted by Shadow bringing a big stick, they did more arranging…then Shadow took his turn sitting.

They also did lots of beaky kissing in the nest…and matey mating on their favorite perch tree. One of their mating sessions was carefully observed by a 2 or 3-year-old sub-adult bald eagle as he sat below them on the same tree.

They roosted together in the nearby roost tree. And while they were out for the night, Fiona (the San Bernardino flying squirrel) visited each night, checking the nest for whatever leftovers she might find.

When Jackie arrived before dawn one morning, Fiona could be heard yelling at her from below—apparently, she didn’t like the eagles showing up during what she considers to be her fair and square time to have the nest to herself.

After days full of visits and activity…today, freezing winds and heavy snowfall filled the nest. Jackie and Shadow chortled about it from nearby, but stayed tucked in and out of the weather.

For anyone who may not have heard yet, we have some new items in the eagle merchandise shop on our website (https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/ )—warm beanies (!) for cold days, in any of 7 different colors, plus framed ‘moments in time’ photos of our eagles—choose from 4 separate inspirational photo messages.

Thank you, as always, for your ongoing connection to Jackie and Shadow’s journey. Please enjoy these days of snowy weather, whether you are living in the middle of it or watching it on the live stream from afar. (Find the live stream at: https://www.youtube.com/@FOBBVCAM )


March 18, 2023 - Fluff Fluff and More Fluff and The Test

Eagle Update Pictures

Shadow and Jackie visited the nest several times in the past few days…and Shadow especially has been focused on filling that nest bowl up with fluff—“fluff” is anything smaller and flimsier than a stick that makes a warm, soft cushion in the bottom of the nest bowl. Usually, is it pine needles or grasses and weeds, moss or seagrass from along the shoreline. The amount of fluff they have now is the most they have had spread into the bottom of the nest without eggs or chicks being there. In just two days, Shadow brought four bunches of fluff, and Jackie, not to be left out, brought one of her own. And they both did lots of work rearranging all of it in the nest bowl, sometimes making sure even a single blade of grass is placed just right.

At one point, Shadow brought a big stick…but, oops…the stick got stuck on the front porch side of the nest and he did a bit of a crash landing. As always, nothing upsets him for more than a couple seconds, as he picked himself up and hopped into the nest to go back to work…too bad about losing his big stick, though.

With all the time they’ve been spending at the nest, they had time for a mid-day break and some camera closeups as they posed on the front porch. Shadow can only stand around for a short time when he’s working, so he flew off to keep busy while Jackie enjoyed the scenery for a few more minutes.

In the evening, they were both back again to work hard making more rearrangements of sticks and fluff. And when it felt just right, Jackie laid down in the nest bowl to try it out. Apparently, it wasn’t quite soft enough—she moved a few blades of grass before heading out the back door toward the nearby roost tree. Shadow fairly soon headed out the same direction—time for a little rest to get ready for another day of hard work.


March 16, 2023 - Step By Exciting Step

Eagle Update Pictures

Over the past few days, Jackie and Shadow have been moving more and more back into nesting behavior…and even getting a little frisky…especially Jackie.

They started with sitting for a while very close together, just watching the scenery…then two days ago, Jackie kept following Shadow as he moved down the branches of one of their favorite perch trees. Each time she got next to him, she laid down flat—perhaps an invitation to get on top? Shadow, however, seemed to be not quite ready, possibly still recovering from his sadness. He kept moving away…but, Jackie persisted. And finally, he accepted her invitation. There was lots of wing flapping and tail swishing…but apparently no completion since they didn’t vocalize about it.

The next day, they flew in within seconds of each other to meet on their lookout perch. This time Shadow was completely…and literally…onboard. Before the camera zoomed in to find them snuggled together, there was lots of flapping and mating vocalizations, announcing their love-making to the neighborhood.

Next in their progression, Shadow brought a giant stick to the nest and gently returned to his usual obsession of getting every stick into exactly the right spot. Later, Jackie and Shadow visited the nest together and stayed a long time with both of them arranging sticks, softening the nest bowl material and doing lots of snuggly bumping into each other. During this work, Jackie had her talons tucked under, an action they do during nesting mode, to keep from harming any eggs or chicks that might be in the nest.

The following morning, Shadow brought a big fish to the nest to have lunch ‘at home’—they only bring food to the nest during nesting season. Unfortunately, he was chased all the way home by a visiting sub-adult. But Shadow loudly defended his catch. He squealed that sub-adult out of the area and was able to enjoy his meal in peace.

Later that same morning, Jackie and Shadow worked together to find just the right place for the big stick Shadow brought in. Then they did joint nest restorations and furniture arranging for nearly an hour…

…and finally, came a giant leap forward…Shadow took the bold move of sitting down in the nest bowl to test whether it is ready for use.

All of these actions are saying that both Jackie and Shadow still consider themselves to be in nesting mode. Little-by-little, we will watch to see what might happen next.

Jackie and Shadow had a beautiful TV show debut on Monday evening on NCIS. If you missed it, you can catch the episode “Butterfly Effect” (free for the next couple weeks) on the CBS website: https://www.cbs.com/.../PL1EYk7th6tJlu_Qstrq9w4pWtF1wm0M/ .

For anyone outside the US, the show will most likely be aired at a later date, depending on which country you are in. If you will please let us know in the comments below which country you are watching from, the producer has offered to check for air dates by country and we will post those for you. You can also find the show and episode on Paramount+ streaming service.

Thank you to all of you for adoring Jackie and Shadow as much as we do! We can hardly wait to see what happens next.


March 12, 2023 - Noisy Day Then Quiet Bonding

Eagle Update Pictures

The past few days, even though Jackie and Shadow have not spent much time at the nest, they have been hanging out in the nest area, using all of their favorite perch trees.

Thursday afternoon, when Shadow brought lunch to the nest, Jackie was hot on his tail. They were apparently working from different understandings of the situation. Jackie, as usual, loudly demanded that all food coming to the nest is hers. After all, she lays the eggs. Shadow, however, apparently decided that since there are no eggs, he would keep the lunch for himself. Lots of noisy arguing, a little tug-of-war…and then Jackie took the coot. She is over 30% bigger than Shadow and weighs more, so if she is serious enough about the food, she can get it.

After chowing down, Jackie was hanging out on her favorite perch tree, when a sub-adult landed on the same tree. Jackie chortled at it and slapped her wings, announcing that she was not pleased to have it there. The other eagle moved farther away from Jackie but stayed on that same tree for almost 10 minutes.

Shadow was apparently perched somewhere nearby, keeping an eye on the situation. When the sub-adult flew, Shadow zipped after it toward the nest. And Jackie took off to help.

Shadow chased that intruder right past the nest before flying in to stand guard. He shouted that intruder away, and even moved a small stick in the nest, laying full claim.

When the visitor landed in nearby perch tree, Shadow and Jackie continued to shout at it from both directions, telling it to vacate their territory. It watched back and forth, keeping an eye on each of them.

Shadow stayed in the nest, guarding until long after that visiting sub-adult decided that leaving the area might be a good idea.

After all their daily activities, Jackie and Shadow often rendezvous at their favorite look-out snag for some quiet togetherness before heading off to roost. Whatever arguments might have taken place earlier get set aside before bedtime.

Little note--The sound heard in the background on the nest camera is the rushing water of a nearby seasonal stream being filled with all the recent rain and melting snow.

– There has been lots of speculation that this visiting sub-adult was Spirit, Jackie and Shadow’s chick from last year. The markings on the visitor show it to be at least 2 and maybe 3 years old, so as much as we would all like it to be, it was definitely not Spirit.

REMINDER: Jackie and Shadow and their nest will be featured on the TV show NCIS on CBS on Monday night, March 13, at 9 pm. For anyone who might not be able to watch at that time, CBS puts each of their episodes up on their website after they have aired--https://www.cbs.com/shows/ncis/ --and they are free to view for 2 or 3 weeks. Enjoy!


March 9, 2023 - Sensitive Shadow

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday morning, Shadow returned to the nest to discover that the eggs were no longer there. He looked confused and concerned about this and stared at the nest bowl for long minutes. He looked around the nest, searching, but found nothing. He stayed for about 10 minutes, without any of his usual stick rearranging. He seemed to be trying to process this new situation. Then he flew off to one of the nearby perch trees where Jackie was sitting.

At the perch tree, instead of joining Jackie near the top, Shadow tucked himself into a lower part of the tree. Jackie climbed down to him and they spent a few minutes being quietly close. It looked like Jackie understood his sadness and spent time consoling him. Both of them have shown this same behavior in the past when something unexpected happened with the eggs. Jackie seems be better at accepting the sad situations more quickly and being able to move on. And she appears to be aware that Shadow cannot and works to assist him with his process of coming to acceptance.

In the afternoon, Shadow returned to the nest. He checked the nest bowl again, just in case anything might have changed. He gently moved a little stick and some fluff in the nest bowl, trying to return to a bit of his normal routine. But he could not do more. He stayed at the nest for over two hours, just staring and watching the surroundings of the nest tree.

For anyone who has not seen the past couple posts, Jackie and Shadow, with Jackie’s encouragement, realized that these current eggs were not going to hatch. They left the eggs unattended for two days and the local ravens found them and ate them, cleaning up the nest completely. Yesterday was Shadow’s first visit back to the nest since that happened.

Yes, animals do have emotions. We do not know if they are similar to ours, but in situations that we would call an ‘emotional moment,’ their behavior changes completely from their normal activities. In every ‘normal’ day, Shadow cannot resist bringing sticks or checking and rearranging the sticks already in the nest—today, he could not get himself to do more than trying to move one tiny stick in the nest bowl even though he spent hours at the nest. Jackie and Shadow are definitely processing something in a different way than they had been and not simply moving on to normal daily activities. Just like when your dog leaps up or wags his tail to greet you, their behavior changes according to the situation. Only they can know exactly what is going on inside them.

For those of you feeling sad about the eggs, please allow the sadness, allow whatever you are feeling. It will pass, just like it will for Jackie and Shadow. And we will all move on to watch and see what we will get to observe and learn next.


March 8, 2023 - Jackies Favorite Nighttime Pal

Eagle Update Pictures

Fiona, the San Bernardino flying squirrel that lives with her mate, Fast Freddie, in the nest tree somewhere below Jackie and Shadow’s nest, visited the empty nest several times in the past couple nights. With those ‘big giant birds’ not at home, Fiona returned to her normal, nearly nightly, visiting routine. She is such a brave little squirrel, that she often pops in even when Jackie is sitting on the nest at night and she almost always earns a wing slap or two from Jackie for her bravery. Fiona is usually looking for left-over tidbits of food…or maybe she’s just working to keep Jackie on her toes guarding the nest.

When Fiona visited in the wee hours yesterday morning, she zipped in and out looking for anything she could find and even took a quick sniff of the eggs. Of course, she already knew better than to try and pick them up. Even though each 3 inch egg is only one third of Fiona's 10-inch length, it weighs almost the same as she does—about 4-1/2 ounces. She has tried to pick one up in the past by putting her little front legs around the egg and moving in all directions trying to lift it. But that big, stubborn egg did not even budge.

Since Jackie and Shadow finally accepted that these eggs were not going to hatch, neither of them has been at the nest for the past two days. The eggs were over two weeks past the average hatch time before they decided to stop incubating and protecting them. Yesterday a raven visited and saw the unattended eggs, but did nothing. Today, a pair of ravens decided it was time to clean up the nest for their neighbors.

It turns out that the eggs had not developed at all, so there were no chicks inside either egg. While the eggs not hatching is very sad for all of us, the good news is that there were no chicks in them during the intense snow storms and cold temperatures that the nest and Jackie and Shadow have endured in the past two weeks.

Without doing tests on the eggs themselves, there is no way of knowing why they did not develop. We will instead focus on seeing what Jackie and Shadow do next. Jackie has once before laid a second clutch of eggs in the same season, and she has laid eggs as late as March.

. . . BIG NEWS—for anyone who did not already hear about this--Jackie and Shadow are about to become genuine Movie Stars! They and their nest are being featured in an upcoming episode of the TV show NCIS! The episode will air at 9 pm on Monday, March 13 on CBS. Be sure to check them out in their fun new roles. (Special note—all the footage of the nest for this show came from our nest camera, so there were no film crews or anyone else here intruding into Jackie and Shadow’s habitat.)

Thank you for being with us as we continue viewing Jackie and Shadow’s fascinating journey!


p.s. You can go to our website https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/ to view the live stream cameras, shop Jackie and Shadow merchandise (including some new items!), join or donate to FOBBV. Thank you!

March 5, 2023 - Serious Discussions and a Big Announcement!

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie seems to have accepted that these eggs are not going to hatch. Yesterday, she made a midday visit to the nest for some leftover frozen lunch, but did not sit on the eggs all day.

As has happened in the past, Shadow seems more reluctant to let go. He sat a few times on the nest, but was in and out, like he couldn’t make up his mind. He left the eggs alone for a few hours…

…then apparently couldn’t handle leaving them by themselves all night. He returned last night after dark to incubate the eggs again. Shortly after he settled in, Jackie arrived. They had a loud, serious back and forth discussion. After what sounded like an intense argument, and then some begging from Jackie, Shadow got up and flew off the front porch.

Jackie acted a bit unsure about getting into the nest bowl, then finally moved in and sat on the eggs…but she only stayed put for 3 minutes. She got up and flew off the back porch toward Shadow on a nearby roost tree. As soon as she left the nest, Shadow started chortling from the roost tree, sounding upset. They argued back and forth again. Within a minute of them finishing that discussion, Shadow arrived back on the nest and took over sitting on the eggs for the night.

It seems that Jackie, as she has done in the past, was working to get Shadow to accept what was happening with the eggs. Since she only stayed a few minutes, she may have only come in to sit on the eggs so that Shadow would leave. When she left, Shadow’s loud and immediate reaction, then lots of intense chortling back and forth seemed again like an argument. Apparently, Shadow did not agree with her decision to leave the eggs. To fix it, he came to the nest immediately to sit on the eggs himself. He spent the whole night on the nest, leaving about 4:30 this morning. So, in spite of what Jackie may have wanted, he did what he needed to do.

Today, it seems that Jackie finally convinced him to accept what was happening—neither of them visited the nest or sat on the eggs all day.

From here, we will see what happens with the eggs. It is possible that a raven or other predator might get them. It is possible that they get buried into the nest if Jackie and Shadow start bringing sticks. It is possible that Fiona (the flying squirrel who visits the nest at night) will try to carry them away—she has tried in the past, but the eggs were way too big for her to pick up.

…we will also watch to see what happens with laying new eggs. It is possible that Jackie will lay another clutch of eggs. Bald eagles normally lay one clutch per year, but when something happens to the first eggs, they sometimes lay a second clutch. Jackie has done this in the past and has laid eggs as late as March. Jackie and Shadow were viewed mating since these original eggs were laid, so anything is possible. As always, they and mother nature get to determine what happens from here.

Thank you all for your patience and your continued curiosity and willingness to learn as we watch to see what they teach us next.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT…Jackie and Shadow are about to become genuine Movie Stars! They and their nest are being featured in an upcoming episode of the TV show NCIS! The episode will air at 9 pm on Monday, March 13 on CBS. Be sure to check them out in their fun new roles.



March 1, 2023 - Sticky Shift Changes and Little Nature Breaks

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday morning, after Shadow’s first all-nighter on the nest this season, Jackie came in before sunrise to give him some time off. Shadow didn’t wait long before turning the nest over to Jackie. He shook off his wings on the front porch and headed out for a well-earned break--he was on the nest for about 17 hours, not quite as long as Jackie’s record of over 27 hours.

The nest camera was down at that time, so we watched this shift change from Cam2, the wide-angle camera. With snow on the solar panels, the batteries are slow to recharge and did not have enough power to run the main camera.

While Jackie and Shadow were changing places, the night light on the nest went off—and they did not seem to notice. That’s because it is an Infrared light, which is not visible to either eagles or humans. The camera lens, however, can pick up that infrared light and allow us to see what’s happening on the nest at night even though it still looks dark to the eagles.

Shadow brought Jackie some breakfast a few hours later, which she happily and loudly claimed as ‘mine, mine’ then chowed down quickly before returning to the eggs.

The main camera came back online in time to see Shadow return with a lovely stick for the nest. He tried putting it along the edge of the nest, but that didn’t seem right, so he put it on Jackie’s back. Apparently, Jackie wasn’t in the mood for shenanigans today so she got up immediately and let him have the nest bowl for egg-duty. Shadow looked a little shocked at how easy that was but happily moved in to take over his job.

After a few hours on the nest, Shadow flew off the front porch and then returned in under a minute. He probably just needed a bathroom break and he is much more modest about doing those on camera than Jackie. She simply moves to the edge of the nest, does her business and then chortles out an announcement to the neighborhood that that has been taken care of.

Jackie returned to the nest in the early afternoon and had a lunch of some frozen leftovers before settling into the nest bowl.

The cameras have been up and down as our batteries run out of charge, which they are doing because the system is solar powered and the solar panels have been either covered with snow or shaded in cloudy weather. They will likely be down for the day until the snow stops and we get more sun tomorrow. Since the nest is in the middle of the national forest, with no electric service, solar power is the only thing available. And with roads closed and over 4 or 5 feet of snow on the ground, it is not possible to get to the solar panels or equipment. Jackie and Shadow know how to handle the snow much better than our equipment does, so we will simple know that they are fine until we get to check back in on them when the sun comes out

Thank you for your understanding!



February 27, 2023 - Slow In The Snow

Eagle Update Pictures

On Saturday, Jackie sat on the nest for long hours, apparently napping, until the falling snow covered everything but the outline of her tail and beak. Jackie’s method for handling bad weather is to sleep through as much as possible. But, no worries…when she woke, she shook all that soft white stuff and, as always, her waterproof feathers kept her completely dry, even under her snowy roof.

By the time Shadow flew in the back door a short time later, Jackie was almost completely covered again. Shadow waited patiently as Jackie spent the next 4 minutes staying put in her comfy spot and talking softly. Apparently taking a break in the middle of the storm is always a tough decision and she had to tell him all about it. She kept talking even as she got up and flew off the front porch, leaving Shadow to the nest-sitting.

Jackie’s break wasn’t long enough for Shadow to get fully covered in snow or even have a nap. When she returned, still talking and twerpling, he tried to complain but seemed to have lost his voice in all the cold wind and weather.

He stayed put as she talked her twerpling tales and circled around him. He did find enough of his voice to issue some small complaints. Then he simply watched from his cozy nest bowl position as she dug up a frozen fish and had a long lunch without offering him even a bite. Of course, Shadow knows better than to ask Jackie to share food during nesting season.

When the fish was almost gone, Shadow got up and stood near Jackie, maybe hoping for a leftover morsel. But when none came, he left out the back door. And Jackie was back on nest duty.

At least Shadow’s last shift of the day lasted long enough for him to nap and get more snow-covered. He woke to Jackie flying off the basement limb and circling around to the nest. He had to complain a little and refuse to get up for the principle of it. But when she moved in on him, he let her have her spot back. And she settled in for the night.

. . It appears now that Jackie and Shadow’s eggs are not going to hatch this time. We cannot know exactly why—they could have not been fertilized, or could have stopped developing somewhere along the process for any of a variety of conditions and reasons. Without seeing what was going on inside the eggs during each step of the process, we have no way to know what happened. We will simply trust that nature knows best what it is doing and why.

Jackie and Shadow are both still taking good care of the eggs. According to their history, they may continue to do that for up to a few weeks before they decide to give up on the eggs hatching. In the past, they have started taking longer and longer breaks without incubating the eggs. Shadow has historically taken longer than Jackie to give up and has shown more obvious concern about it. The eggs may be preyed upon by other birds, or be left to be buried into the nest.

As always, we will patiently watch to see what happens from here. We will allow ourselves to be open, curious and learning from nature even through the sadness in our hearts.


February 23, 2023 - Snow, and More Snow, and Then More Snow

Eagle Update Pictures

With the snow coming in yesterday, Jackie allowed Shadow four hours of egg-sitting but then spent the remainder of the day and night on the nest herself. During Shadow’s shift, one of the very rare times that we have seen it, he pooped off the side of the nest—Jackie does this often, especially during the night, and usually announces it loudly to the neighborhood when she does. Shadow is apparently more shy and quiet.

As always, Jackie trusts herself the most to have egg-duty whenever there is bad weather. Throughout most of the day and all night, she stayed on the eggs as the snow came down. She often laid completely still for long periods, sleeping until she was covered in snow. Then she stood up and shook it all off, checked and turned the eggs and hunkered down on top of them to start the process again.

Jackie and Shadow are built to handle this kind of weather. Even when Jackie is lying still and unmoving for a long period and getting covered in snow, she is fine. They each have over 7000 water-proof feathers covering their body, so the snow they shake off does not even make them wet. And under those feathers is a thick layer of down feathers that keep their body warm. It is like they are wearing a thick down jacket or wrapped in a waterproof comforter all the time. And those down feathers are what they tuck the eggs into. There are a few more days of snow predicted, but those nice feather coats will continue to protect them.

Regarding the eggs, they have not yet shown any sign of hatching. While it is less likely with each passing day that they will hatch, it is not our job, or anyone’s job, to make pronouncements about what is or is not happening. It is our job to observe and learn.

Without the actual facts in any particular situation, no one can tell you what is happening inside those eggs.

Facts we do have—

--Jackie’s eggs in the past have hatched at around 38-39 days from being laid. A few of Jackie’s eggs in the past did not hatch.

--bald eagle eggs have been recorded as hatching as much as 44 days from laying—we are on day 43 since the first egg was laid and day 40 since the 2nd egg was laid.

--something unusual happened with Jackie and Shadow for a few days last week that called their attention away from the nest and the eggs were uncovered for sometimes an hour or two at a time.

--bald eagles, including Jackie and Shadow, sometimes sit on eggs long past those human-recorded due dates. When bald eagles decide to stop incubating the eggs, it does not happen suddenly, but usually slowly as they reduce sitting time little-by-little over several days.

--the external conditions of each egg-laying season—exact temperatures, weather patterns, cosmic fluctuations, Jackie and Shadows shift-changes, etc.—vary from year to year

--nature does not always work the way human minds have determined that it ‘should’—for example, according to aerodynamics, it's impossible for bees to fly. Apparently, they forgot to read the manual to know that they can’t fly. Bald eagles and eggs often do not read the manual.

--sometimes whatever is being born or hatched has a mind of its own about the timing—such as, sometimes human babies or puppies are born prematurely or sometimes labor has to be induced to make it happen.

--Jackie and Shadow returned to their more normal patterns of sitting on the eggs continuously throughout the day and at this point are continuing to incubate the eggs.

Facts we do not have—

--what the impact the eggs being uncovered for long periods for a few days had on the development of the eggs. It could have slowed the incubation, it could have stopped it, or any number of other options.

--what called Jackie and Shadow away from full attention the eggs last week—solar flares, earthquake, confused hormones, intruder eagles, etc.—or whether whatever effected Jackie and Shadow also effected the eggs.

--what the timing is for these particular eggs in these particular, unmeasured conditions.

--the exact condition of development inside the eggs at any point, which could only somewhat be determined by ‘candling’ (holding the eggs in front of a light to see the shapes or shadows inside the shell). Jackie and Shadow have not figured out how to turn on a flashlight, so candling has not been done.

--whether the eggs were fertilized—sometimes eggs that do not hatch are eventually shown to have not gone through any development inside the shell.

--whether or not the eggs are still viable based on all of the above variables.

So, we do not speculate or predict or make pronouncements about what is or is not happening. We are not here to be all knowing or to make it easier to watch the unknown unfold before us. We are observers of nature. It teaches all of us eyes-wide-open observation skills and patience, appreciation and curiosity, all good traits to carry to every aspect of our lives.

Thank you for your joy in being able to watch Jackie and Shadow in their daily lives as the beauty of nature presents itself.


February 19, 2023 - Standing Guard and Sitting Tight

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday afternoon when Shadow arrived for nest-duty, a nearby raven cawed. Shadow immediately started yelling at that raven, who was apparently too close for Shadow’s satisfaction.

The minute Shadow called out, Jackie began screeching from somewhere nearby and came flying onto the front balcony, screaming at that raven to get away. Both Jackie and Shadow spent the next few minutes on the front porch and balcony, telling the raven a thing or two about being too close to their nest.

When things quieted down, Shadow flew off the front porch…either off to make sure the ravens were far away…or off, completely forgetting that he had originally arrived to take over the nest-duty. In any case, Jackie was prepared. She moved into the nest and settled in on the eggs.

Shadow did get a turn later in the day and was still on the nest when it was already dark. He was just rocking back and forth to tuck the eggs in closer to his chest…when suddenly Jackie arrived with no warning, startling him. Jackie started her soft little twerpling sounds, letting him know she was ready take over. But Shadow wasn’t having it…he complained loudly and refused to get up. He had apparently decided that since Jackie was out late, he was going to spend the night on the nest...

…But Jackie wasn’t listening to his decision. She continued her little cries. Shadow turned away, trying to ignore her, but that didn’t make her stop crying. She slowly started moving closer to the nest bowl and Shadow started shifting position. Jackie eventually won…as usual…and Shadow reluctantly got up and turned egg-duty over to her. As she settled into the nest bowl, Shadow flew off the front porch toward whatever nearby roost tree he had chosen for the night.

The past couple days, Jackie and Shadow have returned to more of their normal behavior, keeping the eggs covered most of the time, looking more calm and focused on the nest, arguing with ravens when needed and even bringing things to the nest again…today Jackie brought a fish and Shadow brought fluff. No, we do not know what caused their odd behavior or why it may have calmed. There has been some speculation that the recent intense run of major solar flares may have created impact—it has been known to impact other animals (such as homing pigeons suddenly not able to find their way home, whales being off-course, etc.), but we cannot know for sure exactly what caused Jackie and Shadow’s behavior.

Yes, they were off the eggs for long periods of time for a few days and we do not know the impact on the eggs. As always, we will watch and see what they show us. Today is 39 days since the first egg was laid. In past years, when Jackie’s first egg hatched, it was on day 38. But again, we do not know what this means. Their time off the eggs may have only slowed the development. It is not our job to speculate or make predictions or set expectations or worry that things are different this time. It is our job to observe and learn from our beautiful bald eagles and whatever nature may have in store.

Thank you for your trust, your patience and your caring about the nature all around us.



February 15, 2023 - Loving Reconnection

Eagle Update Pictures

On Monday afternoon, after Shadow had been settled on the nest for almost two hours, something called his attention. He scanned the area and flew off the front porch.

In the next couple minutes, there was a short off-camera conversation between Jackie and Shadow. Then they quickly rendezvoused on a nearby perch tree for some tender moments of reconnection. Right after their touching moment, they both loudly announced their reconnection to the neighborhood.

They stayed in each other’s company for a few more moments before Jackie flew off the perch tree and straight back to the nest. She settled in on the eggs and spent the rest of the night there.

From Shadow leaving the eggs to Jackie returning took a total of 3 minutes.

The next day was cold and snowy. Jackie and Shadow did beautiful tradeoffs to keep the eggs fully covered and protected the whole time through the bad weather. And Shadow got nearly five straight hours on egg duty!

As today they return to their unusual behavior of leaving the eggs alone for long periods, we can only watch to see what happens from here. It is not our job to speculate or set expectations, but only to observe and trust, as we allow Jackie, Shadow and Mother Nature to teach us.


February 13, 2023 - A Turn Of Events

Eagle Update Pictures

For reasons unknown, something seems to be drawing Jackie and Shadow’s attention to something away from the nest and outside of the nest tree area.

Both of them have been acting nervous and distracted while they are on the nest and then suddenly upset enough to leave the nest. The eggs have been left for long periods of time.

Last night, Jackie returned to the nest after a long absence and snarfed down a piece of leftover fish like she had been working hard and was famished. Then she settled in on the eggs. A few minutes later, Shadow visited her at the nest and the two of them had a lengthy, loud and involved discussion.

Shadow left and Jackie spent the night on the nest. She, however, left again early this morning. After a long delay, Shadow came in to sit on the eggs, but only stayed about half an hour before being called away.

When eagles behave not as we expect them to, we may not have an explanation right away. Sometimes even never. Nothing was seen or heard on either cam so far that would explain why one eagle leaves, but the other does not come back as quickly as we expect them to. Or to explain where they are going or what is keeping them so distracted from the nest.

We know Jackie and Shadow are both themselves ok since they have each been at the nest both last night and this morning, looking healthy and strong. Many of us wonder how long the eggs can be left uncovered. There is no exact answer to that question, as it would depend on factors we know nothing about: ambient temperature, wind chill factor at the nest, status of the development, etc.

Please remember that we are just observers and guests in their world. We do not dictate nature and do not set up expectations. Nature does what it does, no matter what we want. We are just observers and visitors in the eagle world. We will wait and see what Jackie and Shadow will do and where they lead us.

While it may be difficult, your worry, frustration and negative comments do not help either you or the eagles. Please hold a space of trust for Jackie and Shadow and Mother Nature that they know more than we do and they do know what they are doing. Be curious for what might happen next and for what it might be teaching us.

Thank you for your understanding and deep caring!


February 10, 2023 - Turn-About Is Fair Play

Eagle Update Pictures

Midmorning Tuesday, while Jackie was on the nest, Shadow brought in a small, innocent-looking stick as his morning contribution. But after he arrived, a giant stick that was laying across the front door caught his attention and he had to get that one moved to a better place immediately. He ‘accidentally’ placed it right across Jackie’s back. As soon as he knew that wouldn’t work, he dragged it around her, but got it caught up in another big stick…so, of course he had to walk across the middle of Jackie’s back to drag that intruder to its proper place—Jackie’s little whimpering couldn’t be allowed to stop the work that needed to be done. All of this, of course, was just to address the accidental circumstances that showed up and not part of a sneaky plan from having left the big stick in the front door earlier. The result, however, was that after being stood on for long enough, Jackie pulled herself out from under Shadow and off the eggs. As soon as she flew out the front door, Shadow quickly settled into his daddy-duty, completely forgetting about that big stick.

But that was not the end of the event. In just 30 minutes Jackie arrived in the back door with a large, multi-faceted tree-looking branch that ‘obviously' wouldn’t fit anywhere in the nest except on top of Shadow. Jackie tried to move it away from him, but that darn stick, all on its own, kept poking Shadow in the back. With a branch full of tiny, out-of-place twigs on his back, Shadow had to immediately leap up, carry it aside and start snapping off the annoying little twigs full of needles. To assist, Jackie sneaked into the nest bowl right behind Shadow as he worked and slipped in on top of the eggs. When Shadow seemed to realize he wasn’t on egg duty any more, he gave up on the little twigs and went to move another big stick across the front door. He eventually left out the front, while Jackie continued to work on those annoying little twigs.

Apparently a dramatic morning was enough for them…the rest of their switchovers for the day were calm and orderly.


February 6, 2023 - Cleverer and Cleverer

Eagle Update Pictures

In the midst of Shadow’s work to get a turn on the eggs, it would appear he might be worried about Jackie putting on extra weight from her extensive sitting time. He seems to have put her on a little diet by delivering her the smallest fish ever brought to the nest! Jackie was still quite loud about claiming that fish as hers. And it took her only moments to down the whole thing before sitting back down in the nest bowl.

By the next morning Shadow had a new plan for getting nest time—pull Jackie right off the eggs when she least expects it.

He brought a big stick to the nest and innocently laid it across the front of the nest as if that was the final placement. After hanging around a bit, moving other sticks, Shadow suddenly picked up that new stick and dragged it over to lay across the top of Jackie. The clincher was that this special stick came with a built-in hook…and the hook wrapped right around Jackie’s neck! When Shadow tugged on the stick, it instantly pulled Jackie up and off the eggs. To keep from getting pulled completely over, Jackie had to grab the stick away from him and get up to move it to the other side of the nest. And when she did, presto…Shadow slipped into the nest bowl right behind her.

Knowing she had been bested, Jackie flew out the back door, leaving Shadow to settle in on the eggs.

The next morning, Shadow tried bringing fluff as his method to get a turn. Surely Jackie would get up so the fluff could be placed around the eggs. But, after a little tug-of-war with the fluff, Jackie decided to put the fluff on her own back rather than to get off the eggs. Shadow quickly gave up on that tactic and flew off to work on a new plan.

Within a couple minutes, he returned with another big, complex stick. The last one had worked so well, it was worth another try. As Shadow brought that stick in, he ‘accidentally’ dragged it across Jackie’s head and his foot brushed across the side of her face. By the time he had maneuvered that stick all the way around her, including also laying it across the middle of her back, she was voicing some squealy complaints. Shadow moved that stick off of her, but then grabbed the hooked stick from earlier and laid that one across her back instead. By this time, Jackie seemed to have no idea what he might try next. She escaped out the front door before he had time for any other maneuvers. And Shadow got to nestle down in his favorite spot, on top of the eggs.

Thank you to all of you for your continued support and for enjoying Jackie and Shadow’s sometimes hilarious activities as they take turns lovingly caring for their eggs!


February 1, 2023 - Sixth Try Is The Charm

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie’s security appears to come from knowing her eggs are safe…and when there might be danger – like wind, or bad weather, or darkness, or ravens – she trusts herself above all else to keep the eggs safe. A couple days ago it took Shadow until the 6th attempt to be able to get a turn on the nest.

In the early morning, with Jackie on the nest, ravens started circling. Jackie shouted and Shadow arrived immediately on the back porch to help her yell them away. When the ravens had been handled, Jackie apparently wasn’t completely sure that all was safe--she started arranging sticks around the nest bowl, but without getting off the eggs.

Being the good observer he is, Shadow knew that now Jackie wanted some nest rearranging. So, he flew off and returned in under 2 minutes with a new stick to assist her. Shadow arranged his stick perfectly, even narrowly missing putting it on Jackie’s back…nevermind that he had to walk straight across the middle of her back to get that stick to the spot it belonged. But no matter how well he placed it, Jackie wouldn’t get up off those eggs…

…since that was obviously not the right stick, Shadow went out the back door and brought back another stick within minutes. He put this one right in front of Jackie for her to arrange, which she did…but still without getting off the eggs. So, Shadow walked that new stick all the way around her and laid it across her lower back…and in case that wasn’t going to work, he got the first stick from it’s place and laid it across her upper back. Surely, she would now have to get off those eggs to move the sticks…

…but no, that didn’t do it either.

So, Shadow waited over an hour to bring the next stick—or maybe it took him that long to search for exactly the right one that was going to impress Jackie enough to trust him with the eggs.

But that stick didn’t work either. Shadow even waited around the nest for nearly half an hour. Jackie still would not budge.

Time for another stick…this one only took a few minutes to find…but no matter how many times or how perfectly Shadow arranged and rearranged this stick, Jackie just kept whimpering that things weren’t safe and she needed to stay on her eggs.

During each of these stick arranging visits, Shadow stayed on the nest right next to Jackie for much longer than he usually does, showing her that he was right by her side. Jackie even stood up once to roll the eggs, but still wouldn’t let Shadow have a turn. She sat back down and Shadow got the message and left off the front porch.

By mid-afternoon, Jackie’s apparent fears seemed to be realized when a group of ravens came back to start circling the nest again. Shadow flew in immediately. He and Jackie both shouting at the ravens got them to leave. And Shadow hung around the nest with Jackie to make sure they were gone…

…and finally, that was enough to allow Jackie to relax. She released the eggs into Shadow’s tender care and flew off for a little break. He immediately settled in on those precious eggs for his well-deserved turn.


January 29, 2023 - How To Tell Jackie And Shadow Apart

Eagle Update Pictures

The Subtle Differences In Jackie and Shadow’s Features

Jackie and Shadow asked us to please explain all the differences between them, that according to them are so obvious. And since many of you have been asking also, here are some of the key points.

Of course, there is the size difference. Jackie appears to be quite proud of being much larger than Shadow and he seems to be just fine with that. This size difference is true for bald eagles in general.

Both Jackie and Shadow were gracious enough to pose for a few close ups this season. These pictures give us a better idea on how to tell them apart not only by their size and shoulder pads (Jackie is built more like a “linebacker”), but also by their heads.

Jackie’s head is overall a bit flatter on top, especially when her head feathers are not roused.

Jackie is well known for her “fierce” or “stern” look. It’s not because she is perpetually upset with Shadow (maybe only sometimes and only a little!), but because she has a more pronounced Supraorbital Ridge (the bony protuberance above the eye socket that shades and protects the eye). Shadow’s Supraorbital Ridge is not that intense - he often looks “goofy” or “surprised” in comparison, which of course just makes him all the more adorable.

Bald Eagle Eyes are amazing! They have a better resolution and focus allowing them to see everything in great detail, with superior binocular vision and the ability to see more colors. Jackie and Shadow’s visual acuity is 20/5, compared to 20/20 visual acuity of mere humans. They can spot a rabbit up to 3 miles away! So, no need to worry when you cannot see either of them on cameras. Jackie and Shadow have a much better awareness of their surroundings and each other’s whereabouts.

Jackie’s beak is overall larger and thicker than Shadow’s from top to bottom. Her upper beak (Maxilla) is not only thicker but also a bit longer. Jackie’s beak “runs for miles” while Shadow’s curves down faster.

Jackie has a curvy wavy ridge on the bottom edge of the upper beak (the Tomial Ridge) that overlaps with the lower beak (Mandible) a bit more. Shadow’s Tomial Ridge is a bit flatter in comparison, probably making him look not as threatening. This wavy curve is a common feature for raptors that helps them subdue prey quicker.

Take a closer look on their portraits below and let us know if you can spot more differences in the appearance of their Nares (nostrils), Cere (the fleshy region at the base of the beak that surrounds the nares), Lore (the region between the eyes and nostrils covered with short and stiff feathers) or Gape (the yellow corners of the mouth).

P.S. Jackie and Shadow have been diligently incubating their eggs for over two weeks. Pip Watch begins on February 15th. Watch them live on our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/@FOBBVCAM that recently reached 100k subscribers thanks to all of our supporters worldwide! We greatly appreciate you all!


January 25, 2023 - Jackie Has A Tough Day, And A New Record!

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie has a tough day…and a new record!

Two days ago, Jackie went into full egg protection mode when a group of ravens decided to pester her while she was on the nest. The ravens swooped around the nest and even landed on both the front porch and the back porch, trying to scare Jackie off of those eggs.

But Jackie was ready. She hunkered down over those eggs, squealing at the ravens to get away. When a raven got too close, she wing-slapped the nest, showing that raven that she means business and she will not allow it anywhere near the nest. And she set a new record for the number of wing-slaps in one event—16 times!!

She chortled a message out to Shadow to come fast. Shadow answered from a distance and soon flew into the nest, chasing ravens away. Both Jackie and Shadow shouted at those circling ravens for a long time. The ravens would not give up easily but finally left the area.

Shadow stayed at the nest with Jackie the whole time. He huddled close as Jackie protected the eggs. Finally, when all was clear, Jackie stood up and Shadow immediately took her place over those precious eggs.

When Jackie came back from her well-deserved break, she brought a huge, complex stick with her. She landed it on the nest and worked to turn it over to get just the right angle to grab hold and find it’s location…but that silly stick did a flip-over on its own and fell right off the edge of the nest.

Poor Jackie watched it fall and apparently felt so disappointed about losing that stick that she let out a few mournful squeals. As she then took over egg-sitting, Shadow chortled softly at her…perhaps with a little promise…

…And he soon came back with a giant catfish to make Jackie feel better. It even had the head still intact and he put it right on her back to make sure she knew the whole thing was hers.

After her nice lunch, Jackie was able to settle back in on the eggs, probably feeling much better.


January 22, 2023 - Maneuvering For A Turn

Eagle Update Pictures

Sometimes, especially just after dawn, Jackie is more than anxious to have Shadow come in and take over the nest-sitting. And he always shows up when called to give her a little break.

But sometimes, it’s not that easy…

…and Shadow has to work at it to get Jackie to give over the nest to him.

This time, in the middle of the day, it took 3 goes at it before she finally let him have his turn…

First, he brought a fish. Jackie squealed and squealed about the fish being ‘mine, mine…’ and Shadow waited patiently for her to get up and claim it. But she just kept calling until he moved out of the way and around to the back porch. Then she got up and took possession of that fish that was rightfully hers. She was off the eggs, but Shadow knows better than to try anything while Jackie is eating, so he waited patiently watching over the nest while she ate her fish…

…but then, instead of leaving like she usually does after her lunch, Jackie moved back into the nest bowl. Phooey. The ‘bringing lunch’ technique didn’t work.

So, Shadow left and returned a short time later, this time with a long stick…perhaps if he proves what a good mate he is, he can earn a turn on the eggs. He placed that long stick exactly perfectly and then patiently waited…and waited…and waited. And then finally left. Phooey. The ‘bringing a stick’ technique didn’t work either.

This time Shadow left for only a few minutes and returned with a much bigger, more complex stick. This was sure to do the trick. It was so big he had a bit of a battle as he tussled it around Jackie…well, mostly around her, only putting it on her back a couple of times, and well, only stepping on her back once or twice. But voila! The old ‘stepping on the back while handling a big stick’ technique worked. Jackie got up and Shadow got his turn to settle in on the eggs.

The next morning, Shadow got even more clever! He soared around the nest, looking like he was having great fun and invited Jackie out to take a little spin around the nest tree. And that was just too tempting! Jackie took him up on it…and then it was easy for Shadow to slip quickly onto the front porch and into the nest bowl. This worked to get Jackie moving and she flew off toward the lake for a little R and R. And Shadow got to enjoy his daddyhood.

Getting your turn sometimes requires a lot of creativity!


January 18, 2023 - Guard Duty Extraordinaire

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday afternoon, Jackie put out an all-points alert to Shadow that there were ravens circling the nest. Shadow chortled back an answer immediately and came flying in with some pretty fancy aerobatics as he zipped past the nest to chase those ravens away from the area.

After his swift response, he circled back and landed on the front porch to help Jackie guard the nest. They both yelled out loud and continuous warnings to those pesky ravens that they’d better not come back. And Jackie sat tight over her eggs the whole time to make sure they were protected.

When everything was clear, Jackie got up and flew off for her break. So, Shadow quickly settled into the nest bowl for his incubation duty. After Jackie left, she was chortling in the distance, probably out there making sure those ravens know they better stay away. They are both excellent nest guards and always nearby and aware of what’s happening at the nest.

It’s pretty clear that Shadow really likes taking his shifts on the eggs--he argues with Jackie every time she comes back to take over, letting her know that he isn’t finished yet. And sometimes even making little disgruntled noises when she makes him get up.

He got to sit on the eggs just under 5 hours yesterday, so he probably slept very well last night, knowing the good job he had done. For those that have asked, Shadow sleeps in a roost tree nearby so that he can keep an eye on the nest, but still quickly be available if he’s needed.

Note: Our livestream camera (https://www.youtube.com/@fobbvcam) has been offline a bit recently, either because a storm stopped the communication between our antennas to get the signal to the livestream, or because the batteries for our completely solar-powered system got drained after too many days without sunshine on the solar panels. Our website also got a bit overwhelmed earlier this week with so much traffic—we are working on increasing its capacity to get it back up and solid. Thank you all for your patience and understanding. Bringing everyone these eagles is not always easy, but with each thing that happens, we are working on improving all of our systems.

Thank you for your love of bald eagles and nature and for so generously spreading the word about Jackie and Shadow!

January 16, 2023 - A Fish Fight, A Stick Struggle And A Blanket of Sn

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday, during a welcome break in the storms, Shadow brought his lovely Jackie a fish for an early lunch. As always, she knew long before he arrived that he had a fish, so she started claiming it as “mine, mine, mine…” But when Shadow arrived, he apparently had not finished taste-testing the fish, so he wouldn’t let it go. As might be expected, Jackie insisted. A few ‘friendly’ tugs and a couple snappy beaks, and then Shadow seemed to figure out who would eventually win. So, he released the fish to Jackie and, being a smart eagle, he took off out the back door while she ate.

As soon as she finished her lunch, making sure not a single tidbit escaped, Jackie announced she was leaving and flew off the front porch…and within a couple minutes, Shadow came back to take over egg-sitting duty. He arranged the nest bowl fluff until it was just right and settled in to incubate the eggs…ah, but, something wasn’t working. He did more rearranging and a little more repositioning and finally was able to nestle down tight into the nest bowl.

When Jackie returned, she brought a little branchy stick with her…and first placed it right on Shadow’s back. Before he even got off the eggs, Shadow grabbed the other end of the stick and announced he would be in charge of properly placing it. As often as Jackie wins the fish fights, Shadow wins the stick struggles, so Jackie let him claim the stick. He hopped up and knew right where to put it. He fit it in exactly where it was meant to be and then left Jackie to her shift.

…but that stick was not an easy one to deal with. During Shadow’s next egg-duty, he noticed the stick standing where he had placed it, and he immediately had to get off the eggs to go and correct an obvious mis-location. He fiddled the stick over this way…nope…and then twisted it over that way…that’s not it either…and then he decided to put it in the nest bowl on top of the eggs. But somehow that didn’t seem quite right. He eventually had to fetch the stick out of the nest bowl and try a few new placements before being satisfied that it was done properly. Only then could he rest and sit calmly back down on the eggs for the rest of his shift.

Jackie was on duty for the night when the storm returned for another round. Snuggled down on her eggs, she slept quite peacefully while the storm slowly covered her in a thick blanket of snow. (Don’t worry, she has over 7000 waterproof feathers and a thick layer of down under those to keep her warm and dry.) By the time Jackie woke to roll the eggs, she had to crack off the snowy layer and shake herself clean. Without missing a beat, she moved around to a new position, and settled in again—as the perfect protective cover for her precious eggs.

Thank you to all of you for caring about Jackie and Shadow and for being willing to watch and learn about their daily lives in our beautiful southern California mountain forest.


January 15, 2023 - No, its Still My Turn

Eagle Update Pictures

Now that there are 2 eggs, Shadow seems to be more comfortable with sitting on them. With 1 egg he often looked nervous about the egg and did lots of walking around it and staring at it before actually sitting down. But today, he looked right at home and even put up a bit of a complaint when Jackie came back to take over.

This afternoon around 12:30 pm, Jackie finally took a well-deserved break—she had been on the nest since 9:30 am yesterday--27 hours! During that time, she was riding out the long snowy storm, laying her 2nd egg in the middle of the storm, and making sure her 2 eggs stayed safe and warm through the long, snowy night.

She must really trust Shadow because she almost never lets anyone else sit on the eggs during a storm. But today, she let him take over for almost an hour and a half.

Before getting off the eggs, she called out to Shadow and apparently got confirmation that he was nearby. When she left, he arrived at the nest only 2 minutes later to take his turn. As soon as he rolled the eggs, he sat right down and tucked in low, rocking to make sure the eggs were snuggly fit into his brood pouch. (During nesting, bald eagles lose some of the feathers on their chest, creating a little area where the eggs can fit close to the skin to be warmed by the eagle’s high body temperature.)

When Jackie came back after her break, Shadow chortled out his complaint that it was still his turn. He didn’t move off the eggs and tried a few times to dissuade Jackie from making him get up. She was patient with him but when she started moving closer, he knew he wasn’t going to win. He let her take over and flew off the back porch, then did some fancy flying through the falling snow behind her as she settled in on the eggs.

To watch the livestream of our cameras (both the nest camera and the wide-angle camera), here are the links where they can be found: our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@fobbvcam and our website: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/

Thank you for all of your continued support!


January 14, 2023 - Egg 2!

Eagle Update Pictures

Egg #2!!!!

Not sleet nor snow nor rain nor wind can stop Mama Jackie. This afternoon in the middle of the cold, wet storm, she laid her 2nd egg.

It would seem that this time she did not want the world watching her labor and egg-laying process—somehow the cameras went down during that part of the storm. When they came back up, she looked a bit bedraggled, like she does when she’s just gone through labor…

…and when she moved aside for the camera to see…there were 2 beautiful eggs!

Most likely Jackie would blame the cameras going down on the weather. So, just believe her and don’t tell anyone what she did.

Now she’s getting a well-deserved nap, while protecting her 2 eggs from the continuing storm.


January 13, 2023 - It Is Really Happening!

Eagle Update Pictures

Over the past couple days since Jackie laid the egg, Shadow seems to be still getting used to the idea that it’s really there. The first morning, he brought a stick and saw the egg for the first time. He kept doing double takes on the egg, like he was making sure he was really seeing what he was seeing. He went out and brought Jackie a fish back! It took him a couple visits before he finally settled down enough to sit on the egg—then he helped with the sitting for 2 hours in his multiple turns.

Jackie, as always, is the boss of the nest and only trusts herself to do the night-sitting. In the day she takes some breaks and usually announces to Shadow that she’s getting ready to leave. Again today, he brought Jackie a fish and gave her the whole thing without even a blink of hesitation. It’s official now—if the little round white thing is there, the fish belongs to Jackie.

Shadow helped sit for almost 2 hours again today. Even when he is not at the nest, he is almost always close by, on the perch trees in the nest area. And sometimes he and Jackie sit together on one of the perches, keeping an eye on the nearby nest as they have a little break or a little chat.

They sometimes stand next to the egg instead of sitting on it or leave it alone while they are on the perch trees. Bald eagles practice delayed incubation, which means they do not sit full time on the first egg so that it will hatch closer to the same time as the 2nd egg hatches. In the past, Jackie has usually laid 2 eggs, 3 days apart. We will watch and see what happens this year. Enjoy!


January 11, 2023 - We Have An Egg!

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie laid her first egg of this season at 15:58 this afternoon!

After sitting in the nest bowl for about 15 minutes this afternoon, Jackie stood up and started puffing her feathers out – the obvious sign that she was going into labor. She had apparently been feeling it coming on--this was her 12th visit to the nest today! After 2 days of huge storms, she seemed to be getting everything back in order. Each time she visited, she rearranged a couple sticks, sometimes brought a stick or fluff with her (4 sticks and 1 bunch of fluff), sometimes laid down in the nest bowl for a short time…and then it all happened. Making her usual tea kettle whistles as she pushed the egg out, she was in labor for about 6 minutes. And then there was a beautiful egg! She rolled it a couple times before sitting, but she sat down only 6 or 7 minutes after laying it. In past years, she usually stood for a much longer time before tucking in on the egg.

Shadow was around the area. He visited the nest with Jackie for a while this morning, helping rearrange sticks to make everything just right. He was on one of their favorite nearby perches during the egg-laying. From what he’s done in the past, he seems to know to stay close but not too close during this process.

Now, Jackie is on the nest for the night. Occasionally standing to roll the egg and reposition herself. At 18:09, little Fiona discovered that the airbnb is no longer vacant. She popped up on the edge of the nest and discovered the BIG bird at home. Fiona quickly skidaddled before Jackie had time to turn around and see her. But Jackie sensed something was there and sat up, on alert.

Jackie is now in full mama mode, caring for and protecting her new egg.


January 8, 2023 - A Little Sitting, A Little Romance

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday Jackie was in and out of the nest 7 times, bringing sticks, bringing fluff and sitting in the nest bowl. She sat for almost 2 hours. And Shadow was in and out 3 times, bringing sticks to help. They are both getting more and more ready for whatever is coming next…

…all this was after a beautiful romantic evening—captured in the video--the previous night.

That morning, Shadow brought a headless fish to the nest—of course everyone knows that the head is his favorite part, so it is often missing by the time a fish arrives at the nest. It usually means he plans to give the fish to Jackie. Jackie, as is often the case, could be heard from a distance claiming the fish as hers. By the time she arrived at the nest, Shadow had decided to guard the fish and not just give it to her. A little bit of tussle and squealing ensued, but finally she just stole it out from under him…and he decided to just let her have it. He apparently needed to make her work for it. After all, there are none of those roundy white things in the nest yet, so she hasn't done her part of deserving a fish.

But by evening, he was softer and more romantic. While Jackie sat in the nest bowl, Shadow arrived to be with her, so she got up to help him with some nestorations. They both worked side by side, gently moving sticks and sometimes helping each other to find the right location.

Jackie was intent on getting in more nest bowl sitting and each time she sat, Shadow nibbled her on the head…which often turned into some soft, sweet beaky kisses. And when Jackie stood up, Shadow could be seen sneaking a peak to check whether there was anything under her. He seems to be getting more used to the idea that those eggs might be coming soon, and he doesn’t want to miss out on getting his own sitting time in when they are there.

Shadow stayed close to Jackie in the nest for longer than usual. They continued with the stick arranging, which kept leading to more tender beaky kisses.

Shadow left first after their sweet time together. Jackie got a little more nest bowl time before joining him on their nearby roost tree to snuggle for the night under the rising full moon.


January 4, 2023 - Lets Make Eggs!

Eagle Update Pictures

This afternoon while Jackie and Shadow were hanging out in the nest, Jackie suddenly announced that it was time to make eggs. She announced it in her very special voice that is not used for any other kinds of statements.

With Shadow’s incredulous look back at her from the front porch, it was almost possible to hear him saying, “What? Now? Right here in front of everyone?”

Jackie let him know with her sweet voice that she meant it for sure as she moved out onto the front porch right next to him to take her ‘I’m ready’ position.

“Okay, then.” Shadow clearly got the message. While making sweet music back to his Jackie with his special occasion voice, he climbed up onto her back and worked on making those eggs.

For eagles this is a pretty quick event.

Afterwards, they sat on the front porch for a while, enjoying each other’s company.

This is the first time since February 2019 that they have mated right on the nest tree. They usually seem to prefer those romantic hotel perch trees in the surrounding area.

Jackie is definitely serious about making eggs happen!

BTW, for those of you who have been asking or waiting, our final reorder of Jackie and Shadow 2023 calendars just became available on the website: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/.../2023-calendars/

And we’ll have some new surprises in the merchandise section tomorrow, so stay tuned!


December 31, 2022 - Unfitable, Uncooperative, Unruly Sticks

Eagle Update Pictures

Sometimes there are sticks that just will not fit properly into the nest design…and yesterday Shadow and Jackie had 2 in a row!

Shadow thought he had placed the 1st stick securely, but it just didn’t feel right so he went to work on it again. He finally pulled it completely out and turned it upside-down to see if that would work…it didn’t. He was having so much trouble that Jackie jumped in on the other end, trying to tame that unruly thing…but to no avail. Shadow finally gave up on that one when he spotted another one out of place…

…and that first completely uncooperative stick tripped him as he walked past.

Shadow bit it in response, but now his focus was on the 2nd stick, a stick with all kinds of tiny unfitable twigs that just would not lay down flat. As soon as he started working with it, Jackie jumped in to help. There is no way either one of them could allow such “out-of-placeness” to have a place in the nest. They both worked diligently on different tiny branches, trying to bite on ends and twist them around in different directions. They pushed the stick this way and pulled it that way. Jackie and Shadow even got into some small spats about which way to go with it, but that stick would not cooperate.

Finally, Shadow decided it was good enough and went over to work on a more cooperative part of the nest. But Jackie couldn’t leave it alone. She tugged it over here and nudged it over there and even broke pieces off of the tiny twigs…until finally she decided to let it be.

Hopefully, their 2023 sticks will all be more cooperative, easy and fun!

Wishing each and all of you a joyous, healthy and abundant New Year! Happy 2023!

Sandy, Jackie, Shadow and the whole FOBBV Team

December 30, 2022 - Egg-citing times ahead

Eagle Update Pictures

January is the egg-citing time of the year, when we all gather around our screens and wait patiently in anticipation of the first egg of the season. Jackie is known to lay eggs as early as the first week of January and as late as in March, this wide window always keeps us guessing.

Only Jackie knows when the time is right, and she guards her secrets well! However, in all the years we have been observing her closely, we have picked up a few tips graciously shared by our eagles.

Jackie tends to spend more time around the nest in the days leading up to the main event. She will lie down in the bowl for extended periods of time (sometimes for hours!). Both Jackie and Shadow tend to bring in more fluff (soft nesting materials, usually grasses, reeds or pine needles) and we may see them get intimate with each other more often. They prefer to mate not on the nest but on the nearby snags, and the new Wide View Camera installed this fall has already provided a lot of insights into their favorite mating trees (yes, they do have preferences!).

All of those activities help us get an idea that things are moving in the right direction, until one day Jackie goes into labor. First, she will open her wings slightly, drooping them a bit instead of holding them tight to her body. Then, she will assume an elevated posture, sitting higher up instead of lying flat in the bowl (something that we call “pancaking”). Eventually, she will rouse her body feathers, especially on the head and mantle (upper back area) and start making soft and whistling “tea kettle” sounds.

The last two signs tell us that Jackie is indeed in active labor and the first egg should be appearing within minutes, as Jackie is known to be a fast layer. Bald Eagle eggs are laid 3-5 days apart, up to 4 eggs in a clutch. Jackie tends to lay another egg in about 3 days (sometimes down to the minute!) and she usually stops at two.

The egg comes out fully formed, covered with hard off-white eggshell about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide. It may be a little wet and Jackie likely will not sit on it full time right away. That is because Bald Eagles practice delayed incubation, which helps chicks hatch closer together and allows the younger chicks a better chance of survival. You may see Jackie hovering over the egg for extended periods of time, or maybe even sitting in another tree nearby. Once the complete clutch is laid, either Jackie or Shadow should be on the eggs full-time.

Jackie’s earliest egg on record was laid on January 3rd, 2018. We usually go on Egg Watch on January 1st. However, she may still surprise us, since she has been pancaking in the nest bowl for long periods of time, indicating that she is getting ready!


Find out more about the Big Bear eagle history: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/eagles/eagle-history/

December 28, 2022 - Let Me Help

Eagle Update Pictures

Early yesterday morning, even with storm winds picking up, Shadow first, then Jackie started bringing sticks to the nest. They each brought one shortly after a little nearby togetherness fun (given away by their mating vocals!)

Later in the morning they were back at the nest bringing a stick, leaving and bringing another--rather than going to the ground to pick up sticks, they’ve been observed finding their sticks still attached to the trees. They break the dead sticks right off the trees to bring to the nest.

In the mid-morning, Jackie brought a gargantuan bundle of fluff. She worked diligently to spread it out across the nest bowl and then laid down on top of it to flatten the fit into exactly the right shape…

…and just as it was feeling about perfect, helpful Shadow dropped into the nest with his stick contribution…which he put right on Jackie’s back! She’s apparently so focused on getting the nest ready that it didn’t seem to even bother her. She popped up and started helping him move other sticks. And of course, Shadow had to help arrange that fluff in the nest bowl to make sure every tiny bit of it was in the perfect spot.

By the end of the day, Jackie won!—she had a count of 6 sticks plus that bunch of fluff, to Shadow’s 3 sticks. She seems to be quite serious about getting the nest fully ready—she even came in the evening during the much bigger winds to have one more lay down in the nest right before roost time.


December 25, 2022 - Christmas Morning at the Penthouse

Eagle Update Pictures

4 AM -- Fiona (the San Bernardino flying squirrel that lives somewhere below Jackie and Shadow’s nest) came out early to check for any presents that the big Santas Jackie and Shadow might have left for her. And she found something she loved—an ice-free nest to run around in looking for morsels!

MIDNIGHT:30 to BEFORE-DAWN O’CLOCK -- Jackie and Shadow seemed to be up half the night discussing whether it was time yet to go open their presents – they had lots of chortling discussions in the nearby roost tree (at 00:37:59, 1:01:59, 4:32:29, 5:07:50, 5:43:05, 5:55:59, 6:11:09, 6:27:04) …

PRE-DAWN – Lots of nature was out to say good-morning, happy Christmas – besides Fiona visiting and Jackie and Shadow having discussions, there were ravens squawking and coyotes howling—they might have all seen Santa flying by and had to announce it!

6:28 AM…Jackie and Shadow didn’t even wait until full dawn before arriving in the nest. Apparently, they decided that a nice quiet morning together would be just the ticket.

It would seem that Shadow’s gift to Jackie was to keep her company while she got comfortable sitting in the nest bowl—and it must have been much more comfortable now with fluff in the bottom instead of ice.

When Jackie stood up, Shadow bent sideways to look underneath her, just to be sure there weren’t any little white round things under there. Relief. That was Jackie’s present to Shadow—another day of freedom before he has to get to the tough work of raising little ones.

6:45 AM – So, Shadow took off to enjoy his free day.

6:51 AM – After enjoying her gorgeous penthouse view for a bit longer, Jackie followed Shadow out toward the lake.

7:32 AM – the sun coming over the mountaintop delivered colorful, sparkly sunshine to the nest…announcing the beginning of a beautiful day in the valley.


Wishing all of you a wonderful day and heartfelt holidays!

Sandy, Jackie, Shadow, Fiona, Fast-Freddy (Fiona’s mate), ravens, coyotes and all of our beautiful nature.


PS A big thank you to all of our great moderators who keep track of everything that happens in the nest—you can find their log at: https://docs.google.com/.../1gx7VP85Gwp1jhHRilStcZMr.../view

December 23, 2022 - Jackie is Getting Comfy

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have been visiting the nest every day, especially right before roost time. They’ve been bringing sticks and reaffirming their closeness with beaky kisses in the nest, then with night snugglies on the nearby roost tree. They have also been mating most days on their favorite perch tree, as seen from the wide-angle ‘spy’ camera.

Some of the sticks they bring have needed both of them together to coordinate finding the right location…after they find it, sometimes Jackie and sometimes Shadow decides that the placement wasn’t quite on the mark. So, they sneak back over to make a few changes, hoping the other one isn’t watching.

During every visit, Jackie has been laying in the nest bowl, making sure it’s comfy. Her body is telling her it’s time. It’s time to get ready for some eggs to be in there.

It takes about 4 to 10 days for eggs to develop after mating…exciting things could be happening soon!

Our latest FOBBV newsletter is also posted in the photos! The newsletter has updates on the nest camera repairs, on all of our current advocacy projects (such as Moon Camp and North Big Bear), as well as on our other programs.

Also, notice (on page 3 of the newsletter) that we are looking for additional team members to help with all the fun and important work we’re doing to protect our eagles and the amazing habitats surrounding them. Please check it out! If you would like a pdf version of the newsletter sent to you, please email your request to fobbvinfo@gmail.com and we will get that out to you right away.

Jackie and Shadow and all of us at FOBBV wish each and every one of you the Happiest of Holidays!


December 18, 2022 - Icy Stick Dance

Eagle Update Pictures

Since the big snow and freezing ice, Jackie and Shadow haven’t been on the nest much—it would seem that they’re not too thrilled with sliding around the nest bowl and not being able to unstuck their sticks from the ice.

But on Friday afternoon, after a little hanky panky in one of their favorite perch trees (!), they both made a visit to the nest.

Shadow was already there when Jackie brought in one of her extra large sticks…

…and they had dance around the slick nest to find just the right place for it.

First, it took both of them to spin the stick around the nest a time or two to find where to lay it; then Jackie had to make some adjustments to that placement; then Shadow came to help her adjust her adjustments. Then that location wasn’t working, so there was some major joint effort stick realignment, with Jackie getting the final say…

…that is, until she headed out to the front porch and Shadow immediately readjusted her readjustments and realigned her realignments. Jackie watched him messing with it, but apparently decided to take the high road and not rush back to the nest to fix his fixes.

For a moment it looked like Shadow was finished arranging…but no, he couldn’t leave it alone. He had to do several more little location movements and side-branch trimming. When he moved on to arranging a different stick, Jackie gave up and flew off the front porch, leaving Shadow to figure out exactly how to make it all work.

This week is supposed to get a little warmer, so they should be back into normal furniture arrangements as soon as that snow melts.


December 15, 2022 - But its ICY

Eagle Update Pictures

Both Shadow and Jackie brought a stick with them when they visited the nest yesterday evening, but trying to get those sticks to stay in place on the solid ice of the frozen-over nest was not working at all.

Jackie tried laying down on that frozen surface while Shadow was still playing with his stick…

…and as he tried to stay balanced on the ice, he backed up and stepped right onto the side of her face.

Jackie popped back up, and took hold of the stick to move it herself…

…but Shadow was standing on it so it wouldn’t budge.

He finally moved, she arranged the stick and he gave her a couple little leg-nips in return…

But she was insisting on getting some laying down in…

…this time he gave her a little kiss on the head and then it turned into some nice beaky kisses and it appeared all was forgiven for his earlier mis-steps…

…but maybe not. Jackie laid down again and while Shadow tried pulling some sticks out of the frozen snow, she bit his tail…and then she bit it again. Ok, now she looked more satisfied that the payback was complete.

Apparently everything was worked out between them. They were together later, snuggled up on the roost tree for the night.

Hopefully the sun today will melt that icy snow off the nest.


December 11, 2022 - Jackie is Ready

Eagle Update Pictures

Over the past few days, Jackie has convinced Shadow that now is the time for eggs. He seems to have finally jumped fully into this nesting season. – maybe the extended cold weather made him realize that summer vacation is long gone.

Last week, Jackie was ‘all over him,' trying to get his attention while he played hard to get. This week Shadow has shown his readiness by joining her on more nest visits and by instigating nearly as many beaky kisses as Jackie.

Some of the readiness they are demonstrating includes--

--They have visited the nest almost daily to bring sticks…or, in Jackie’s case, small trees

--Each visit, Jackie spent at least a short time…and sometimes nearly an hour…sitting in the nest bowl, preparing.

--They have been more actively guarding the nest and yelling at anyone who flies too close.

--A few days ago, Jackie puffed up all her feathers and rounded her back like she was getting ready to lay an egg. She stayed that way for over a minute…but then shook it off and went about her day.

--Jackie and Shadow both brought ‘fluff’ (soft nesting materials) to the nest two days ago, which they historically only do when it is close to egg-laying time.

--They have been spending more nights together on their favorite ‘closest-to-the-nest-tree’ roosting site.

Today’s wind-blown snowstorm made for a good day to stay battened down somewhere protected from the elements, but there will probably be new footprints in all that snow on the nest by sometime tomorrow.

. . . Inspired by Jackie and Shadow’s amazingly photogenic presence, FOBBV now has 2 brand new t-shirt designs—one short-sleeve and one long-sleeve (see photos below). We’ve also restocked the inventory for the 3 most popular shirts from earlier in the year. All the merchandise is available on the FOBBV website: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/ (We also still have some 2023 calendars and the “I Am Spirit” children’s book, plus Jackie & Shadow plushies are back in stock.)

Thank you, as always, for your ongoing support! We appreciate your curiosity and willingness to learn about our eagles and the nature they are part of.


December 7, 2022 - Big Drama at the Nest

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday in the late morning a juvenile bald eagle (a chick from the 2022 nesting season by the feather coloration pattern) did a quick flyby of the nest while Jackie was visiting. Jackie kept her eye on it as it passed by and all seemed fine…

…until later…

When Jackie brought a coot back to the nest for a late lunch, that ‘juvie’ followed right behind her, squeeing the whole way. Jackie landed and spun instantly around to block the juvie from following her into the nest. The young one flew away…for the moment.

But it returned a couple minutes later, following right behind Shadow back to the nest tree. Shadow landed in the basement, just below the nest; the juvie landed in the attic, just above it.

Jackie stayed on the front edge of the nest, guarding her lunch and squealing loudly for the young visitor to leave. And Shadow backed her up from the basement with almost continuous chortling shouts…but still the juvie sat there, right above the nest.

Finally, Jackie moved her lunch to the nest bowl to try to eat. With lots more squealing, loud chortling and frequent wing-slaps, she kept up the pressure to get that young eagle to leave. But to no avail.

Suddenly, Jackie had had enough. With a couple of intense hops around the nest she decided to go on the offensive…

…Leaving the coot in the nest bowl, Jackie climbed quickly up the back limb to chase the juvie out of the attic.

And it worked! Jackie successfully drove the juvie off the upstairs limbs…but it only dropped down one floor and landed on the front porch of the nest…

Without a moment’s hesitation, that juvenile brazenly flew right through the nest, grabbed Jackie’s coot on the way by and escaped out the back door!

After guarding the nest for a while longer, Jackie flew from the attic and Shadow quickly followed her from the basement. Probably off to find some new lunch. An exciting day for everyone.

Some of you may be wondering, especially from all the loud squeeing, whether that juvenile might be our very loud Spirit from last nesting season. And yes, it might be her…or it might not. Since she is not tagged, we have no way of knowing. In either case, now that they are starting a new nesting season, Jackie and Shadow’s job is to keep this nest safe for any new arrivals that may be coming…and that means chasing away everyone, even previous chicks who might happen to drop by looking for a fast meal.

Whoever it is, that juvenile is quite brave and persistent and an excellent coot-napper. All of these traits mean it has a very good chance for survival. Before they get the fishing skills honed in, 1st year eagles scrounge and steal most of their food. This one is obviously an expert at that skill.

For anyone who is not aware of it, Friends of Big Bear Valley also has a Facebook private group, “Big Bear Bald Eagles – FOBBV Official Group, where you can post your own photos, videos and comments about Jackie and Shadow. You can find the group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/531281757566020 and ask to join.

Also, due to ongoing demand, Jackie and Shadow Plushies are back in stock on our website! https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/product/plush-eagles/ Just in time for the holidays.

Thank you to all of you for your continued love and support of our beautiful Big Bear bald eagle family!


November 29, 2022 - Determined Jackie

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie stopped by the nest both Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, looking determined to start moving things along on this nesting season business…she tested the nest bowl both times and brought a new stick bright and early this morning. Shadow seems to be holding out for a little more summer vacation even though it’s gotten cold. Doing his nest fly-by 2 days ago was all the work he could muster since their big visits on Tuesday and Wednesday.

And they apparently have a new favorite roost tree. By the sounds of their chortles, the new one is a little further from the nest tree than the one visible from the nest camera, but still close enough for their late afternoon and early morning check-ins on the nest.

Reminder—Today has been designated as ‘GIVING TUESDAY’ for focusing on donating to your favorite nonprofits. We’re hoping that we are one of your favorites, and would greatly appreciate donations of any size. We are funded completely by private donations, so every one of them helps us continue doing our educational and advocacy work for the beautiful and unique nature in our valley. And we love being able to bring you the “Jackie and Shadow” show!

Please donate on our website ( https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/donate/ ) to help us to continue feeding your love of nature.

Thank you very much for all of your support!!


November 26, 2022 - Celebration Time

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie dropped by the nest last night right before dusk to announce that the nest camera has been repaired and is back online! Even though her visit was short, she took time to lay down in the center of the nest bed, practicing up for incubation time.

On Thursday, Jackie very nicely demonstrated a beautiful fly-in and landing in front of the wide-angle camera. While she was there, again giving the nest bed some exercise, Shadow did a great nest fly-by. According to Jackie’s head movements, he apparently circled all the way around the nest. He must have been inviting her over to bed—she left from the back porch shortly after his fly-by and headed in the direction of the roost tree.

(Note--The nest camera was knocked out on November 8 by an intense wind, rain and snow storm. After lots of searching, diagnostics and online testing of the equipment links and camera signals, we pinpointed the issue to a bad cable connector. It lost its weatherproofing in the intensity of the storm, and became wet and corroded, which created a short circuit in that section of the cable. (The storm had wind gusts up to 80 mph and over 3 inches of driving rain, followed by snow.) Replacing that connector repaired the link and the camera came back online. The microphone on the wide-angle camera was also impacted by that intense rain even though it is in a weatherproof box—a new microphone, with lots more weather-proofing put that back in operation.)

You can find the livestream for the nest camera on our website homepage (https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/) and on our youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4-L2nfGcuE.)

Thank you very much to all of you for your patience and understanding while we tracked down and repaired the camera systems. And huge thank you to those of you who donated to make the repairs possible!


November 18, 2022 - Anatomy of an Eagle egg

Eagle Update Pictures

Unlike humans, Bald Eagles do not give birth and do not become pregnant. Just like any respectable bird, they lay eggs, incubate, and hatch them. A bird carrying an egg is called gravid.

Although Jackie and Shadow remain in the area year round and do not migrate, Jackie may lay her eggs only during a relatively short period of fertility. Egg production takes a lot of energy and it is very important to do it at just the right time, to ensure the highest chance of survival.

Besides egg production, eagles will need even more time to incubate and hatch eggs, then raise young to fledging and provide some support afterwards. Although our fledglings Stormy, Simba and Spirit became independent and left the natal area relatively early, sometimes eaglets may stay in the area until fall. That’s why eagle eggs are laid very early in the season. The exact timing is mainly driven by the amount of daylight the parent birds are exposed to (photoperiod). Eagles in southern latitudes are exposed to more sunlight and lay eggs earlier than their northern counterparts, Alaskan eagles. Our Jackie may lay eggs as early as the beginning of January.

Before egg-laying, Jackie and Shadow will spend several weeks preparing their nest and ensuring that the eggs will be fertilized. As the time nears, Jackie will be soliciting copulation from Shadow more often to ensure that he can transfer enough genetic material to her reproductive tract (oviduct) for sufficient fertilization. You know, those times when Jackie cannot get enough beaky kissing from Shadow and won’t leave him alone for a minute.

Jackie has been laying two-egg clutches in the past. Two eggs is fairly average for bald eagles, though there have been as many as 4 eggs in a clutch documented, and with all 4 eaglets successfully fledging. Since eagle eggs are laid about 3-5 days apart - for Jackie it has been 3 days apart, sometimes almost to the minute - and sperm can be stored in her oviduct for several weeks, one successful mating (if Shadow times it right) could be enough to fertilize the whole clutch.

Egg production is an internal process (so we won’t see any of it on camera), and eggs are created from the inside out. When Jackie becomes fertile, several ova (yolks) start growing in her ovary. Several days later, one of them will mature and start its solo journey down the oviduct, which takes about 48 hours in total. Rotating slowly while progressing down the oviduct, the egg will take its familiar shape: an oval 3 inches long and 2 inches wide, surrounded by a hard off-white eggshell.

• First, fertilization occurs with Shadow’s sperm cells that are stored in the glands.

• Then, two twisted membranous strips will connect the yolk to the ends of the future shell, naturally suspending the yolk.

• After that, the albumen will be secreted around the yolk in several layers. The albumen is a water and protein source for the embryo. It also cushions the embryo and deters infectious agents.

• Next, two non-living shell membranes are laid down to support shell formation. The shell membranes are composed of keratin-like fibers and pigment and act as a mechanical barrier to infection.

• And finally, shell, pigment, and cuticle are laid down to form the egg. The shell acts as physical protection and the first barrier to infection, as well as the primary source of calcium for the developing embryo.

And wallah! Like magic, Jackie will have an egg ready to lay. There are only a couple outward signs that Jackie may be close to laying an egg. Both Jackie and Shadow will develop a brood patch, a bare area on the abdomen aiding in heat transfer, but these are very hard to see. And Jackie will likely sit in the bowl for hours just prior to egg-laying, but her nest bowl testing period may last for weeks.

We can only guess on the date that Jackie may lay her first egg by trying to decipher her mood. Over the years we have learned that Jackie guards her secrets well. We usually only have an idea that she is about to lay when she spends most of a day sitting in the nest bowl (up to 6 hours in one day!) and being grouchy with Shadow if he comes to check on her. Smart Shadow has learned not to do too much checking during this time!

Now we will wait to see what happens and when.

To learn more about the Big Bear eagle history: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/eagles/eagle-history/

Bald Eagle Egg Production picture credit: Boswix


November 14, 2022 - We are working on it

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow are working on the nest…and we’re working on getting the nest camera repaired … again.

Jackie and Shadow have visited the nest almost daily since the big storm last Tuesday.

Bright and early this morning, Jackie made a quick stick drop off before heading out toward the lake.

Yesterday, Jackie dropped by mid-afternoon and stayed for almost 3 hours. Over an hour after Jackie arrived, Shadow dropped in to stay for a bit, then left for a couple minutes to bring back a stick. Jackie of course helped him find the proper location, but then some ravens flew too close to the nest…and within 30 seconds, Shadow headed out after them. He also apparently had work to do elsewhere for the afternoon and left Jackie to hold down the nest, which she did well. She laid in the nest bowl for over 20 minutes before heading out for the night.

. The latest intense wind and rain and snow storm last Tuesday took the nest camera down. It is still properly placed, but the link is not functioning. We have some options for getting it repaired that we are working on. We will keep you posted when we know more.

In the meantime, even though the camera in the nest is offline, you can watch the eagles on the wide angle camera—to find that livestream, go to our FOBBV home page https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/ or youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk_rwltHYpc

Thank you to all of you for your patience and crossed fingers for getting things back online soon!


November 6, 2022 - Caught Kissing Again

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have visited the nest every day for the past 3 days…bringing sticks…rearranging the furniture…and sneaking in a little kissy beaky. Jackie has also been testing out the nest bowl fit by laying down in it at least once a day. More story details after Jackie’s big announcement:

. Local Calendars!! Jackie has arranged for anyone in or near Big Bear to be able to purchase your Jackie and Shadow 2023 (including Spirit!) calendars at some local shops, so you don’t have to pay for shipping—you can buy them at Butcher’s Block (41860 Big Bear Blvd) or at Chirp Nature Center (578 Bonanza Trail). Thank you to these generous merchants for helping out our locals and FOBBV! (Our calendar supply was already running low, so we ordered a few more. You still have a chance to get one if you hurry—if you’re not local, you can get one on our website: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/.../2023-calendars/ )

. On Thursday evening Shadow, with his required stick in tow, popped into the nest first and Jackie followed soon after. They did a little more kissy kissy than nest work this time and then headed off to roost for the night. It appears they may have found another nearby roost tree in favor of their old standby…they can be heard near the nest but have not yet been located with the cam pans around the area.

. They are roosting somewhere nearby because Jackie was up early for a visit at dawn on Friday morning. They both arrived mid-day for nest work and each did a few stick deliveries. As usual, Shadow is more focused on bringing sticks than Jackie and he brought 4 to her 2—but Jackie, as it should be, did a good job of supervising Shadow’s stick placement to make sure it was all being arranged correctly. After Shadow left, Jackie sat on the front porch enjoying her penthouse view for a while before heading off to the lake for the afternoon.

. Saturday morning Shadow was the early bird with his stick delivery, but Jackie was there within a minute. He did 2 deliveries to her 1 again, but this time Jackie seemed to be in charge of the kissies to make sure they got handled before they both headed out for the day.

Thank you to all of you for caring about Jackie and Shadow and the nature that surrounds them!


November 3, 2022 - Back in Business

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow show off their newly repaired cam view…

…with some lovey kisses.

Thanks to several special people jumping in to make it happen within our very small time window, emergency repairs on the nest camera positioning were successfully handled on Saturday… while Jackie and Shadow took the day off from nest repairs and before this week’s storm rolled in…

Nate Melling, who has climbed and worked on our camera before, rearranged his very busy schedule to be able to travel to Fawnskin, rope climb the 150-foot nest tree, and do all the needed repair work to re-secure the camera and beautifully reposition the view. And Dr. Peter Sharpe, from the Institute of Wildlife Studies, arranged all the administrative logistics to make it possible for Nate to have the gear and support he needed to do the job, plus was able to remotely access the camera during the repair process for added backup. Big Thank you to Nate and Dr. Sharpe for these smooth and successful repair operations!

Also at the scene during the repairs, Mike Bode, Jim Applebury and Cali Condor provided ground support, tools and supplies availability, repair options brainstorming, plus camera view checks and guidance for Nate during the repositioning. Thank you to each and all of them!

While he was in the tree, Nate recleaned the camera dome (it can never be too clean!) and gave us a great opportunity to show just how big that nest is—wider and deeper than even our 6-foot plus climber.

Then on Sunday evening, as if it was all planned, Jackie and Shadow made a 30-minute nest visit to show everyone how perfect the new, realigned position is. (Their visit from the day before the repairs shows where we started for comparison.)

On Sunday both eagles brought sticks and did lots of kissy kissing. And Jackie did her first nest bowl tryout of the season, laying down to see how well it fit…that night, Fiona of course got in on the fun to show how well she can be seen now on her nest visits.

Midday today, Jackie and Shadow spent over an hour at the nest, bringing a few sticks and doing lots of stick arranging, apparently to batten down the hatches before the snow storm arrived. And Jackie gave the nest bowl a few more tryouts on the fit before heading out to take refuge from the storm.

Their chortling could be heard near the nest, but in a different roost tree than the one we can see from the nest camera…

…and the area had another visitor—a sub-adult, probably a 2021 hatchling from the markings—who decided to weather the storm by roosting in the area.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding as we worked to get the cam repaired and re-repaired in time for the season. Enjoy!


October 25, 2022 - A Different View

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow from a different view…

Over the past several days, Jackie and Shadow have visited the nest a few times and they seem to have made the ‘right before bedtime’ hour their favorite time for these visits. Each visit has been fairly short, just a quick drop-in to check on the homestead. And each one has the usual ‘getting back to work to prepare for nesting season’ activities--bringing a new stick or two, placing or rearranging the sticks to exactly the right location…"here," "no there," "no wait, how about over here"…and of course, a few wing nibbles, beaky kisses or tail bities. Then it’s off to roost, sometimes in the nearby roost tree, sometimes not.

Sunday night, Jackie and Shadow again visited the nest right before bedtime…and the camera’s wind-blown position (don’t worry, we’re working on ways to get the camera position repaired.) allowed them to show off a new side of themselves and their activities in the nest. Shadow arrived first, bringing a stick, of course. Within a minute, Jackie dropped in right beside him. During the several minutes of stick arranging and nest work, they managed to sneak in a couple of quicky nibble kisses, just because they could. Then as usual, it was off to bed before it got too dark.

Re: the camera position—even though it may seem like an easy fix because the camera is fine and only the positioning was loosened from the driving winds (55 mph—definitely intense)—the camera is mounted above a nest that is 145 feet above the ground and the tree has to be climbed only by pulling themselves up on ropes so there is no damage to the tree. (Most climbers use spurs that dig into the tree.) And since these guys are few in number, their schedules get very busy very quickly. We are working on possibilities to get this repaired before Jackie and Shadow dive full force into daily nest repairs. Fingers crossed, everyone!


October 22, 2022 - Camera Upgrade

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday, the Wide View camera was upgraded with a new model. This model has a more powerful zooming capability and better picture quality, which will help us zoom in closer and see what exactly is happening in the nest and what Jackie and Shadow are up to in surrounding perch trees.

When eaglets become large and mobile enough they start exploring the nest, jumping from one side to another with little to no effort. The Nest Camera is set to be as inconspicuous as possible. It moves very slowly to avoid any possible disturbance to the eagles and often cannot keep up with their antics. With the new Wide View Camera we will be able to track their activity in high resolution.

Huge thank you to Dr. Peter Sharpe from the Institute for Wildlife Studies who found time in his busy schedule to come over to Big Bear from Colorado to perform the upgrades. The nest is located on National Forest land, there is no internet or power directly accessible. Our camera system is 100% solar powered and autonomous, designed to sustain harsh mountaintop weather conditions.

The new Wide View Camera can be accessed at this link: https://youtu.be/Qk_rwltHYpc

Thank you all very much for continuing to support us! We are pleased to announce that the sought-after Jackie & Shadow plush eagles are back in our shop by popular demand: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/

October 15, 2022 - Pair Bonding

Eagle Update Pictures

Bond, pair bond...

Bald Eagle pairs reaffirm and strengthen their bond year around. For Jackie and Shadow, the period of nest selection and nest building usually begins in October-November. That’s when we get to see them near the nest more often and observe their acts of courtship.

Bonding behavior can be as subtle and nuanced as sitting together on a branch, vocalizing simultaneously, moving sticks together, and aerating in unison. More obvious signs of pair bond include shoulder bumping, tail nibbling and the critically acclaimed beaky kisses. Acts of courtship outside the nest also include elaborate aerial displays, soaring on thermals together and cartwheeling toward the ground with locked talons, separating just moments before the impact. The latter maneuver can also be done as part of territorial dispute between two males or two females. In nature, courtship displays and aggressive behavior sometimes mimic each other.

The egg-laying time in Big Bear Valley begins in January. Mating may be heard or observed several weeks before that. Jackie and Shadow used to mate on the Old Snag that fell during a winter wind event last year. They may choose any other tall tree for this purpose, possibly another snag (dead or partly dead tree).

All these activities create a strong pair bond lasting for years. Their attachment to each other is only rivaled by the loyalty to their territory. That’s why pairs that migrate out of their nesting territory (usually due to poor food supply or unfavorable weather conditions) come back year after year, even if they migrate separately.

Jackie’s previous mate Mr. B was replaced by Shadow in 2018. Since both males are not banded, we have no way to follow Mr. B’s further adventures. We do hope that he settled down somewhere not too far away. All the while, Jackie has forged a special and remarkable bond with Shadow that will hopefully last a lifetime.

To learn more about the Big Bear eagle history: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/eagles/eagle-history/


October 12, 2022 - Back to the usual fun

Eagle Update Pictures

Over the past few days, Jackie and Shadow have returned to many of their ‘normal’ behaviors that declare ‘nesting season has arrived.’

First, and of course most fun, is the flirting and teasing that Shadow uses to keep Jackie interested and off-guard at the same time. He likes to bite her tail feathers or wing feathers when she’s not looking. And she knows him well enough to suspect he might try that, so she kept snapping back to fend him off. But he played innocent and didn’t bite (probably even whistling as he looked around seemingly oblivious to why she would suspect him)…until…as soon as she stopped suspecting, he caught her off-guard and played his nibbling game on her wing.

Those neighborhood ravens have been visiting the nest off and on all summer, and they did that a few times this week. But now the nest owners are home from vacation and Shadow is on guard duty. First, he chased one raven around the area in front of the nest tree. Then, after showing that pesky intruder who owns this part of the forest, Shadow hopped into the nest to keep a sharp eye out for any more of their shenanigans. He stayed on high alert for over 30 minutes to make sure they didn’t try anything sneaky.

Yesterday, Jackie dropped in with a stick delivery…but, as she often likes to do, the ‘stick’ she brought was the size of a small tree with lots of little branches. It took her quite some time to find exactly the right place in the nest for that huge addition. She even had to break off several little branches to work on getting it to fit (or maybe it was to show off how amazingly strong her beak is!) She did finally find the right spot so she could rest easily with that task complete.

Both Jackie and Shadow made a short visit to the nest this evening to do some apparently much needed stick rearranging. Jackie headed out first, while Shadow finished a couple of stick repositionings that couldn’t wait. He soon followed her off the back porch, probably headed to the same roost spot for the night.

Thank you all for watching our favorite couple!


October 8, 2022 - Lots of Work to be Done

Eagle Update Pictures

“…but Saturday is break day.”

That seemed to be the discussion Shadow and Jackie were having this morning before dawn. He wanted to get more stick work done; she insisted on a break. Right after sunrise, Shadow pushed forward with 2 separate stick deliveries to the nest. But even his hard work didn’t convince Jackie to jump in. Instead, she apparently convinced him—and he gave up the work and flew off toward the lake before 7 am.

A break may well be in order--Jackie and Shadow were up early and adding sticks to the nest 3 out of the last 4 days—lots of sticks—counting today’s, it’s 54 sticks delivered in under 97 hours!

With all that hard work of course comes irresistible temptations for beaky kissy moments, and teasy bitey moments and even some nice pauses for close-ups. During one of Shadow’s close-ups, Jackie did a nice fly-over as he watched her drop into the nest with her next stick.

We hope they are enjoying their day off as you enjoy watching the photos of all the work they’ve done in the past few days.


October 5, 2022 - We are Home

After being out and about around the lake without visiting their nest for the past 2 months (except 1 short Shadow visit), Jackie and Shadow both showed up yesterday in style. They spent a few hours at the nest and brought in 25 sticks!!—a new record for the number delivered in one day! The long visit and stick delivery morning at the other perch tree a couple days ago was apparently just the ‘meeting at the bar for a hot date’ event to kick off their bonding before they jumped into the real thing.

Jackie and Shadow spent the night together on the nearby roost tree on Monday night and then headed over to the nest early Tuesday for a morning full of work. Shadow arrived at sunrise with the first stick and Jackie followed shortly after with her own contribution. They continued to hang around the nest together, each popping out and back in with new sticks, until late morning. And then for another half an hour in the mid-afternoon.

In all that togetherness and work on their nest, they managed to take a few beaky kissy breaks to reconfirm their choice to be together. Then they took a little break with only 1 of them was on the nearby roost tree last night.

It’s just the beginning of nesting season, so they likely won’t visit every day, but hopefully, we will start getting to see them more often.


October 3, 2022 - Expect the Unexpected

Eagle Update Pictures

Expect the Unexpected...

The new Wide (or should we say Wider?) View camera provided a unique opportunity to see off-season activities that we have never witnessed before.

Our eagles were very busy yesterday morning bringing sticks to a snag tree. Most fell, but some stuck around.

Stick delivering and nest building are part of the bonding process for the eagles. They usually pick tall trees with a great vantage point and a sturdy fork at the top, allowing easy entrance.

That’s likely why the species holds the Guinness World Record for the largest bird nest on the planet (the largest nest was measured 9 ½ feet wide and 20 feet deep). Some pairs build “practice” nests in their territories, some have up to 6 different nesting sites to choose from, some pairs are observed delivering sticks to several nesting sites on the same month.

Right now, we have more questions than answers. Only time will tell whether we are witnessing routine bonding activities or a beginning of an alternative nesting site. Since we have never been able to observe Jackie and Shadow’s off-season behavior before, there is no way to know how many sticks they bring and to how many trees.

The season is just beginning for our eagles: nestorations and nesting site selection process usually start in October-November, eggs are typically laid in January-March. Jackie and Shadow took a long vacation break after raising Spirit: they were last seen on the nest on July 22.

We will wait patiently in fascination to see what wonders the eagles will reveal in the future. Looks like it is going to be an interesting season!

September 29, 2022 - Camera Maintenence

Eagle Update Pictures

Shadow and Jackie and new camera upgrades…

. Last Friday on our way up to finish camera system maintenance, we caught a glimpse of Shadow hanging out on one of his favorite perch trees...after some quick snapshots, we left him to his morning privacy and preening. Shadow has been on the roost tree most nights and tonight Jackie and Shadow are there together. (Notice what a great view we have of them on the roost tree now with the new camera position!)

. So, together, they would like to announce the release of their new Jackie & Shadow 2023 calendar, featuring them and of course, Spirit. The calendars are now in the shop on our website: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/.../2023-calendars/

. As you have probably already seen from the sound-filled livestream, our maintenance work last week was successful. We had an amazing team, each with their own expertise and abilities, collaborating to make it all come together. Huge THANK YOU to: Giacomo Renzullo, Dr. Peter Sharpe, Jennifer Renzullo, Jim Applebury, Carl Picciolo, Cali Condor, Mike Bode, Cindy Bode and Mark Goodley. Here is a list of what we accomplished...

- Improved livestream transmission to internet by installing more powerful antennas at both the sending and the receiving sites

- Cleaned the nest of fishing lines and checked for any other dangerous debris

- Tested functionality and re-positioned the Nest Camera for a better view of the nest bowl and the Roost Tree

- Cleaned the nest camera dome from the season of splotches left by Jackie, Shadow and especially Spirit

- Replaced the nest microphone and tested various microphone locations/positions to get the best sound

- Moved the Wide View camera to a completely new location for a better view of the surrounding area and some of Jackie & Shadow’s favorite nest area perch trees (after testing a few new locations to see which worked best)

- Replaced the Wide View camera dome (the old one still had beak scratches from Simba biting on it in 2019!)

- Rewired and placed the Wide View microphone in a better location from the camera to pick up all the natural sounds of the area

- Improved the live stream quality with a variety of system updates and setting changes


This whole camera maintenance operation is much more specialized and complex than most people realize…so we thought you might like some of the details this time:

-First, the nest is located 145 feet high in a very “sappy” Jeffrey pine tree with lots of limbs to maneuver around in order to get to the nest. The tree is in rugged terrain only accessible by hiking and schlepping all the equipment in backpacks. Since bald eagles are a protected species, working in the nest requires a qualified biologist—who also happens to know and be able to install specialized cameras and electronics, not to mention be certified, capable and willing to climb that high into a tree, using only ropes so that the tree is not damaged. There are very few people who do this…

-Thankfully, we were able to find a qualified climber who could fit our maintenance into his busy schedule and we flew him in from Northern California--Giacomo Renzullo did an amazing job, including having to start off by restringing the climbing rope up into the tree—this not-so-small feat entails expertly using a crossbow to shoot the starting line over just the right limbs near the top of the tree. (The rope lines somehow keep getting broken between seasons -- we're suspecting that they might be tasty little treats to some of the small squirrely animals that live in the nest tree--western gray squirrels, Merriam chipmunks and the northern flying squirrels--but, of course, we’re sure that nest regulars, Fiona and Freddie (flying squirrels), would never do this since they would lose their cameo moments without the camera!)

Giacomo’s wife, Jennifer, was also able to accompany him to serve as ground assistant during the climbs.

-The job also requires someone on site who understands the whole design and operation of our system (a solar station powering the cameras, mics and all the devices running and integrating them, and receiving the video and audio to transfer via special antennas to the location where the signal gets sent to the internet--since the nest is on National Forest land, there is no electricity or internet directly accessible.)

-This complex part of the operations requires another wildlife biologist who is also a livestream camera and electronics expert to guide the operations from the ground, pre-connect and test each piece of equipment plus integrate the system, firmware, software and settings. Fortunately, a well-respected expert, Dr. Peter Sharpe, from the Institute of Wildlife Studies on Catalina, who originally designed and installed our system, agreed to drive in from Colorado to assist.

-With everyone here and all the potential equipment we might need on site and ready for installation, the microphone repair first entailed being in the tree and testing the equipment from the ground to determine whether the break was the microphone itself, the interface where it fed into the camera (which would include replacing the whole camera) or a break or lost connection in the 400+ foot power cable running from the solar equipment to the microphone.

-It turned out to be the microphone itself, and the microphone repairs (including multiple climbs up the nest tree) took most of the first 2 days.

-The next day and a half went toward moving the Wide View camera by uninstalling the camera, microphone and cables, preparing, connecting and restringing new, longer power cables, evaluating 4 potential new camera locations, climbing two of those to take videos of the views available, reinstalling the camera in the selected location, testing and rewiring the microphone in a different configuration for better sound receiving from the surrounding area, and integrating all of this into the current electronics and power system.

-Plus, the week before even starting these maintenance operations on the cameras and microphones, we focused on improving the livestream quality with the installation of new, more powerful radio antennas at both the nest site and the base site, where the video is livestreamed to the internet. Jim Applebury and Carl Picciolo did a great job of getting these installed and operational, including proper ‘aiming,’ since the two antennas—nearly a mile apart—must be pointing directly at each other to transmit and receive the signals.

….From seeing the bigger picture of all that goes into these repairs, maintenance and improvements to keep the livestreams operational, it might be easier to understand how this takes so much time, planning and expense (over $10,000). Thank you to all of you for your understanding and patience as we worked to get the nest cam microphone operational, along with all the other maintenance and system improvements.

We are very happy to bring these bald eagles and the beautiful nature around them into your homes, offices and classrooms.

(For those of you who remember Jackie & Shadow’s favorite snag tree that was visible from the nest camera and fell during a big storm in February---I included a photo showing where that tree fell—right in the direction of the nest tree but, with amazing luck, missing the nest tree by only 10 feet!)

Thank you all very much for your amazing and continued support!


September 21, 2022 - The 2023 Calendar is HERE!

Eagle Update Pictures

The 2023 Calendar is now available in our online store! We have also added a new and final Spirit limited edition t-shirt, the exciting 2021-2022 photo storybook of Spirit's journey, a first time children's book with activities for the littles ones to get involved and a Jackie & Shadow keychain. As always, thank you for your support! Check out the new items here: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/

September 19, 2022 - Refreshed...

Eagle Update Pictures

Behold Shadow in his fresh glory! Annual molt is coming to an end.

When Shadow visited his hard built nest several days ago we were once again amazed how polished and refreshed he looked. Gone were the worn, stained and frayed feathers he sported during the summer months, when nesting duties and ever so hungry Spirit required his undivided attention.

As was mentioned in one of the previous posts, annual molt for Bald Eagles concludes with the onset of winter conditions. Shadow will look his best for Jackie with the first snowfall. All feathers will be kept clean, crisp and well preened now that he has more time for self-maintenance.

Eagles have a very long breeding cycle, often taking over 6 months to fledge a chick. Reproductive activities are influenced to a great degree by the amount of daylight birds are exposed to, as well as food availability. Since Jackie and Shadow nest in southern latitudes where fish is available year around, they start earlier than northern eagles. Their nest building activity, often called nestorations, resumes in early to mid October, egg laying occurs in January - March.

September 15, 2022 - Finally a Visit!

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Hooray!! Finally, after 53 days...

Shadow visited the nest last night! And he brought a stick with him to show how serious he is about getting this messy nest back in order. He started rearranging, but apparently the big clean up was too much to dive very deeply into. After placing the stick he brought and moving a couple of others, he decided to settle for just having checked that all is well in the nest and left out the front door.

But he didn't go far. He spent the night cuddled with Jackie on the nearby roost tree. This morning they each did a quick flyby of the wide angle camera as they headed off toward the lake.

And tonight they are together again on that roost tree close to their nest.

We can all celebrate that nesting season is coming soon!


September 11, 2022 - Vacation Continues...

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow are still on vacation…

…but they’ve been making sure we continue to create new J & S merchandise (see below)

. Even though they haven’t stopped by the nest recently, both Jackie and Shadow have been around the area, making appearances here and there. Either one or both of them have been on the roost tree on several nights, often snuggling together on the same branch. And they’ve been doing fly-bys of the wide-angle camera and chortling back and forth to each other, especially in the early mornings and late afternoons. A local resident, Mike Marzell, got a couple shots of one of them on their favorite off-camera perch tree.

. In their absence, various visitors have been stopping by the nest. First, of course, is Fiona, who makes an appearance most nights…and she even seems to have a little garden as some grass is growing in the nest. Some other visitors are a western wood-peewee, a cooper’s hawk, a juvenile cooper’s hawk and of course, the ravens that often check in.

. In keeping an eye on things, our camera operator was able to catch some shots of the heli-tankers picking up water from the lake to carry to the fire. The Radford fire on the south side of Big Bear is now over 65% contained thanks to our great fire-fighters, with a little help from the lovely rains we’ve been receiving.

. And we have some exciting new merchandise in the shop on our website (https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/) – a new children’s book called “I am Spirit” (which is selling out fast but there will be more next week), this year’s photo book, capturing the special events of the Jackie, Shadow and Spirit, a new Spirit t-shirt, and a new Jackie & Shadow keychain. The 2023 calendars will be in next week, featuring Jackie, Shadow and Spirit. As always, sales from the merchandise goes to help us support the nest camera and Jackie and Shadow’s habitat.

Thank you to all of you for your support and for caring about Jackie and Shadow and their family.


August 26, 2022 - Rejuvenate...

Eagle Update Pictures

It’s time to rejuvenate, it’s time to molt!

Once all nesting activities are done and Spirit has flown the coop to embark on her solo Grand Journey, Jackie and Shadow can finally focus all their energy on self-maintenance. It’s time for us to talk about plumage and molt.

Bald Eagle plumage consists of over 7000 feathers that zip together in an elaborate pattern. This intricate overcoat makes them thoroughly equipped for cold climates. Feathers are built of keratin, just like our hair and nails. As capable as they are, they eventually deteriorate and weaken. That’s why all feathers eventually need to be shed and replaced.

Molt is a process that requires a lot of energy and a lot of time. It usually begins as soon as the breeding cycle starts winding down, while the chicks remain in the nest. Unlike Penguins and other birds undergoing a so-called catastrophic molt (molt involving simultaneous shedding of nearly all feathers), Bald Eagles molt in sequences. Symmetrical molting sequence (the same feathers are shed on each wing at the same time) allows them to retain the ability to fly and fend for themselves and their growing chicks.

Since molt is limited in time and must be completed with the onset of winter conditions, not all feathers can be replaced in one annual cycle. Southern birds tend to have longer summers and shorter winters; they can afford to replace more feathers than their northern counterparts. Sometimes older feathers, carried over from last year, can be easily spotted, as they tend to be worn and faded by the sun.

Tail feathers can be up to 14 inches long and may take over 2 months to grow in fully. That’s why eagles usually replace 4 out of 12 tail feathers at a time. Patchy tail adds to the overall ragged and tattered appearance of molting birds. You can spot the missing wing and tail feathers on our eagles in the pictures below.

Molting season for Jackie and Shadow will come to an end by the time they normally resume nestorations, around October – November. That’s when they come back to the nest with sticks and beak kisses, looking refreshed and rejuvenated as ever.

August 22, 2022 - Celebrations

Eagle Update Pictures

Thank you everyone for attending the Annual Outdoor Adventure Days hosted by Friends of Big Bear Valley and the Big Bear Ecotourism Coalition, in person and in Spirit.

It was a privilege to see you all! Thank you for your inquisitive questions, and for your continued passion for Jackie, Shadow, and the amazing natural surroundings of Big Bear Valley.

We will see you next year!


August 19, 2022 - Outdoor Adventure Days

Eagle Update Pictures

A little bit of eagles...a lot of eagle celebration!

(see exciting updates on the eagle party and nest viewing below).

. Jackie did a quick fly-by on cam2 after spending the night in the nearby roost tree a couple days ago. She and Shadow apparently needed a long rest after raising such a bright, dynamic (should we mention loud?) chick as Spirit. They are taking their time in getting back to the nest tree. In the meantime Fiona, the San Bernardino flying squirrel, and the neighborhood ravens have been visiting the nest regularly to keep everything in good order.

. Our annual Outdoor Adventure Days event is this weekend (see flyer), including a Jackie & Shadow Fan Party (another flyer). For those of you who might be coming up to celebrate our local eagles at the Fan Party, Mike at Lucky Bear Boat Charters has announced that he will be donating a few eagle boat tours on Sunday afternoon after the party to help support the eagles. There are limited spaces available for a little boat ride out onto the lake to look for bald eagles. You can sign up at the eagle party Sunday morning. Also, nest viewing of Jackie & Shadow's nest (and maybe Jackie or Shadow if they decide to pop in) through spotting scopes will be available all day Saturday and Sunday (9:30 - 3 both days). This viewing will be at Dana Point Park in Fawnskin, the same location as the Eagle Party (Sunday 10-12). You do not need to register for the party or the viewing, so just pop in whenever you like. If you have any questions, email us at fobbvinfo@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing lots of you there!


August 5, 2022 - Updates...

Eagle Update Pictures

Eagle updates…on Jackie and Shadow and on the proposed FS North Big Bear Landscape Restoration project.

. Even though Jackie and Shadow have not been visiting the nest this week, they do occasionally spend a night together in the roost tree, as they did a few days ago…it lets them both keep an eye on the nest and allow everyone to get a little glimpse of them during their summer vacation. For the past few days, they were most likely sheltering under some thick tree branches during the intense thunder and lightning storms. (One of those lightning strikes knocked out the nest cam microphone—cam 2 mic still works and we’re working on getting the main one fixed.) On the good side--the storms offered some gorgeous wide-angle views from cam 2.

. Re: Forest Service’s proposed “North Big Bear Landscape Restoration project”.

PROJECT: A major (13,000 acre) forest thinning project on the forest land along the entire north side of Big Bear Valley, which would authorize the use of prescribed fire, hand and mechanical thinning. It also would include constructing 41 miles of new hiking trails that would allow use of motorized e-bikes on hiking (normally non-motorized) trails. (see the photos below for a map of planned trail additions.) The project area includes Jackie and Shadow’s nest, roosting and foraging areas, as well as several areas of endangered plant and wildlife habitat.

UPDATE: Many of you submitted comments about this project last fall. (Thank you to all of you who did!) The Forest Service reviewed those (1000+) comments and has released the final Environmental Assessment, along with a draft decision to go forward with this project. The decision document erroneously concludes that this major project will have “no significant impact.”

. We wish we could say that all of our comments were heard and listened to in creating this final plan and decision, but sadly many were not. Their assessment still includes many obvious errors about bald eagles and other species, as well as shortcomings in their impact evaluations. For example, no impact assessment was done on what the introduction of e-bikes would have on the environment and habitats or on the impact of more people on the forest due to the addition of more trails. There are also many inconsistencies in the documents that make it especially difficult for the public to understand the real impacts. The magnitude of this major project really demands a more detailed Environmental Impact Study. You can review the current Environmental Assessment and Project Plans here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58467

July 24, 2022 - Two Eagles are Better Than One

Eagle Update Pictures

A little visit, a little kissy...

. Jackie and Shadow continue their bonding even during the summer break. They slept on the nearby roost tree on Thursday night. And on Friday evening, they visited the nest together to do a wee bit of mid-summer cleaning.

. Shadow arrived first with his usual stick delivery...you can never have too many sticks in the nest. After placing that one, he did a little cleaning up of other sticks around the nest -- no doubt there was a bit of a mess left from the party that 3 ravens (two adults and a juvenile) had in the nest a few days ago.

. Jackie soon joined Shadow, bringing her own stick. She moved a stick or two to her liking and of course did a little supervising to make sure Shadow was doing a good job. Apparently she approved...she gave him a bit of kissy kissy before heading out the back door.

. Shadow soon left out the front and they both spent the night on the nearby roost tree.


July 18, 2022 - Checking In...

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Just checking in...

Shadow took a 2nd turn this week and dropped by Friday evening to make sure no one was trying to lay claim to their penthouse suite. He brought a stick with him but only stayed a few minutes before heading out...and there was only one eagle on the nearby roost tree for the night.

Then yesterday, both Jackie and Shadow checked in on the nest. Jackie flew in first for a quick walk through before leaving out the back door. Shadow landed through the front as she was leaving, again bringing a nice little stick. After placing that stick properly, he focused on some more serious rearranging. When the work was completed to his satisfaction, he followed Jackie's lead out the back door. They spent the night cozied up together on the nearby roost tree and had lots to discuss in their morning chortles before heading out early for the day.

With no one at home most of the time, the nest has had lots of visitors...this time a red-shouldered hawk popped in for a quick look around.

But there must be a big sign on the nest tree saying 'giant eagles live here'...even with no one home, none of the visitors stay for very long. So, Jackie and Shadow can continue enjoying their restful summer.


July 14, 2022 - A Eagles Nest is Never Complete

Eagle Update Pictures

An Eagle’s Nest Is Never Complete…

Jackie and Shadow’s stick obsession is no doubt legendary, but it is also something that we may see in other bald eagle pairs. Bringing sticks and soft nesting materials (also known as “fluff”) to the nesting site is an integral part of the bonding process for the eagles. They keep adding new materials year after year, which sometimes results in truly colossal nests. The largest known bald eagle nest on record was over 9 feet wide and 20 feet deep! Our nest is more modest in comparison, only about 5 ½ feet wide and 6 feet deep, but there is so much work to do and so many sticks in the forest!

Jackie and Shadow tend to add between 600-800 sticks per year. Some of them go overboard much to the delight of the viewers, but most are arranged on the rims in an intricate pattern, adding about 6 – 12 inches to the nest depth every year.

It is not easy to determine the rightful place for each stick! The process may involve lots of beaky-kissy arguments, bumping, nipping and even vocal exchanges. Sticks may travel around the nest several times over until the perfect location is found.

The year 2022 was the “fluffiest” year on record. Almost 300 soft nesting materials were delivered to make the nest bowl safe and comfortable for our princess Spirit.

Soft nesting materials (grasses, reeds, pine needles) are usually placed in the center, also known as the nest bowl. You may sometimes see Jackie and Shadow biting deep into the fluff. Don’t worry, they remain carnivores at heart and are not about to change their eating habits! The eagles dig deep into the nesting material and flip them over to “aerate” their nest. It helps improve incubation effectiveness, introduce oxygen to the nest, release vapor and keep the nest bowl from compressing.

Jackie and Shadow tend to begin their annual nestoration project and courtship ritual around October. This is when they start visiting more often, adding up to 24 sticks per day! In the meantime, they may visit on occasion, maybe even bring in sticks or lunch. We will be patiently waiting for their return!

The picture below is a composite showing how our nest has changed over the years. The camera has been upgraded and moved several times; some lower branches are now buried under the sticks.

***To learn about Mr. B and other characters please read the history of the Big Bear Eagles here: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/eagles/eagle-history/

July 10, 2022 - Summer Vacation 2022

Eagle Update Pictures

Eagle summer vacation...

After a week of no visits, Shadow finally dropped in yesterday to bring a stick and check out the nest. Apparently he and Jackie have been on a much needed holiday to recover from the months of intense work in raising Spirit. They've even been roosting elsewhere--maybe in a hotel tree closer to the lake's beach.

After placing the new stick in its exact and proper location, Shadow scanned around the neighborhood, making sure all is in order, glided over to the nearby 'fledge tree' (used by Simba on his first flight), hung out there for an hour...and then headed back toward the lake. Apparently, relaxation time is still in progress.

While they've been gone, Jackie and Shadow apparently left the spare key under the door mat for the cleaning crew to enter. First, one of the local ravens came in and found the unhatched egg that was still buried under some of the sticks--the good news is that we now know there were no signs of development of a chick inside the egg. That means either that it was unfertilized or that development stopped early on. Without testing, there is no way to know any other details about what happened.

When he left, the raven left the empty egg shell in the nest...and it later got claimed and carried away by Fiona (or maybe it was Freddie), the northern flying squirrels that live in the same tree. As is common in nature's processes, all the parts of the undeveloped egg were recycled into good uses by other species.

During summer there may be several days between Jackie and Shadow visits to the nest as they take a break before nesting season begins again, usually in early October. In the meantime, the squirrels, chipmunks and other birds might be there doing nest cleanup and scrap salvaging operations. Enjoy the summer matinees...and as always, thank you for caring about nature.


July 4, 2022 - Happy 4th of July

Eagle Update Pictures

Happy 4th of July!

(please see update on 'North Big Bear Landscape Restoration Project' below)...

As Jackie and Shadow settle in, Spirit seems to be venturing out…

Jackie and Shadow have each made a few stops by the nest in the past few days, especially in the early mornings, to check that everything is good and to bring a stick or two. They are settling back into the routine of a nest without a hungry, squeeing teenager shouting and biting at their every move.

Spirit has not been back to the nest or spotted on the cams for over a week. She has apparently been seen near the shoreline with Jackie and Shadow. If she is not already, she will soon be off on

her own adventure into life away from the area. I'm sure we all send our very best wishes with her for a beautiful and long life.

It’s a good sign of Spirit’s independence that Jackie and Shadow spent nearly half an hour at the nest, hanging out together a couple days ago and again today.

On Saturday, Jackie came first with a big stick to help reestablish the nest as their ongoing home. She put a lot of effort into finding just the right location for it. Of course, when Shadow arrived, he went immediately to that stick first. Jackie apparently had not placed it quite correctly, so he finished the job and moved it precisely to its actual proper location. Jackie let him do that

without complaint…as we all know, Jackie is the boss of the nest, but Shadow gets the last word on stick arrangement.

After a while together, Jackie flew out the back door, leaving Shadow to a bit more stick arranging. When he seemed satisfied that everything was in place, he left out the front.

They’ve spent a few nights together on the roost tree near the nest, but last night were both off at some other favorite spot. And of course when the nest owners are away at night, Fiona and/or Freddie (the northern flying squirrels who live in the same tree) are happy to stop by and doing a little tidying up.

This morning Jackie and Shadow were back with 3 stick deliveries--2 from Shadow and 1 from Jackie. Shadow's first delivery was before the sun was even up--he landed with what seemed like a bowing ballet move as his stick caught on the back door...but he recovered quickly.

When he arrived a bit later, he watched in shock as Jackie landed right behind him and almost on top of him. But they sorted it out and helped each other arrange a couple of the larger sticks...and even got in a couple of little neck nips and beak kisses.

Update on the major (13,000 acre) “North Big Bear Landscape Restoration Project” that is planned by the Forest Service: Since everyone’s comments last fall, the revised plan was released on June 29 to give the public a 45 day project objection period. We highly recommend that everyone review this latest draft of the plan for themselves. Here is the link to find the analysis details: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58467. If you submitted comments before on this project, you have the right to object to this final decision on it, in case you find things you disagree with. If you did not previously comment, please review the documents anyway and send any comments you might have to us at fobbvinfo@gmail.com. We will be posting more information about this project soon. Thank you for getting involved!

And thank you to all of you for caring about Jackie, Shadow, Spirit and their environment!


June 28, 2022 - Happy...Sad Moments

Eagle Update Pictures

A Happy/Sad moment...

The little one is apparently all grown up...Jackie and Shadow's little Spirit is out exploring on her own. She hasn't been seen at the nest since last Thursday (June 23rd), or in the nest area by the cameras since Friday (June 24th) -- but no worries, this is normal for young eagles. After fledging (which Spirit did on May 31), they quickly develop their skills to fend for themselves and find their own food, they move further and further from the nest and into a broader area in the home territory. Mom and Dad will follow them to bring food and teach new skills by demonstration...so, no worries that Jackie and Shadow have not been to the nest for a couple of days. They are very likely out tracking down the squeeing to keep an eye on Spirit and bring her dinners to wherever she has ventured in the area. When she feels ready to find her own meals instead of having take-out delivery, she will probably leave the area to explore on her own out in the big world. (There is no need for search parties or tromping around the area, all of which would make it worse for Spirit, not better--Spirit's expansion away from the nest is all perfectly normal behavior and activities.) And Spirit has been demonstrating excellent eagle survival skills...

Spirit's last day in the nest, she had 2 food deliveries from the local mom & dad staff...one she picked up immediately with lots of toe-biting and the other she arrived early to answer the door when the delivery 'finally' arrived amidst much squeeing. Spirit squees constantly for mom and dad to get away from her food, then sometimes looks surprised when they leave (probably because their ear drums are starting to ache!) All day her excellent eagle skills were in tip-top form. And she even took a little time after each meal to relax on the front porch and watch the scenery. And then spent the night in the roost tree with one of her parents.

On Saturday, Jackie brought a fish and both Jackie and Shadow hung out in the nest for a while waiting for Spirit to come...but she was apparently busy out on her own adventures. So, they most likely are out following the squees and keeping an eye on her with a few 'drop ship' food deliveries to her current location.

Even though we can feel a little sad about not seeing Spirit at the nest, we can all celebrate that she is growing, expanding and adventuring! She is being an eagle, doing what eagles do.


June 22, 2022 - Flying Fish and Close Encounters

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday was a busy day for Spirit and her parents. Her 1st fish was delivered to the roost tree, and we thought we might get our first glimpse of Spirit eating out on a branch… but Spirit was so occupied in going after Jackie’s ankles, the fish got away and fell to the forest floor! Spirit was shocked, flew around to several branches, searching for the lost fish and yes, she had quite the hissy fit that lasted for some time.

Not to worry, Shadow came through delivering fish #2 to the nest, it's safer that way! It appeared this time Spirit may have tried to intercept the delivery mid-air but was unsuccessful. She sure is learning all the tools of the eagle trade.

Another afternoon snack flew in, yes fish #3, Spirit grabbed it up and in beautiful form, mantled it just as she should! Shadow has sure learned some fancy footwork, keeping his ankles safe from his perfectly aggressive daughter. We are sure he is proud of the progress his fierce and majestic eaglet is making.

* Spirit may attempt to hunt while she is still in the area, though will likely have poor results. Hunting skills take a lot of practice. Spirit will follow Jackie & Shadow around, watch and learn. She will learn to hunt by trial and error and rely mostly on scavenging and stealing from others for the first year while she perfects her flight and hunting skills.

June 11, 2022 - Family Dynamics

Eagle Update Pictures

Shadow came in with a fish, looked around waiting for Spirit to arrive… what is that we hear coming in? A screaming eagle, but wait, it’s Jackie, not Spirit! We know where Spirit gets that from. Shadow isn’t willing to give up his fish, a few words are exchanged and that is that… until Spirit arrives. You’ll notice that fish Shadow was keeping for himself was just relinquished for his eaglet. It was that simple, Jackie can fish for herself, Spirit can’t.

At the end of the day, they all gathered in one of their favorite roost trees. You can see Jackie & Shadow side by side near the trunk and Spirit fidgeting to the right.

Spirit isn’t a brat, spoiled, ungrateful or mean to her parents. Spirit is behaving exactly as Jackie & Shadow hopes she will. This is the bold, aggressive, and assertive eagle they raised from a little fluff ball. Spirit must be aggressive to survive on her own. The survival rate for eagles in their first year is about 70%, after the first year, the survival rate increases substantially. If she was hurting Jackie or Shadow when biting their ankles, they would react and stop her, instead they are patient with her.

Shadow is a great provider, no reason to feel sorry for him. He can and will stand up for himself if he wants to. He graciously brings in fish for Jackie while she is incubating, he has proven he will do the same to feed his chick(s) as well.

We have seen Shadow stand his ground over a fish and Shadow will win… when he wants to.

Spirit might attempt to hunt before she leaves the valley, but the odds are against success as she does not have the skills yet. She is completely dependent on Jackie & Shadow providing food for her. Spirit will follow Jackie & Shadow around, watch and learn. She will learn to hunt by trial and error and rely mostly on scavenging and stealing from others for the first year while she perfects her flight and hunting skills.

This is a link to a video of Shadow standing his ground and defending his prey. This is not how we like to see our two lovebirds, but it is a fact of bald eagle life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu9skj_YAwE

June 9, 2022 - USFS North Shore Proposed Project

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow’s nesting, roosting and foraging areas would be greatly impacted…

We have posted about this project before and many of you have submitted comments on the plan—Thank you to all of you who have already spread the word about it and sent in comments!! The news media has been doing some research about the project and here’s the update…

The San Bernardino National Forest is proposing to do major landscape clearing, including removing tens of thousands of trees over 13,000 acres, all across the north side of Big Bear Valley (from the dam to Baldwin Lake), which includes the bald eagle nesting area, as well as roosting and foraging sites.

The Los Angeles Times came to the valley to research it and just published this article…


While fire prevention is of course important, this environmental analysis done for the project has some major flaws in many areas, including in the plans made to supposedly lessen the impact to the bald eagles. Sadly, there are also many flaws in the overall plan regarding fire prevention itself. Under the guise of “thinning”, supposedly to stop wildfires and protect nearby homes, the vast majority of this clearing would occur in forest wildlands distant from homes.

This proposal not only effects Jackie, Shadow, their future eaglets, and their habitat, but all wildlife, plants, some of which are endangered, threatened and are found only in the Big Bear Valley and no where else in the world, not to mention the quiet solitude of nature itself on the north shore of the lake.

Apparently logging and e-bikes are a large part of the driving force behind the plan, yet this proposal is disguised as protection for the community. The proposal also includes adding 47 miles of new trails on the north shore and rerouting an existing trail to go directly through the eagle habitat very near Jackie & Shadow’s nest. This would allow hikers, bicycles, and e-bikes to pass by the nest. Yes, the habitat is closed to all during breeding season, but this nest is active year-round with visits from Jackie & Shadow. They also frequently roost in close proximity to the nest even during the off season. That, and the plans to do mechanical cutting and prescribed burns in that area right up to January, would have severe impact on our treasured nesting bald eagles and would likely drive them out of the area. For this project to be done, it needs to be done with proper negative impact evaluation and proven mitigations to reduce those impacts as much as possible. This has not been done with the project plan as it currently stands.

We will keep you posted as we get new information about this project.

Thank you for caring about Jackie, Shadow and Spirit and their habitat!


June 6, 2022 - Spirits Adventures

Eagle Update Pictures

Spirit had an adventurous day as always… She started off this morning with a Steller’s Jay harassing her, and like with Fiona, she watched it, followed it, and seemed ok with it until it started dive bombing her, then she had enough. It is very common for smaller birds to harass raptors. Raptors are a danger to them, their nest, eggs, and chicks. We believe there may be a Jay’s nest in one of Spirit’s perch trees we see on the wide view cam (cam 2), they have been harassing her there and probably followed her to the nest tree.

Jackie came in with a fish for dinner and guess who was hot on her tail, squeeing, mine… mine… mine… all the way to the nest, perfect landing though! Spirit claimed her dinner self-fed for quite some time and then joined mom out on the front porch…. But wait, Jackie sees leftovers and can’t let anything go to waste. She does a graceful hop over Spirit and digs in. Spirit must have had a full crop; not sure we have ever seen her so quiet while mom or dad was eating! She then let out some sweet little chirps and Jackie jumped right in to feed her little eaglet. They both moved out to the front porch, looked over the valley, dozed off a bit before Jackie headed out for the night. Less than 10 minutes later Spirit left the nest, we found her in one of the favored roost trees (at the top of the screen) we believe that is Jackie perched below her.

A bittersweet moment as this is the first time since January 22nd, we have had an empty nest overnight… Good for Spirit, she is all grown up…

June 1, 2022 - Flight Lessons

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Today Spirit was out and about, exploring, perching, and chasing her parents to the nest when they had a fish! Our CamOps did a wonderful job following and finding her when she was in view.

She seemed to miss her intended mark (or maybe she didn’t) several times but recovered nicely and figured her way into the nest when she saw those fish. She found Jackie & Shadow’s favorite roost tree, hung out above and below the nest… She had breakfish, a late lunch and more fish for dinner... and it looks like she just might spend the night with us again!

May 31, 2022 - Spirit is Back

Eagle Update Pictures

No, we really didn't expect to see Spirit return to the nest so quickly, but here she is! Spirit is an overachiever and her motivation? A fish, courtesy of Shadow... 

May 31, 2022 - Spirit Has Left The Nest

Eagle Update Pictures

Spirit took her first flight this morning at 5:49:52! She started out like every other morning, stretching and flapping her wings and this time... she just let go and flew in perfect form!

She will likely come back to the nest soon, it could be today, it could be a couple of days, we will have to wait and see.

Congratulations Spirit! Congratulations to Jackie & Shadow for raising the perfect eaglet!

May 24, 2022 - I Wanna Soar

Eagle Update Pictures

Spirit is determined to get in all of those practice hours she needs for her first flight and today she did great! She was out there on the front porch balcony, talons hovering off the branch even if only for a second. Way to go Spirit!

After her first flight from the nest, Spirit is very likely to come back to eat, sleep or just visit us from time to time for another month or two. During that time, she will follow Jackie & Shadow around, watch and learn from their behaviors before she leaves on her great adventure. Jackie & Shadow will continue to provide Spirit with food wherever her talons may land.

Once Spirit does leave, both cameras will continue to live stream 24/7 all year unless we are doing maintenance. Jackie & Shadow do visit the nest on occasion throughout the summer and we have other birds and mammals visit when the eagles are away on vacation.

May 24, 2022 - Thank You For Your Support

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Jackie, Shadow, Spirit, and Friends of Big Bear Valley appreciate you! Due to an amazing show of support, we are requesting that no more emails/letters be sent to the Senators. Thank you very much for your support!

May 22, 2022 - Uncharted Territory

Eagle Update Pictures

Spirit has been contemplating the front porch for a few days and this morning took the small leap of faith! Another obstacle conquered and she seemed pleased with herself. Interesting fact, Spirit is 79 days old, her brother Simba also conquered the front porch at 79 days old in 2019!

After that first leap, the morning became quite eventful! A bit later when Jackie arrived with a fish, I’m sure a few hearts skipped a beat when Spirit fluttered on the limb but gracefully recovered and jumped back to the nest to claim her lunch.

With a full crop, Spirit ventured back out to the front porch and to our surprise climbed up to the balcony! Another fun fact, Simba didn’t attempt the balcony until 89 days! Soon after, Shadow came in with a stick addition for the nest, then decided to have a bit of lunch himself… That didn’t seem to bother Spirit, she was having too much fun flapping on the balcony. Spirit soon decided to join dad for lunch, and he was more than happy to share.

The front porch and balcony will likely become Spirit’s new favorite perch. There is more stability in the limbs and more free space to stretch and exercise her wings.

The only downside to this? Jackie and Shadow just lost their only escape in the nest tree!

May 21, 2022 - Spirit in Charge

Eagle Update Pictures

Everything is coming along as expected with Spirit on her development and learning. Jackie and Shadow are doing a flawless job of raising their chick. 

If you watch the live cam regularly, you might have noticed Spirit is showing territorial type behavior regarding the remaining egg, nest, sticks, back porch and of course fish brought to the nest. This dominant behavior is another indicator of Spirit being a female. Spirit seems to think this is HER nest now and when she is acting cranky, Jackie & Shadow give her space!

Jackie & Shadow are providing plenty of food for Spirit, though now that her growth has slowed, she does not require as many feedings. For the most part Spirit is now self-feeding, the parents often drop off the food and get out of her way! 

Jackie & Shadow have been spending more time in the tree to the right of the screen on the wide view camera (picture attached). We believe this might be their way to show Spirit where she should fly to when she does fledge. It is a close and easy flight from the nest. Jackie & Shadow will likely be nearby by when Spirit does take her first flight, they will find her by her vocals or by sight and might even join her in the perch tree. 

May 16, 2022 - Out on a limb

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This evening when Spirit escaped the nest, we went looking for her. She was out back, on a thin limb… further than she has ever been, out beyond the edge of the nest. She looked comfortable, stable, confident, and majestic! Way to go Spirit, it won’t be long now…

Spirit will remain dark brown/brown for the first year. In the 2nd year through the 5th year, her tail and head will slowly change with each molt, adding white as time goes on. The same is true for the eyes and beak, they will gradually turn yellow over the same time period. Bald eagles reach maturity at 4 1/2 to 5 years of age and that is when she will have her signature colors.

May 12, 2022 - Fledge Watch

Eagle Update Pictures

Spirit is now 10 weeks old, and we are officially on fledge watch. Fledging (the first flight) generally takes place between 10 and 14 weeks.

How will that first flight go? She will likely start venturing out to the outer tree branches, practicing her wing flapping and balance and one day… she will take the leap and fly. Jackie & Shadow have been perching on a tree not far from the nest and we believe they may be doing this to show her where to go on that first flight. This is the tree Spirit’s brother Simba fledged to, you can see it on the right side of the wide view camera.

Once Spirit does take flight, she will follow Jackie and Shadow around, watch and learn from their behaviors. Jackie & Shadow will continue to provide her with food, sometimes in the nest and sometimes in other perch trees. Spirit may come back to the nest to sleep, eat, or perch, or there may be days that we do not see her at all. Spirit will stay in the area for a month or two and then she will head out on her life’s adventure exploring, learning, and perfecting her eagle skills. She may travel hundreds or even thousands of miles away on her adventures.

Eagles are nomadic for the first 4-5 years of their life until they reach maturity, at that time Spirit may return to Southern California, settle down, find a mate, and build a nest.

May 8, 2022 - Pretty in Pink

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The only definitive way to determine Spirit’s gender is blood tests and measurements. There are however other indicators that can help us come to an educated guess of male or female. Though Spirit’s skeletal growth has completed, she will continue to gain weight and her feathers will also continue to grow and fill in, even after taking her first flight.

Spirit is as large and maybe a bit larger than Shadow at this time and we have noticed she has broader shoulders and thicker ankles. Another indicator we have been monitoring is Spirit’s vocals with a sonogram that measures pitch. Spirit has developed deep vocals, much deeper than Simba’s (Jackie and Shadow’s 2019 male eaglet) and closer to Jackie’s vocals. Females are larger than males and so are their voice boxes (Syrinx), which results in deeper lower-pitched vocalizations. Based on this information, we believe Spirit is a female! 

Happy Mother’s Day to Jackie, and all the moms out there! 

If you would like to be more involved in an interactive Facebook group, we have a private group we would like to invite you to join. This is a busy group where you can post your eagle screenshots, thoughts, pictures you have taken in the Big Bear area and interact with others. We have a daily Q & A post to answer any questions you may have. Just answer one simple question and request to join. Hope to see you there!


May 2, 2022 - Going Through Changes

Eagle Update Pictures

Spirit is now 8 weeks old, weighs about 7-12 pounds (over 90% of full weight). Spirit continues to develop feathers on flanks, legs, as well as flight feathers on wings and tail, while upper body feathers are visibly complete.

Flight feathers are the longest wing and tail feathers (up to 22 inches) that provide lift and maneuverability in flight. Most eaglets fledge around 10-14 weeks of age, when their flight feathers are not fully grown yet.

It will take several more weeks for blood in the feather shafts to fully recede. This is when flight feathers are considered complete or “hard penned”. Until then, flight and maneuverability might be somewhat impaired. It is not uncommon for the first few attempts to be very short and awkward. We expect Spirit to land somewhere in a nearby tree. If we are lucky, we may even be able to track the first flight from the Wide View camera.

Over the next few weeks, we can see more vigorous flapping with higher jumps and even hovers, more sleeping on the nest rails in an upright position, just like Jackie and Shadow.

Spirit may start branching: jumping or stepping on tree branches outside the nest. Eventually, s/he may join Jackie on her favorite Front Porch branch and sleep side-by-side with her.

All the above are very important steps in neurological and behavioral development. We still have several more weeks with Spirit and will savor every minute of it.

After fledging, Spirit should stay in the territory for a few more weeks, gaining more independence, while still following Jackie & Shadow around. Juvenile eagles leave the natal territory and disperse by fall. Driven by wanderlust, they enter a period of Great Exploration, which will last until they are ready to settle down and start a family of their own by about 4-5 years of age. This is also when they get their signature white heads and tails.

May 1, 2022 - Family Discussion

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Family discussions...well, sort of...

Spirit is very vocal...kind of like Jackie. When Jackie or Shadow are in the nest, Spirit is usually chirpling or twittering or sometimes loudly announcing that there are no snacks left in the cupboard. A couple days ago he/she got so serious about this complaint that when Jackie arrived with no food...again, he grabbed her foot and would not let go! With amazing patience, Jackie extracted her foot without comment...and it sure looked like Spirit apologized right afterward.

But the real discussions get started when Shadow brings lunch...or dinner...or snacks. Jackie and Spirit both start announcing that the food is here and that the food is 'mine'. If Shadow starts to feed Spirit, Jackie often steps in and announces that she will do it...

...Shadow just quietly accepts their pronouncements and leaves out the front door. But when Jackie brought food, he had a little of his own to say with some long chortling in the middle of their loud ongoing conversation. Sometimes apparently the patience runs out and he has to voice his opinion.

Once in a while Shadow brings food when Jackie isn't there, and tenderly gets to feed his giant baby. Spirit seems to like those moments and had a sweet look up at Daddy when they finished.

Even with all the noisy family gatherings, Spirit has some quiet time and a few tender moments with Jackie...in between the intense wingersizing and numerous naps...Just like any ol' normal family.


April 26, 2022 - Growing Up

Eagle Update Pictures

Little Spirit Victories and New Spirit shirts!

Over the past couple days, little Spirit--who is rapidly becoming giant Spirit--has met and conquered a few more 'learning to be an eagle' challenges. And of course Jackie and Shadow have been watching proudly, assisting when needed and holding back when not...almost like they know exactly how and when to encourage Spirit to figure things out.

Spirit had quite a conundrum in an early morning when he (or she) had what seemed to be an itch in the beak while standing up. First, he tried lowering the beak to the foot...no, that wouldn't reach. Then the trick was to raise the foot, slowly, carefully, to keep from falling over while balancing on the other foot. First, he only got the foot just off the ground, then part way, then halfway, then he made it all the way and quickly scratched that itch. Hooray! Spirit celebrated with some excited wing flaps.

Spirit has bit by bit been learning to eat without being fed...sort of. At least he can grab the big fish from dad, but when he can't get bites off, he goes into begging dad to please feed him. Mom and dad both have been giving Spirit more time to figure it out before they will resort to feeding him, but eventually they do if he needs it...and sometimes there is a whole family discussion with Jackie and Spirit both telling Shadow that the fish is theirs. By the end of the day, Spirit got the eating figured out and looked quite proud about it.

Some of the other talents Spirit is perfecting include wingersizing, and especially doing it without tipping over, plus begging when Dad or Mom don't bring food with them, so they go back out and bring back lunch...and it worked. Shadow left and came back with a fish...

...All in the day of being a curious, enthused eagle chick.

For any of you who love watching Spirit as much as we do, we just added some new Spirit-focused t-shirt designs (photos below) that you can find on our website at--https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/product/eagle-store/

Thank you all for your amazing support!


April 17, 2022 - Lessons Learned

Eagle Update Pictures

Over the last week Spirit has been a busy eaglet learning and experiencing new things! First, we can all see s/he is getting bigger, feathers are filling in and sprouting out everywhere. Spirit also cast his/her first pellet. A pellet is a compact bundle of indigestible materials that eagles eat such as fur, feathers, or nesting materials.

Spirit has been able to hold his/her prey down with its talons and tear bits off for self-feeding. He/she also squee’d at a raven flying by!

Today, Spirit sported a heraldic pose, which is holding its wings out to the side. In the attached picture you can see Jackie is also doing this out on the front porch. For the most part this is done to release heat and cool off. This behavior is also hygienic as it helps to eliminate bugs or mites that may be in the eagle’s feathers.

Another first for Spirit today, he/she stole a fish from Shadow…yep, took it right out of his mouth. This was a tiny fish, perfect for Spirit to start on. It is likely Shadow held the fish out purposely, as this is all part of the learning process for Spirit.

Yet another first tonight, Jackie is sleeping out on the front porch, and this is Spirit’s first night in the nest alone. Bald eagles prefer to sleep standing up. They have a special mechanism in their feet that locks their foot on the branch, so they do not have to worry about falling. Soon we will likely see Spirit join her out on the porch!

Spirit has been perching on sticks on the edge of the nest more often and has gained coordination.

Spirit will take his/her first flight at 10 to 14 weeks but will remain in the area for another month or so. During this time, it is likely Spirit will continue to visit the nest to eat, maybe sleep or just hang out. Jackie & Shadow will continue to prove food during this time.

April 15, 2022 - Progress for Spirit

Eagle Update Pictures

Where did the time go?

Spirit is now 6 weeks old and weighs about 7-9 pounds. Growth spurt is behind us, and weight gain will be easing up in the coming weeks. All energy can now be allocated to feather growth, muscle and neurological development.

Spirit has already started sprouting contour feathers all over its body. Feathers on the back (mantle) are mostly complete. Even small feathers on the belly and legs started to emerge – they are usually the last to develop. Spirit’s body should be mostly feathered by 8 weeks. Those feathers will help repel moisture and keep cold at bay. Wing and tail flight feathers will get longer, and Spirit’s mobility will increase.

We may notice more wing flapping, jumps and hops, playing with nesting materials, learning to hold prey with talons and tearing larger pieces off. These behaviors will become more pronounced and will facilitate behavioral development.

Bald eagle chicks typically fledge at 10-14 weeks. We have a long way to go! After fledging, Spirit will likely spend several more weeks in the natal territory. Jackie and Shadow will be taking care of him/her and bringing food. Talons crossed, they will be bringing it to the nest tree, where we have cameras installed!

By fall, Spirit will depart on his/her Great Journey. Immature Bald Eagles are nomadic in nature and may travel thousands of miles away from the natal territory. SoCal fledglings have been spotted as far North as British Columbia, as far East as Yellowstone, as far South as Baja California.

We are not ready to even think about saying goodbye yet and will enjoy every day with Spirit, Jackie and Shadow!

April 8, 2022 - Wingersizing

Eagle Update Pictures

Spirit is now 5 weeks old and growing by the day! Its flight and contour feathers are coming in nicely, s/he is picking at the fish more often and preparing to feed itself soon. This morning Spirit showed us its wingspan and boy it is impressive! Spirit practiced flapping (wingersizing) to strengthen those mighty wings for its first flight. The first flight is generally between 10 and 14 weeks. Spirit will continue to visit the nest, possibly eat and sleep at home. Jackie & Shadow will be providing Spirit food for a month or two. After that, Spirit will take off on its great adventure to explore new areas, learn and perfect its hunting skills.

April 6, 2022 - Spirit

Eagle Update Pictures

The vote is in!

With 2641 entries and a total of 9963 names submitted, our eaglet has its forever name!

Say hello to Spirit… submitted by Patti G, congratulations Patti!

2nd place: Lil’ Dipper

3rd place: Hunter

The list of 35 randomly drawn names as well as our prize winners are pictured on our public Facebook page.

If you are one of the 34 runner ups or prize winners, you will receive an email from FOBBV within the next few days.

Thank you so much for all of the awesome names you submitted and for your continued support and love for Jackie, Shadow, Spirit and of course all of the others that have called this nest home, Stormy, Simba, Mr. B and those that left us too soon, Big Bear Baby (BBB) and Cookie.

March 31, 2022 - Growth

Eagle Update Pictures

Our Chick is now 4 weeks old and weighs about 5 - 7 pounds (males are smaller than females). The only true way to know the gender is by measurements taken during banding or blood tests. As far as we know, banding will not happen this year, so we may never know.

The chick has a thick coat of dark thermal down, which allows it to thermoregulate and stay warm even in sub-freezing temperatures. This down is not waterproof yet, that’s why Jackie and Shadow will continue to protect their chick during inclement weather to keep it dry and warm.

Several tracts of body feathers (back, shoulders, nape, head) and all flight feathers are now distinct. Flight feathers are the longest feathers on the wings and tail that provide lift and maneuverability in flight. You can see them wrapped in white-blue tube-like keratin sheaths. The chick will gradually preen off the sheath from the maturing feather tips.

What else to expect in the coming weeks?

Energy demand will peak around day 30-35, then weight gain will be slowing down, and it will be all about feathers.

Contour body feathers will be gradually emerging, and the chick will become mostly feathered by about 8 weeks.

Flight feathers will take much longer to develop. Eaglets typically fledge when their flight feathers are not yet fully grown. There is still blood in the shafts and the flight feathers are not considered "hard penned". Their flight will remain somewhat impaired for a few more weeks, while they hard pen all their flight feathers.

Over the next few weeks, the chick will become more mobile and interested in its surroundings. It will walk on toes with more confidence, perch on sticks in the nest and grasp nesting materials with talons. The SQUEES (signature food begging calls) will become louder and more persistent.

Our chick has been a cautious explorer so far and had not ventured too far out. However, it may start to perch on the rim of the nest soon. Nervous times for us, aunties and uncles! Exciting times for the chick!

March 30, 2022 - Milestones

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In addition to having the most entertaining eagles and the most adorable eaglet… Friends of Big Bear Valley has the most awesome viewers! We hit a huge milestone this week with 301,498 incredible followers to our Facebook page!!

Thank you to each and every one of you for being part of this FOBBV eagle family, for your comments and questions, for your support and donations, and for sharing us with your friends, family, and students! Without you, we couldn’t do what we do… to protect and preserve the Big Bear valley for the wildlife, for the plant life, both with endangered and rare species and of course to keep Jackie, Shadow and the little one coming to you live 24/7!

Yesterday we woke up to a nest full of snow, our little one all dry and mighty and Jackie & Shadow doing what they do best, parenting.

With the sunshine and warm temps, it didn’t take long for the snow to melt and eagle life was back to normal.

Some great mom and pop closeups with their little eaglet, enjoy!

March 23, 2022 - Naming Contest Extended

Eagle Update Pictures

At Jackie and Shadow’s insistence, we are extending the chick naming contest for 2 full days – they (especially Shadow) want to make certain that their precious baby has just the right beautiful name to carry through life. So, if you find more inspiration, you now have until Sunday, March 27 at midnight (pacific time) to get those brilliant names submitted.

After that closing time, we will be confirming all the entries with their matching payments. Due to a system hiccup, there were a few entries that did not get captured even though payments were made—if that happened with your entry, you will have received an email about it from us, so please check your email right away and if you received one, please get us your entries by midnight Saturday (March 26) so they can be added to the list. (Anyone we do not hear from to get your entries properly submitted will be refunded their entry fee – because of course Jackie and Shadow, as well as Friends of Big Bear Valley, live in full integrity.) if you did not receive an email, it means your entry was properly submitted.

Then comes the big drawing of 35 lucky name suggestions that will be sent to the Big Bear Lake 3rd grade classrooms for a vote. The schools will be on spring break until April 4 and the kids will be voting when they return—we will be announcing the name after we receive all the votes, probably within a day or two from their return.  To enter the contest, click here: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/mmbr/mmbr-eaglet-contest.php?page=new

March 20, 2022 - Eaglet Growth

Eagle Update Pictures

Our chick is now 16 days old and weights over 2 pounds. The comparison chart below shows how it has changed. Hard to believe that it emerged from that tiny egg just two weeks ago! The chick developed dark gray thermal down, which allows it to thermoregulate on its own. It will still seek warmth and security provided by Jackie and Shadow. However, you may see it crawl out from under the parents and explore its surroundings more. Jackie and Shadow may even start leaving it alone for extended periods of time. Don’t worry, our very protective parents have several perch trees in the area.

What else to expect in the coming weeks?

The chick will continue to grow and will enter the rapid growth stage by about 3 weeks, which will last to about 6 weeks. During that stage, it may gain up to 150grams per day if it is a female. It will be scooting around on its haunches and maybe even standing up for short periods of time. The feet will continue to outpace everything else and will turn into real “Clown Feet”. Cere and feet will be slowly turning yellow. Dark contour feathers will begin to emerge in earnest: wing and tail flight feathers are typically the first to emerge, followed by head and back feathers etc. Belly feathers are the last group to emerge.

Post courtesy of Cali Condor, Chat Manager

March 15, 2022 - Family Of Three

Eagle Update Pictures

It was a nice quiet day for the eagles, warm and sunny. Mom and dad are standing and letting our little one experience its surroundings. Today Shadow brought in 4 fish and Jackie brought 1, more than enough for a family of 3!

Our eaglet is now 12 days old and growing fast. You can see compared to the egg how much it has grown. Another glimpse of those huge feet and those will keep growing too.

Jackie, Shadow, and baby all took the time to let us get some family portrait pictures today, not an easy task since one of them usually doesn’t cooperate.

The fundraiser naming contest is open until March 25th, enter those creative names on our website here: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/.../mmbr-eaglet...

We also have a new Jackie & Shadow shirt in the shop at: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/product/eagle-store/

More items to be added soon.

The remaining egg is 48+ days now and will not hatch at this point. The egg will likely get buried in fluff, break down and become part of the nest.

Thank you so much for your support and being a part of this eagle family!

March 9, 2022 - Eaglet Naming Contest

Eagle Update Pictures

The Eaglet Naming Contest fundraiser is open! Since we do not know the gender of our adorable chick, non-gender specific names will work great. To submit names, click on the fundraiser link at the bottom of this post.

35 names will be randomly drawn from ALL entries received, those 35 names will be given to the local 3rd grade students to vote on. The name with the most votes will be the eaglet's new name. The person who submitted that name is the grand prize winner.

All entries received will be entered into a 2nd drawing for the 2nd prize through 7th prize.

Remember, the local 3rd grade classrooms will have the final vote... think like a 3rd grader! The fundraiser will end March 25th, so get those names ready.

For full contest details, prizes and to enter your names, click here:


March 7, 2022 - Big Appetites

Eagle Update Pictures

Another beautiful sunny day at the nest…

Shadow showed up bright and early this morning at 5:51, apparently the early bird gets the fish… well the chick did anyway. Dad took the first feeding shift of the day. The chick had 9 feedings in total! Shadow brought in 2 more fish… that is 9 fish and 1 coot in 5 days. If Shadow keeps it up, they are going to have to stock the lake real soon! 

Jackie kept busy as she handled 8 of the 9 feedings while Shadow was out protecting his family from ravens, eagles and whatever else that dared to come too close. They both spent time together, and even shared a meal (kind of) while the little nugget was saying, what about me???

We have not seen any signs of hatching from the remaining egg. The egg is now 41+ days old and at a point longer than any known hatching time for the 2nd egg. Nature is in control, and we cannot predict it’s outcome, so we will continue to observe and let nature do its thing. 

If it is not meant to be, it is likely the egg will eventually break down and become part of the nest. 

We do have a family of 3 and that *is* reason to celebrate!

*The details on the donation-based naming contest will be announced soon, stay tuned!

March 5, 2022 - Proud Parents

Eagle Update Pictures

This morning Shadow had his first solo feeding session with his new chick, and he did great! We didn’t expect anything less. He also brought in another nice sized catfish which mom and baby do appreciate, the pantry is nicely stocked.

Shadow didn’t get in much nest time today, well you know, according to Jackie she does the bad weather nest duty best… though we all know Shadow is more than capable!

The chick is eating well, larger bites and less faceplants… It is learning so fast, it must be an eagle chick genius and cute as a button too…yes, we are a bit biased. The snow kept coming, the winds kept blowing, but you can see how nice and dry Jackie kept the nest bowl, and the chick and egg warm and toasty.

Shadow returned late in the evening, just as Jackie was ready to do one more feeding before bedtime, but first she had to find the fish under all that snow! That didn’t take long, she knew right where she left it and went to work feeding the chick as Shadow watched… but soon Shadow saw and opening and slipped right in to get his daddy time. So what did Jackie do, she tried to feed Shadow! When Jackie took off, Shadow thought he had it made, YES! I get to spend the night at the nest… not so fast Shadow, Jackie returned in only one minute…

We have not seen a pip on the remaining egg, though with all the snow we did not have a good view this afternoon… for now we wait, we watch and let nature do it’s thing.

For us, the eagles look miserable in all that snow… no worries, they are more than equipped to stay warm and comfy. Remember they have 7000 feathers, different types, including down next to their skin. All of those feathers keep the cold and wet out and the heat in.

The storm looks like it has passed, and sunshine and warmer temps are on the way!

March 3, 2022 - We Have A Chick

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At 16:14 cam time, the first chick completed the hatching process and is out of its shell! 


March 2, 2022 - Looks Like We Have A Pip

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This afternoon at 3:47pm a zoom on the eggs revealed we have a pip! Hatching can take 24 to 48 hours. 

February 27, 2022 - Spoiling Jackie

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The morning started with Shadow bringing Jackie breakfish in bed just as the sun peaked over the mountains. He left and returned a few minutes later to see Jackie still eating and decided he would sneak in and get some egg time while she was busy. A bit later Shadow brought in a small water bird for lunch… not one of Jackie’s favorites, she must pluck it first! Shadow again left and returned quickly in hopes Jackie would be ready for a break, sorry Shadow… not this time.

As if a fish, a stick and a water bird wasn’t enough, Shadow brought in a giant ball of fluff! They played a bit of tug the fluff, but there was more than enough for them to both spread it around the nest. Sadly, the fluff made the nest so comfy, Jackie wasn’t going anywhere… Finally, on Shadows next stick delivery he did get to spend time with his eggs, a nice long shift of about 3 hours and still had to give Jackie a hard time when she returned!

Shadow returned late in the evening, just before the night vision came on and surprisingly, Jackie let him stay. He seemed to have high hopes, is this the night? Do I get to stay? Not tonight Shadow, Jackie returned in only 10 minutes! Shadow picked up her leftover duck(?), dangled it in front of her… Jackie wasn’t amused at all and then… he flew away with it! We were shocked, Jackie seemed shocked, and Shadow made his point!

With many zooms on the eggs, we are not seeing a pip yet… Sadly with some very strategically placed privacy sticks and all of that added fluff, we did not have a clear view this afternoon. It is early and we are still looking at Tuesday or Wednesday for signs of hatching.

February 21, 2022 - Egg Time

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday started like any other day… we captured a short, cute video of a shift change and then boom! The nest exploded with activity, so pictures it is…

Shadow came in bright and early for his turn with the eggs, Jackie graciously let him incubate since she does a 12-hour shift through the night and needs a good stretch.

The next 3 visits Shadow was not so lucky, despite sticks on her back, stepping on her head, sticks whizzing by her head (she’s getting good a ducking just in time!), and any other attempt to annoy her off the eggs, Jackie stood her ground! Fourth time’s the charm, after 5 minutes of hanging around Jackie, she finally stood up and Shadow seems genuinely surprised and settled right in… sadly for Shadow it didn’t last long, Jackie returned pretty quickly!

Shadow continued to try, and got another session with the eggs, this time Jackie was only gone 20 minutes… Shadow said uh uh, no way, nope, I’m not getting up and it worked! Jackie left and gave him more time!

Later in the afternoon, Shadow brought Jackie a half-eaten coot (daddy needs to eat too!). Jackie is usually not fond of coot, but her awesome mate had already plucked it which seemed to make her happy and she gulped it down, ALL of it! Shadow got in one more time on the nest before they called it a night.

All in all 11 sticks, 2 clumps of fluff and 1 coot were brought to the nest, busy busy eagles!

* A coot is a medium sized water bird in the rail family, they are very plentiful at the lake.

We also have an interactive Facebook group where members can share their favorite Jackie & Shadow pictures, videos or just interact with other Jackie & Shadow fanatics! If you would like to join this busy group, just answer the 2 required questions and you are in!!


February 11, 2022 - Life Is Good

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie & Shadow have had a fairly uneventful week, which is good news for our eagles!

Their shift changes are in sync… that is when Jackie lets Shadow incubate. We’ve had a bit of windy weather and she believes no one can incubate better than her… she’s the boss. She denied him daddy duty more times than we can count!

Shadow is up to his old tricks, laying fluff and sticks across her back, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but an eagle has to try, right?

When Shadow does get to sit with the eggs and Jackie returns, he does a great job of ignoring her… until she gets all kissy beaky and nibbles on his head, her persistence is eventually too much, and Shadow skedaddles out of there.

Shadow has also been bringing Jackie fish nearly every day and it’s usually a whole fish! Unlike last year when all the fish he brought her were headless. One day he brought her 2 fish in 18 minutes…it seemed like a bribe, but it didn’t work, Jackie didn’t budge! All of that fishing must wear him out, we caught him dozing off on the job a couple of times and yawning other times…shhh don’t tell Jackie!

We will be on pip watch February 26th, but with delayed incubation we will be looking for signs of hatching around March 1st or 2nd.

February 7, 2022 - Changing Of The Guard

Eagle Update Pictures

We often see a bit of stubbornness at shift change and yesterday was no exception! Shadow has been victorious a couple of times over the years, but this wasn’t his day.

Even though Shadow had been on the nest for just short of 3 ½ hours, he still thought he should get more time and let Jackie know that before she even landed. A serious discussion ensued, its probably a good thing we don’t understand eagle talk since this is a family friendly page. When Jackie got right in Shadow’s face with that “look”, he decided it was time to give up the eggs… when a 3 ft eagle gives you the “look”, well… you move!

Just when you think we’ve seen it all… on Shadow’s very next egg duty shift, Jackie comes in with a nice bunch of fluff of which Shadow was appreciative of, but again, didn’t think his time was up. He stood his ground, stayed the course, tried very hard to ignore that bigger than life eagle to his side… until she actually pushed him off the eggs. Shadow couldn’t believe it, and neither could we! She put her foot on Shadow and pushed, pushed, pushed until he got up. Shadow was mumbling all the way out of the nest, but as usual… Jackie got in the last word!

Pip watch starts on February 26th, though with delayed incubation a pip would be more likely around March 1st or 2nd. A pip is the first hole or crack in the egg indicating hatching has begun. We will be zooming in on the eggs during this time to see if there is any progress.

Thank you to all of you for being big a part of this eagle family and for your kind and generous support in so many ways!

Don’t forget to check out the online shop for all of the Jackie & Shadow must haves… we do still have a few 2022 calendars left! https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/


February 5, 2022 - A Different Perspective

Eagle Update Pictures

Sometimes as viewers, we see one of the Eagles in the nest calling out and wonder why the other doesn’t show up to help. With the addition of the wide view camera, we can often see the answer. The other Eagle is out protecting the nest and habitat from a distance.

Yesterday was a busy day for Jackie and Shadow… First a group of Ravens were playing in the wind and got a little too close for comfort, so Jackie handled it.

A bit later, Shadow is seen in pursuit of a Red-tailed hawk that was quite brave and approached Shadow as he was about to land in the nest and seemed to go talons up at Shadow… it left the area quickly.

Soon after, Shadow is seen with a Peregrine falcon on his tail, you can hear the falcon’s warning calls. It too follows Shadow to the nest, but this time Shadow throws his talons up, the falcon got the hint and headed out. It is possible the falcon has its own territory or nesting area and Shadow got too close.

Remember, Bald Eagles are apex predators. They are not favored by other raptors or birds in the neighborhood as they are seen as a threat to their survival. As long as Jackie and Shadow continue to protect the nest/eggs as they have been doing so well, the raptors and ravens are not a threat to the Eagles.

February 5, 2022 - Wide View Camera Is Back

Eagle Update Pictures

We were able to get the wide view cam (cam2) back up and running without any disturbance to the area or the eagles. The cam is a bit tilted, and we cannot pan up quite as far, but we can still see the nest tree and zoom in on it. This will not be fixed until the off season when the eagles are not using the nest. The nest tree survived the windstorm, but sadly the snag tree did not. Jackie & Shadow are shown here, perched on the snag tree together.

The current nest tree, nest, eggs and eagles are fine

Here is the link to access the wide view camera: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx0nese3zL8

February 2, 2022 - Wide View Camera Is Down

Eagle Update Pictures

The wide view cam is temporarily unavailable due to technical difficulties caused by the high winds in the area. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for understanding. 


January 25, 2022 - The 2nd Egg Of 2022 Has Arrived

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie generally lays eggs 3 days apart, she laid her first egg on 1/22 @ 15:43:26, the 2nd egg on 1/25 @ 15:43:19, 7 seconds short from being exactly 3 days. Great job Jackie!

Due to delayed incubation, the first egg usually hatches around 38 to 39 days, the 2nd egg hatches 1 to 2 days after the first.
Shadow has been incubating 2 to 3 times a day and bringing in food for Jackie to enjoy.

January 22, 2022 - Congratulations Jackie And Shadow

Eagle Update Pictures

Today at 15:43:26 cam time, Jackie laid her first egg of the 2022 season! Congratulations Jackie & Shadow!

January 21, 2022 - Fish Wars And More

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday when Shadow showed up to the nest with a fish, Jackie tried sweet talking him into sharing… she even had all of us feeling bad for her when he didn’t. Don’t let her fool you, she is more than capable of getting her own fish!

This morning Shadow came in with his breakfish yet again and you can hear Jackie screaming… mine…mine…mine all the way to the nest from what seemed like a mile away! Shadow didn’t agree and continued to eat HIS fish… after a whole lot of screaming, Jackie tries plan B and moves around to the back of Shadow for a better/safer view and screams some more. When Shadow relocated the fish, Jackie saw her opportunity, grabbed the fish and the tug-o-fish ensued! Jackie coming out victorious (come on, we could all see Shadow gave it up pretty easy), she took her time and enjoyed her meal, right down to the last gulp of the tail. Once she was done and Shadow could see it was safe, they both cleaned up the nest making sure no scraps were left behind. 

Jackie and Shadow continue to visit daily, usually multiple times a day, they are starting to bring in soft nesting materials, Jackie has been laying in the nest for longer periods of time and we have heard mating vocals every day for the past few days... Everything is moving along as it should be. Egg laying for this area is January through March and we suspect we won't be waiting too much longer. 

December 31, 2021 - Winter Wonderland

Eagle Update Pictures

Happy New Year!

Looking forward to 2022 being a great year for Jackie, Shadow, and all of you too! 

Despite the winter weather, Jackie & Shadow continue to visit the nest, delivering more sticks and then they get covered in snow. The good news is the forecast shows some sunny days and warmer temperatures for the next couple of weeks! 

Friday the eagles woke up to a winter wonderland… Jackie was the first to step her talons into the fresh snow filled nest and she brought a nice trout(?) with her. Soon Shadow showed up, checked out her catch of the day and moved slowly out to the front porch… everyone knows you don’t mess with Jackie during her lunch break! He waited patiently until she finished then jumped to the nest to get to work. They did move a few sticks around, but really, what can you get accomplished with that much snow!

Saturday was action packed with visits, sticks and a whole lotta flirting! Jackie in first, wondering what to do with all this snow?!?! So, if you’re an eagle, you go out an get another stick! Shadow soon joined her, but they didn’t seem to be in the mood to work… they nipped, beak kissed, and beak kissed some more. Lately it seems every time Jackie lays down to test out the nest, Shadow nips, nips and nips until she gets up, maybe he is not ready, but Jackie sure seems like she is! They had a little chat, tidied up a bit and Shadow headed down to the old snag tree… Jackie soon followed, we should have known after all that flirty behavior… they mated again which was seen at a distance on the wide view camera. 

*January 1st starts the new season, and we are now in egg watch 2022! When will Jackie lay eggs? Egg laying season is January through March for this area, with January being the most common for Jackie. During breeding season, the eagles will mate more frequently for a better chance of fertilized eggs. Just because they are mating does not mean eggs are soon to follow, we can only observe to see what happens next. 

Many are concerned about laying eggs in a nest full of snow. Eagle’s body temperature is about 106 degrees. Both eagles also form a brood patch when egg laying is close. This is an area on the breast that loses the feathers, so when the eagles incubate, their warm skin is in direct contact with the eggs. Jackie & Shadow may also add soft grasses on top of the snow… or the snow may melt before eggs are even laid. In 2019 Jackie laid her first egg in snow and both eggs hatched right on time. Jackie and Shadow are the experts here, we’ll have to trust them! 

What to expect when an egg is coming… Jackie’s feathers will start to puff up, even the ones on her head. She might start slowly rocking side to side. The most significant sign an egg is coming, Jackie starts making little squeaks, we call it the tea kettle sounds. It’s getting eggciting! 


December 29, 2021 - Eagles And Critters

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie & Shadow continue to visit, bond and work on the nest despite several winter storms rolling through for the past couple of weeks. They sure gave us a holiday treat on the 25th! With multiple visits, 8 stick deliveries, spending just short of an hour on the old snag tree together, a large bobcat walking through the area while we were panned on the eagles and to end the days visits, they mated on camera yet again! Quite an exciting day for all eagle fans! We have also enjoyed a deer wandering through the habitat and a Red-tailed hawk spending time on one of Jackie & Shadows favored perch trees. With all of the much-needed snow, we are left with view of a beautiful winter wonderland... including the occasional rainbow! 

December 20, 2021 - December Grumpies

Eagle Update Pictures

There seems to be something about the month of December that gives Shadow the grumpies! Maybe he is feeling the pressure of egg laying season that may start next month... he wants the nest to be perfect! Jackie seems pretty relaxed and knows it will all come together when it needs to.

Yesterday, Jackie just wanted to help and Shadow made it very clear he didn't need any help, he has it all under control! Jackie stayed close by, followed him around just in case he changed his mind... that didn't happen and soon he had a bit of a meltdown and even yelled at her! By the shocked look on Jackie's face, I'm pretty sure we don't want to know what he said. Jackie even tried to smooth things over with some sweet beak kisses, but Shadow wasn't in the mood at all...

December 14, 2021 - Keeping Busy

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie & Shadow have been keeping busy with nest building and bonding… well, except for today with the bad weather. Seems they chose to stay safe in a more sheltered area until the snowstorm passes through. 

You may notice in some of the pictures, both eagles have had some blood on their tail feathers for several days, it does not look like it is from the eagles. Though we cannot know for sure, we believe it is either from some prey they caught (and maybe tussled over) or they could have been in an altercation with another raptor protecting their territory. Either way, the eagles look great, they’ve been flying in and out of the nest, bringing sticks and they’ve had full crops, meaning they are hunting and eating as usual.

Yesterday afternoon, Jackie came in by herself with a cute little sprig of pine needles for some holiday decorating. Soon after she laid down to test the nest bowl… that must have been pretty comfy since she stayed there and relaxed awhile. She moved out to the front porch for another photo session and some gorgeous head shots! 

A short while later, Shadow showed up added a couple more sticks, of course he knew right where to put them and waited for Jackie. They worked together for a bit, but then Jackie decided that stick Shadow brought in WASN’T in the right place and started dragging it around the nest… Shadow’s face said it all and he flew off to do what eagles do. Jackie continued to mess with that stick, trying it here… no, over there… wait, over here and pretty much put it back where Shadow had it (shhhh don’t tell him). 

They both returned at dusk, Shadow bringing in some more pine needle décor, they tried the teamwork approach which worked very well this time! They seemed happy with the changes and gave each other some sweet beak kisses before heading out for the night in the same direction. 

*We still have some 2022 calendars left, featuring Jackie, Shadow and a few neighborhood guests… You can grab yours on our website at: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/

As always, thank you! We appreciate your support!! 


December 7, 2021 - A Little Bit of Everything

Eagle Update Pictures

Nest visits are picking up, once, twice, three times a day…. Morning, afternoon, evening. We never know when they might just pop in!

Yesterday’s visit had a bit of everything. Shadow was in first with a stick and waited patiently for Jackie who didn’t disappoint when she showed up with stick #2 of the day. They worked together on the nest and slipped in a few beak kisses until Jackie went for a stick Shadow had his eagle eye on, so he bit her wing! Check out that mischievous look on his face!

Jackie returned later with a clump of fluff for the nest and spent just short of an hour relaxing, giving us the opportunity to zoom in for some great closeups…

At dusk they both returned for a last check on the nest and a little rearranging. Jackie went for a stick that Shadow thought she might need help with (she didn’t) and the fluff got stuck on the end. It looked like an old wet mop and Jackie went to work! Once again, Shadow couldn’t help himself and nipped at Jackie’s back end, Jackie responded with a little bump and a big shove… Well, of course Shadow couldn’t let that slide and gave her 2 more bites on the behind! Before heading out for the night, Jackie tried out the nest bowl for comfort and fit….it’s not quite ready yet, soon.

Who says eagles can’t have fun?

What to expect…

Jackie and Shadow are working on the nest, making sure it is ready for the 2022 nesting season. They will continue to add more sticks and as we get further into December, they will bring in more soft nesting materials. Even though they have already been seen mating (eagles’ can mate year-round), the increase in daylight hours which happens towards the end of December and nest building (bonding) can trigger Jackie’s fertility and allow her body to start producing eggs. It is extremely important at this time for the eagles to remain stress free, stressors can negatively affect the egg laying process. This is why it is also important for humans to give the eagles space and stay away from the habitat. The U.S. Forest Service has closed the habitat to all human activity at this time. Egg laying seasons differ by latitude, for our area it is January through March with January being the most common for Jackie. Jackie’s eggs are laid 3 days apart, once the eggs are laid, the average incubation period is 38 to 42 days with delayed incubation. They delay full incubation on the first egg(s) until the final egg is laid. This allows all the eggs to hatch closer together to give each eaglet a better chance at survival.

December 1, 2021 - Fish Tales

Eagle Update Pictures

Fish Tales…

Jackie & Shadow were sure busy Tuesday and kept us busy too! 

The day began with a cam pan to the roost tree where we spotted Jackie & Shadow side by side, doing their morning stretches and bellowing out good morning chortles to the valley…

Later in the afternoon, Shadow flew in with a whopper of a fish and yes, Jackie was hot on his tail. Shadow had already made up his mind, this was his fish and his only… no matter how much Jackie pleaded with him, he held his ground! Remember, when there are no eggs in the nest, what’s mine isn’t yours!! 

Jackie: Please?

Shadow: No

Jackie Pretty please?

Shadow: No

Jackie showed everyone how displeased she was by climbing up the side branches of the nest tree (she reserves this tactic for the most dramatic moments).

At this point were are not sure we wanted to know what she was mumbling…

Jackie decided she couldn’t watch him eat anymore and flew off toward the lake.

Shadow continued to eat his huge fish… and eat… and eat… He savored this one, it took him just over 30 minutes and we can’t believe he at the WHOLE thing. He didn’t stick around long, too bad because… about 13 minutes after Jackie left, she returned with a nice rainbow trout for herself. Jackie doesn’t mess around and downed her fish in less than 5 minutes!!

Later in the afternoon, we had a bit of a surprise… They both flew in, landed on the old snag tree behind the nest and had a moment… yes, they mated on camera. Soon they both flew in for their daily nest check before heading off to an unknown roosting spot. Whew, what a day! 

Don’t forget to pick up your 2022 calendar in our online shop at: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/

November 21, 2021 - Nest Check and Roost Tree Rendezvous

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie & Shadow dropped in for a quick visit yesterday… No beak kisses, nibbles or tail tugs. They just stopped in to make sure the ravens, robins or Goldilocks were not planning to sleep in their bed! They moved a few sticks and then off to bed they went.

Over night we heard some LOUD chortles and suspected they were close by, maybe in the roost near the nest. The CamOp set the alarm to see if we could catch a glimpse of them before the sun was even up. Sure enough, they were right there, side by side, snuggling. After discussing the day’s schedule and a couple of stretches, Jackie flew off and decided stop by the nest to give us all our eagle fix for the day. They are both looking rested, healthy, and well fed lately!

Are you new to the Big Bear nest with Jackie & Shadow? Did you know the nest has an infrared light that allows the camera to view the nest at night? The light is not visible to humans or eagles, for Jackie & Shadow the nest is in complete darkness.

Egg laying season for this region is January through March, for Jackie… January has been the most common month.

*Don’t forget to grab your 2022 Jackie & Shadow calendar or browse around the shop for some other Jackie & Shadow must haves. https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/

Thank you for your support!

November 19, 2021 - They Are Back

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have sure kept us guessing lately. They were making regular visits for awhile and then they were back on vacation. We suspect the weather fluctuations may have something do with that. They are on eagle time, and we are just along for the ride!

Yesterday Shadow arrived first with Jackie hot on his tail. They both went right to work, Shadow adjusting sticks and Jackie aerating the nest. Shadow feeling a little frisky, initiated some gentle beak kisses, followed by sweet neck nibbles that melted the viewer’s hearts worldwide. Jackie seemed to say, that’s nice honey, now let’s get back to work! Jackie was keeping an eye on Shadow’s stick placement, she seemed to be happy and why wouldn’t she be? Shadow is an expert on nest building! Although this was a short visit, they sure got a lot of work done. They both flew off in the same direction one after the other to one of their favored (new?) roost trees, that we can’t seem to find. Can’t wait to see what the future brings!

*We have some exciting news! The new 2022 calendars are now available in our online shop, make sure you grab yours before they are gone. We have also added 4 new items in the shop, a real wood stick pen (Shadow’s favorite!), and Jackie & Shadow keychains, tote bags and coasters (Pictures below).

Access our online shop for these items, t-shirts, plushies and more: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/

October 26, 2021 - Jackie In The Lead

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow had a busy weekend, one or both have been at the nest the last 4 days! Friday Shadow was in first, of course he brought a stick and fiddled around with it and then tested the nest bowl! Soon Jackie joined him (he didn’t let her see he was laying down on the job)… They brought stick after stick after stick… While Jackie was hanging out on the back porch, Shadow decided to try out the nest again, Jackie wasn’t having any of that, she marched down, a little kissy beaky, bumped him out of the way and tried it out herself! Watch closely when Jackie lays in the nest, Shadow usually checks for eggs when she stands up, so adorable! Each stick Jackie brought in, she wanted to handle herself…Shadow sure tried to help, but you know… Jackie is a BIG eagle.

Early Saturday they wasted no time bringing in more and more sticks. Shadow, the mischievous guy that he is, didn’t miss an opportunity to nibble, tug or chew on Jackie’s feathers…tail, wing, neck, it didn’t matter he just loves messing with Jackie and he did it ALL day! They had so much fun they returned in the late afternoon for round 2…

Both Sunday and Monday Jackie came in for solo visits, adding more to the nest and doing a quick check to see what else needed to be done.

All in all, it was a very productive weekend for our favorite eagles… Not that we are keeping score (we are), but so far this month, Jackie is leading in stick deliveries 18 to Shadow’s (Stickman?) 11 sticks.

You can find both of our live cams on our website: https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org

October 24, 2021 - Determination

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie came in yesterday in her normal fashion with a giant, multi-branch, unruly stick - dubbed the “octopus stick”. Shadow did try to help, snapping off pieces here and there, but Jackie did not want his assistance on this one! By the look on his face, he didn’t think that stick belonged in the nest anyway and left Jackie to figure it out on her own. For nearly 30 minutes she moved it around the nest, several times over and over and just couldn’t get that stick to settle in. That’s what happens when you bring home furniture without measuring first, it all looks smaller in the showroom… She finally left it at the front porch, checked vertical clearance for future fly ins and called it done… until Shadow showed up later and put it in the “right” spot.

October 21, 2021 - Lovey Dovey

Eagle Update Pictures

Tuesday evening Jackie arrived first through the back porch, but didn’t have to wait long for Shadow to join her. They both worked on rearranging the nest sticks, but this time they seemed especially focused on each other…with lots of beaky kissy happening. Jackie just couldn’t seem to keep her beak off of her handsome mate, so to speak. But it didn’t look like Shadow minded all the attention. Jackie headed off to roost first, out the front porch. Shadow had a stick or two more to make sure were properly settled, but then soon followed behind in the same direction…maybe hoping for some more of that beaky kissy attention at their next stop.

Thank you!


October 19, 2021 - The Stick Depot Is Open

Eagle Update Pictures

The really good news is that Jackie and Shadow have been at the nest a lot in the past few days, including 2 visits yesterday. In recent visits, they have each ‘sat’ on the nest (preparing for egg time), brought new sticks and played kissy kissy a few times—all telltale signs that nesting season is officially here!

Yesterday morning they arrived at the nest in time to pose in front of the rising sun for some awesome portraits—Jackie came in first, but Shadow was right behind, bringing a gigantic stick with him. Then they both got down to some serious nest arranging as the sun rose behind them.

In the afternoon, Shadow arrived first with his stick and then Jackie zipped in with hers. They worked as a team, making sure the sticks were placed just right. And apparently Jackie is feeling the excitement of the new nesting season--as Shadow kept working, she left…and returned within 2 minutes with another stick. They worked in beautiful cooperation and even had to take a time out for some beaky kissy when Shadow nibbled her neck. Shadow left first this time, and Jackie gave everyone a special thrill by doing a close-encounter fly-by of Camera2 on her way out.

. Thank you to all of you for watching and caring about Jackie and Shadow! We all really appreciate your support and assistance.


October 15, 2021 - Let The New Season Begin...

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie & Shadow are visiting the nest more often, 3 times in the last week! Seems as though the season has begun…

Last Friday, Shadow flew in landing on the front balcony before making his way into the nest, just a couple of minutes later Jackie did the same. They both tootled around with some sticks, nothing serious until Shadow decided to lay down in the nest bowl…what???? He must be excited for the new season... so are we!

Tuesday, the first mid-day visit in quite a while, Shadow came in on a mission, hollering out warning calls as we soon saw a shadow of something large fly overhead. He then seemed to assess the nest, wondering how many sticks he will need this year, checked the sales at the stick depot and waited for Jackie. He didn’t have to wait too long… they both relaxed, looked out over the valley and then… Jackie laid down in the nest bowl!! A romantic rendezvous filled with sweet moments and beak kisses! Jackie spent 45 minutes laying in the nest, even after Shadow left for the day. She then perched on the front porch for just short of an hour, a nice long visit for all to enjoy and gave us an opportunity for some nice close ups!

Yesterday was exciting, an early morning stop in… Shadow brought in the first stick of the season, let the stickfest begin!!! Not to be outdone, Jackie showed up 2 minutes later, a dramatic entrance from the side with an even bigger stick! Jackie supervised Shadow as he worked on the crib rails before she headed to the back porch where she perched for a bit before heading out to join her guy.


October 5, 2021 - And So It Begins?

Eagle Update Pictures

And so it begins….?

Or does it? Can it be? Is it so? Have the nestorations begun? We will have to wait and see, only Jackie & Shadow know for sure. With less than 3 days from their last visit, Jackie & Shadow came by the nest on Sunday evening. They got straight to work on the never-ending task of arranging sticks and fluffing the bowl! Shadow snuck in a quick peck on Jackie’s head which of course lead to a break for some beaky kissy and then back to work… It was a short visit, but they worked hard. Jackie started out the back door, but kept looking back at Shadow, letting him know their day was done. Shadow decided to go out the front door to change it up a bit and just about lost a prized stick, it was dangling there just waiting to drop 145 feet to the forest floor… Just in the nick of time, Shadow grabbed it and placed it on the front porch, great save Shadow! And off he went to roost for the night.

As we mentioned before, there is a bit more work to be done with the cameras, the live stream and or sound may be off intermittently today… Thank you for your patience and understanding.

October 1, 2021 - Maintenance and Eagles

Eagle Update Pictures

As many of you are aware, we did a few days of maintenance on the nest camera last week---we installed a new camera in the nest, along with moving the location of that camera so that it is a bit higher (to not be buried by Shadow’s sticks!) and to give everyone a better view of the front porch limb (where Jackie and Shadow spend a lot of time) and of the nearby roost tree and the snag where they often perch. We also re-installed the old camera in a new location that gives a wide view of the nest to watch things happening in the surrounding area and see when Jackie and Shadow are flying in and out of the nest. Thank you to the Institute for Wildlife Studies and our contracted camera/installation experts Dr. Peter Sharpe and Nate Melling for their work on this. The photos show Pete and Nate both in the nest tree during the installation—with all of the wiring and location and equipment changes, Nate was in the nest on 3 separate days and for over 6 hours on one day alone.

…but don’t worry about Shadow’s sticks getting messed up. He and Jackie have been back to the nest a few times and thoroughly straightened out anything that was out of place. The first time, it was only Shadow who dropped in—those sticks must have been calling him, making him too restless to stay in the roost tree with Jackie without first checking on the nest. (With the wide view 2nd live stream available, we can now watch Jackie and Shadow as they move between the nest and roost tree or other favorite spots.)

A few days later, Jackie started out on the nearby snag then joined Shadow in the roost tree before they both visited the nest to do a little more stick arranging. And Shadow just couldn’t resist taking a little nibble on Jackie’s wing as she got ready to leave out the back door. Then he stayed to do a little more tidying up before re-joining Jackie in the roost tree.

This evening Shadow arrived only a minute before Jackie and they both went right to work on those pesky sticks that had obviously gotten out of their proper places. In between all the cooperative teamwork, they even had time for a little adorable beak-to-beak kissy-kissy. This time Jackie stayed longer than Shadow before they each headed out for the night.

Even with all of the maintenance done so far (4 days of climbing, rewiring, installing, relocating, etc.), there is a bit more to go so the live streams may be down for short periods as we finalize everything. Thank you for your patience and understanding. With all this new equipment and contracted installation expertise, if any of you would like to donate to assist in covering the costs, it would be greatly appreciated! You can donate here: Please note, the links through Facebook are not working, you can go to our website at friendsofbigbearvalley .org, click on the "join/donate" tab to make a donation.

Thank you all for your support and for enjoying Jackie and Shadow!


September 16, 2021 - Eagle Cams Up And Running!

Eagle Update Pictures

The Big Bear Bald Eagle cam is back up and running with a beautiful crisp picture. We also added a 2nd cam with a view of the nest and opportunity to see the eagles fly into the nest from the lake!! Links to both cams are below, enjoy! More to follow...

Eagle Nest Cam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4-L2nfGcuE

Wide View Cam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx0nese3zL8

September 14, 2021 - Live Stream Update

Eagle Update Pictures

9/14 UPDATE: Everything is going great but there is a little more work to do in the morning, so the live stream will remain down for the night.

Here is a little peak of the roost tree & Jackie tonight, direct from the camera (ignore the bullseye)

September 13, 2021 - Camera Work

Eagle Update Pictures

The live stream is currently down while we work on the camera. It is expected to be back up and running on 9/14.

September 4, 2021 - Summer Visits

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have been coming to the nest together a bit more often for the past few weeks. They are even starting to pay more attention to the locations of the sticks in the nest…in other words, even Jackie is moving some of the sticks to the ‘right’ place. As we all know, stick-obsessed Shadow always knows exactly where every stick in the nest is and exactly where to put any that have tried to run amuck…but back to the point, their stick behavior is starting to show that we are getting closer to autumn and the new nesting season.

One evening Shadow gave us a glimpse of him as he stopped by the snag tree next door to take a quick scan of the neighborhood…right before he took off toward Jackie at the nearby roost tree—she chortled a welcome to him and he answered as he flew in to join her.

A few days later, Shadow dropped by the nest in the mid-afternoon and spent over 3-1/2 hours just hanging and watching the neighborhood until Jackie finally joined him right before roost time. He had moved a few sticks while he was there alone, but her presence inspired him to action, with lots of rearranging…

The next evening visit, Shadow arrived first again, and this time Jackie was quick to join him to check things out while he arranged sticks and she even rewarded his hard work with a bit of kissy kissy. This time Jackie stayed behind to move a few sticks even after Shadow headed off for bedtime.

Their most recent visit was a bit different. Jackie arrived first and immediately jumped into furniture arranging mode even before Shadow arrived. When he joined her, they both worked hard together on getting those sticks into their proper places, even working together on a few of the harder to manage ones.

One of our mods zoomed in close on a photo of the roost tree so it’s easier to see where Jackie and Shadow are. And Teri Ashmore had a lucky day in catching a photo of Jackie on a tree on the south shore one morning this week.

With Jackie and Shadow not at the nest full time, some other visitors have been dropping in. Little Fiona and Freddy (San Bernardino flying squirrels) often sneak into the nest for a visit after dark--rumors are saying that some of these nighttime visitors seem to be especially small, so perhaps Fiona and Freddy have a few kits running around. The nest has also had drop-in visits from a hairy woodpecker, a mountain chickadee and a juvenile cooper’s hawk.

Thank you to all of you for continuing to follow Jackie and Shadow and their nest activities!


July 28, 2021 - Summer Vacation

Eagle Update Pictures

Shadow and Jackie seem to be in full summer vacation mode--they have only visited the nest a handful of times in the past several weeks. But they can be heard chortling at various distances from the nest...apparently their way of letting us (and any other bird that might be thinking about intruding into their nest) that they are still around and watching.

The most recent visit was from Shadow in the late evening…he arrived from the front door, checked out the nest a bit, moved a couple sticks and headed out the back door to go to the roost tree where Jackie was already waiting. (It’s a bit hard to spot them in the roost tree photo, but if you look hard in the upper center between the pine puffs, you can find them.)

The visit before this one, Shadow arrived at the nest in the early evening and rearranged a bit of the furniture before heading out the back door…but this time, he went to the nearby snag where our trustee camera operator caught him and Jackie hanging out together. After a little together time, surveying the neighborhood, Shadow headed back to the nest for another quick check on it…this time when he left, he headed to the roost tree. Jackie soon joined him there for the night.

It’s been almost a month since they were in the nest at the same time…Shadow arrived first, with his usual stick. Then there was some serious raven tracking and yelling…followed by some sweet lovey dovey. They spent 2 hours in the nest, much of that with Jackie on her favorite front porch branch and Shadow doing his stick magic in the nest. He even sat in the nest bowl for a short moment—you know, just to stay in practice. He flew right over Jackie (…which she had a comment about…) when he left to fetch another stick…twice. She left before he brought back the 2nd stick, so he placed it perfectly and headed back out after her.

It’s normal for them to visit the nest much less frequently in the summer, between nesting seasons. From the distant chortling sounds that can be heard almost daily, it seems they are often hanging out together in other places around the lake.

We hope you are all enjoying the summer as much as they are! When you have a chance, stop by our website (friendsofbigbearvalley.org) to check out the new t-shirt design—in either short or long-sleeve.

We will be doing camera maintenance in mid-September. In the meantime, keep checking in to catch Jackie and Shadow’s visits!


June 15, 2021 - The Big Event

Eagle Update Pictures

The Big Event

This last weekend FOBBV and Big Bear Ecotourism sponsored a fabulous weekend of fun and entertainment for all. Saturday folks came out to enjoy the weather, beauty of the valley and experience some fun attractions the area has to offer. On Sunday, the fun continued including the Jackie & Shadow Fan Party. We had a great turnout, we met many of the eagle fans and put faces to names. Sandy shared her eagle experiences over the last decade and some of our chat moderators came out from behind their computer screens and mingled with other eagle fans. It was a wonderful day for sure!! Jackie & Shadow even decided to join in the fun, Shadow making his appearance in the nest and Jackie flying around the lake and perching lakeside for her fans!

After the fan party on Sunday, the FOBBV gang took a 2-hour boat ride around the lake to enjoy nature and see how many beautiful birds we could spot. Jackie showed up and treated us to some spectacular action! She was perched lakeside, then flew out over us to the south side of the lake and gave us all a thrill and memory that will not be forgotten. As she soared above, she suddenly dove down and snapped up a fish!! We were able to see her land, enjoy her lunch and then she flew back over us to perch on the north side of the lake where we sat and watched her in wonderment. All the while, Shadow stayed in his more private penthouse nest.

Thank you to all those that were able to come out and join us and for those who were not able to attend, Cali, our chat manager posted a video of Sandy's eagle talk and the fan cam zoom (link for the video below). If you have a hard time hearing Sandy, you can toggle CC/captions by clicking the cc button or click on the gear symbol on mobile devices. Enjoy!


Photo Credit to Susan O'Donnell for Saturday's event pictures

Photo Credit to Emily Bendemire & Teri Ashmore for Sunday's eagle and event pictures

May 29, 2021 - Another Busy Week at the Nest

Eagle Update Pictures

Shadow and Jackie have some big announcements you won't want to miss at the end of this post!

Last Friday it was a cold a blustery day, we even had a few snow flurries during the day, but that didn't stop Jackie and Shadow, they continued doing what eagles do. Shadow busy hunting for sticks and doing renovations, Jackie supervising and keeping the unwanted visitors away. While Jackie was relaxing on the front porch, Shadow nearly took her out coming in with a stick, he earned a Jackie stink eye for that stunt!! She decides to get a better look at what changes he was making and came back to the nest, what she really wanted was a little beaky kissy, which she got! Shadow went back to work while Jackie was tracking the ravens in the area.

Later in the week a couple of ravens came by in the morning, snooped around a little and then grabbed one of Shadow's sticks and flew! Later that afternoon some violet-green swallows stopped in and made off with some of his fluff, all of this after Fiona took off with a big ole ball of fluff earlier in the week. This eagle's nest is so awesome, everyone wants a piece of it!!

Both visited the nest, sometimes solo, sometimes meeting up together, sometimes early, sometimes late, they sure keep us guessing and busy at the same time! Shadow has really been working hard and with the warmer weather, we will be seeing both eagles panting when they get to the nest. Eagles do not sweat, they pant to cool down and regulate their body temps, it is completely normal.

It does seem when Shadow is making a lot of changes to the nest, Jackie shows up after he leaves to check out what he has done and fixes anything she doesn't agree with. Jackie ended the day Thursday with a nice long visit, perched on the front porch.

*** The Big Bear Ecotourism Coalition will be hosting their 6th annual Big Bear Outdoor Adventure Days on June 12-13, 2021! Details are still being worked out, we will post a schedule on our website detailing events and times as soon as it is finalized. Some of the free events included: kayaking on the lake, rides aboard the Big Bear Queen, guided hikes, guided birding adventures, birding tours by boat and more.


Sunday the 13th will be Jackie & Shadow's Fan Party at Dana Point Park, 10:00am to 12:00pm. Sandy from FOBBV will talk about the Big Bear bald eagles and how the eagle cam became a reality. Some of the chat moderators and cam op will be available for Q&A. View the eagle's nest though a scope, cam zoom on the group for your moment of fame! Merchandise will be available including a couple of new items.

Lucky Bear Boat Charters that runs out of Captain Jacks marina right below the park is offering 2-hour lake/eagle boat tours at a discounted price of $35 per person after the eagle event at 1:00(sold out), 3:00 and 5:00pm. There is a 10-person max for each tour. You can reserve your spot with Captain Mike at 909-866-7303.

**We are offering a new 2015-2020 Photobook with color cam pictures and the history of the nest (Pictures below).

**(SOLD OUT, more coming soon) We also have a few plush eagles available, with more coming in the week of June 7th.


May 20, 2021 - Eagles Will Be Eagles

Eagle Update Pictures

Shadow has been the most consistent visitor to the nest this week, bringing a stick or fluff material almost every time. Jackie also drops in, but a little less frequently -- it could be that she doesn't hear all those sticks talking to her quite so loudly as Shadow does. But when Shadow hears the right one calling from the forest floor and knows exactly where it goes because he has the position of every stick in the nest memorized, how can he not answer that call?

Even though Jackie has had fewer visits, hers often last much longer--one day she sat on the front porch for 3 hours and 20 minutes, simply watching around the area. Checking the nest and consistently bringing sticks continues to be part of their ownership claim on the nest and their bonding ritual with each other...

Even though it is off-season between nestings, they did have a couple little kissy kissy moments...but on the other hand the nesting season is definitely past when it comes to the food deliveries. Shadow brought two fish to the nest this week. The first time, when Jackie flew in behind him to say the fish was hers, he tried to say no and pull it away, but she insisted and he let her have the fish. The second time, Jackie flew in ahead of Shadow's arrival already claiming the fish as rightfully hers. By then Shadow apparently realized that he had completely spoiled Jackie this past season…and as hard as ‘tough love’ is to put into action, he knew he had to put his talons down and say no. Jackie of course kept yelling the whole time he ate but did get a few scraps after he finished. (btw, even though this seemed completely uncharacteristic for Shadow, this is actually quite normal bald eagle behavior during the off season.) And there were apparently no hard feelings since they continued to hang out together on the nest tree that afternoon and they were back working together the next day.

Both Jackie and Shadow also continue to protect the nest by yelling at or chasing ravens – Shadow watched Jackie chase one noisy raven right past the nest and then he did some of his own yelling at them…(see Jackie in hot pursuit in the distance on the left side of the photo that shows Shadow turned away from the camera watching her.)

Shadow has also had a little robber working behind his back…one day he brought in a big bunch of thick fluff and arranged it in the nest. Later that night, little Fiona (San Bernardino flying squirrel) came in and spent a full 3 minutes trying to stuff all that fluff into her tiny mouth before she finally took off over the edge of the nest with as much as she could carry.

By this evening it had been almost 2 days with no nest visits, so Shadow came twice to bring in new sticks and check that everything was in order.

A few updates…

In case you missed my zoom talk on Saturday about the history of Big Bear’s local Bald Eagles with an update on the 2021 nesting season for the Chirp Nature Centers, they recorded it, so here is the youtube link to listen:


Also, for anyone waiting to get a set…we have more Jackie and Shadow Plushies now in stock on our website. But get them quickly…they keep selling out. https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/product/plush-eagles/


May 5, 2021 - Slowing Down

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie & Shadow are slowing down on visits and stick deliveries or so it seems… maybe if we say that, they will visit more! In the last week they have been seen at the nest early morning and or late evening, Shadow more than Jackie. Even so, they have been by every day except one.

Saturday, they flew in one after the other both with HUGE crops meaning they are eating good in the neighborhood! Jackie brought in some fluff that Shadow immediately took control of because, well that’s what he does! Jackie seems to be fine with him doing all the work, she perched on the front porch and supervised….oh wait, until he pulled a stick out of the nest, that grabbed her attention and she just knew he needed her help…well that and Jackie wanted to sneak in a little kissy kissy…

Sunday we were graced with another dual morning visit. Shadow showing his talent with a one talon baton hold on a stick… he was so impressed he had to check out his awesome feet!! Then off to the back porch to survey his habitat giving us the opportunity to grab some nice portrait shots... Jackie returned a bit later and found herself stuck on a stick, which she quickly found her way out of. She is quite good with the loooong sticks, standing on her tippy talons. The couple returned in the evening for some nest time before heading off to roost for the night. Again, Jackie took her supervisory duties serious!

A very windy sunrise visit on Monday made it hard to see who was who and what was going on… on a later (almost) visit we did see one of the eagles miscalculated the landing gear and sailed right past the balcony branch, oops! Shadow was kind enough to stop by for some gorgeous sunset poses and a little stick play before heading out to join Jackie… 

Jackie & Shadow must have been excited about Cinco de Mayo, they were up before the sun crested over the mountain! They worked a little, then Shadow headed out while Jackie yelled at a raven & then watched the sun come up…


April 25, 2021 - Tug-O-Stick

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie & Shadow have been very busy in the nest building department since Wednesday, keeping us busy as well!

The stick deliveries were fast and furious, Shadow must have been super excited, but wait… Jackie wanted to place the sticks herself! Shadow wasn’t having any of that and tried his hardest to take control, but Jackie being the giant eagle she is, just pushed her way through to find the best spot. Shadow needed to let Jackie know, his fans don’t call him The Stickman for nothing, so he started nipping and pulling on her feathers… she in turn climbed up the side branch. In between stick deliveries, they perched, looked out over the valley giving us time to zoom in on them for some gorgeous portrait pics…

The eagles spent Thursday again adding sticks, rearranging the nest, chasing off the nosy raven neighbors and soaring over the lake (Yes, we spotted them doing what eagles do.)

After bringing in 23 sticks over the last couple of days, Jackie & Shadow decided to take the day off on Friday… They did drop in for a few minutes to say “hi” on the way to the roost tree for the night.

No more rest for these guys, Saturday they started early, more sticks, more decorating, more feather biting… shame on you Shadow! Jackie again wanted to work on the nest solo, but Shadow couldn’t stand by and watch. They had a couple tug-o-stick wars that led to some couples quarreling and then off to their own corners of the house and the silent treatment began… start over and repeat!

All of this nest work, stick delivery and teamwork is normal… at least it is normal for Jackie & Shadow. They will continue to build onto the nest throughout the year, it is also bonding time for the pair.

**The J&S Snowy Nest t-shirts are back in stock and available on our website at: https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/product/eagle-store/

April 18, 2021 - Summer Vacation

Eagle Update Pictures

Shadow came in for a short visit today, bringing a stick of course, placing it in the perfect spot of course. He stayed only for a few minutes, then flew off to do the things eagles do…

It seems Jackie & Shadow have started their spring/summer routine a bit early this year since they do not have young ones to care for. They will continue to visit and build onto the nest throughout the off season. The live cam remains on 24/7 and we will update you on any visits. You can still hear the wonderful sounds of the forest and see other bird visitors in the nest as well. 

Yesterday a raven came to the nest, cracked open the remaining egg and ate some of the contents. He/she returned a bit later and removed an underdeveloped chick from the shell and left with it. This is how nature takes care of its own. It is quite possible the ravens have a nest nearby and this may have been nutrients for a new life. There was another visit this morning, a raven removed the remaining shell from the nest. The shells can be consumed by many types of birds and helps the females with their calcium levels which in turn helps them with shell production when they are ready to lay eggs. 

We will never know what may have stopped development of the chick, many factors can come into play and again, to guess would only be speculation. 

April 16, 2021 - Jackie & Shadow Look Towards The Future

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie & Shadow continue visiting the nest each day for short periods of time. Both bringing sticks, nesting materials and occasionally lunch which we know, is always for Jackie!

In nature things don’t always work out the way we would like it to. This year the first eaglet started the hatching process but did not survive. As we said before, we will never know why. Many things can and do happen during hatching, to try to determine the reasons would be speculation. Egg 2 is well beyond the hope of hatching, again we will never know why. There is no plan to retrieve the egg and examine it. This camera was installed to observe and learn, we do not interfere with the eagle’s lives.

Jackie seems to have moved on and has not incubated since April 7th. Shadow has not completely given up. He continues to incubate intermittently and sometimes stays over night on the nest. He has realized how difficult a good night’s sleep is with their nosy neighbor Fiona checking on the nest several times through the night…. This is evident when he takes little naps throughout the day! The few nights the nest was empty, Fiona has had a blast, bouncing around finding little tidbits to snack on here and there…well except for the one night Shadow wingslapped her and sent her bouncing right out of the nest into the darkness! It appears she was just fine, Fiona and Fast Freddie both made appearances the very next night. Just about each time Shadow shows up and sits on the egg, Jackie is close behind. Shadow sometimes jumps up before she even gets to the nest. It seems maybe Jackie has made it clear he shouldn’t’ be incubating…. but Shadow always seems to sneak back into the nest and shows us all what a great mate and dad he is.

What happens now? Jackie & Shadow are expected to continue visiting throughout the spring/summer. They will bring in sticks, maybe nesting materials and just hang out looking out over their beautiful valley. Towards the summer months, the visits may not be as often, but we will be here to bring you pictures and their story when they do show up!

What will happen with the remaining egg? This is nature and nature takes care of itself. The egg might become part of the nest, one of the eagles or other birds/animals might remove it from the nest or something else may happen, we can only sit back, observe, learn and enjoy Jackie & Shadow.

The next breeding season starts around October. Jackie & Shadow will increase their visits, work more on the nest and egg laying is generally January through March.

April 9, 2021 - Interesting Evening

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie & Shadow were in and out of the nest, chortling, flying about last night after dark. It seems something in the area may have alerted them, though we have no way to know what it may have been. They settled in somewhere off the nest for awhile, that is when Fiona the local Flying Squirrel was having a blast bouncing around the nest, jumping from limb to limb.....then the chortles started in again just before midnight...... Shadow returned to the nest at 12:12 am and then left again at 3:39 am.

The egg is well beyond the expected hatch times, the eagles will be moving forward in their adventures. Jackie seems to have already let go and is not visiting the nest as often. Shadow is still hanging on, showing up throughout the day and night and continues to incubate. As time progresses, they are both expected to move on and do what eagles do in the summer months. The camera remains on all year, the eagles will continue to visit and work on the nest and we will be here to update you when they do.....

This year’s t-shirts are back in stock and available in our online store at: https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/product/eagle-store/

April 3, 2021 - Personalities

Eagle Update Pictures

We've all noticed the big actions and personalities of Jackie and Shadow, such as when they team up to guard the nest against intruders, when they bounce sticks off of each other in their sometimes hilarious nest building shenanigans, or their back and forth games of "get up, it's my turn" or Jackie's standard "give me that fish, it's mine, mine, mine", but in the quiet times, have you noticed their special little actions and behaviors...

...nearly every time Jackie comes in to take over the nest-sitting, the first thing she does is to look down at her feet. She often does it more than once and recently it seems to be the tactic that works the best for getting Shadow to stand up--is she saying, "I bow to you but would really like to have my turn on the nest now"...or (after all, it is Jackie we're talking about) is she saying "I'm trying to stay calm here, so I'll just take a deep breath hoping for your sake that you get up before I look up again"

...while they are sitting, both Jackie and Shadow are very diligent about stuffing every little stray piece of fluff under them in just the right place to make the nest bowl perfect.

...Shadow seems to get a little overheated more easily than Jackie. Since the weather has gotten warm and sunny, he has been doing a lot more panting than her (bald eagles do not sweat, but pant like dogs with their mouth open and tongue out to release extra heat from their body)

...they both are very curious and watch the activities going on in the tree around them, often tilting their head like they are trying to understand whatever they are watching.

...they both do some beautiful stretches and yoga poses (and seem to have downward dog perfected) when they stand to change sitting positions on the nest.

...twice in the past 3 days, Jackie seemed to be unwilling to move out of the way when she's coming in the front door and Shadow is trying to go out--he had to try a few different ways around her to get past.

Both yesterday and today Shadow generously brought Jackie a nice fish lunch, even with the head still intact...and yesterday he used eating time to sneak into the nest bowl and then mischievously bit her wing while she was trying to eat. Today they switched shifts back and forth, as usual, but with longer shifts and a few less changeovers.

And tonight he got a big surprise!...one that he's been begging for, but probably thought he'd never get...Jackie is letting him spend the night on the nest...and even though he's been asking and asking for that and complaining when she arrived to take over, he looks a bit bewildered about her actually letting him stay.

They have both been dedicated to sitting on their egg, long past when it was due to hatch--and giving it every possible chance they could--but, it seems that perhaps Jackie is starting to give up on it hatching. We, of course, cannot know what they may or may not be feeling about any of this. But we can enjoy watching Shadow spend his first ever all-nighter on the nest.


March 31, 2021 - Tail Waggin Fun

Eagle Update Pictures

Tail Waggin Fun.....

After Jackie comes crashing in the back door and fans Shadow with her long white tail...lets just say, it appears eagles do have a sense of humor....well, at least Shadow does!

When Jackie's tail brushes across his face a couple of times, he takes a few nibbles at it and then acts oh so innocent....Well that must have been too much fun because then he just grabs hold and pulls it!! Who knows, Jackie just might have been messing with him too....

Jackie & Shadow continue taking the best care of their egg. We will continue to watch and honor them in the process.

March 30, 2021 - J & S Feature Story NBC

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow would like to share the great TV news specials that were recently made about them. They like that people are paying attention to their story but really hope they are helping to open everyone's eyes to how amazing all of the nature around us really is.

The video posted here ran on Sunday's Weekly Rundown on NBC Palm Springs and covers Jackie and Shadow's recent events as well as history, plus a list of bald eagle facts. Thank you, Taylor Martinez

and NBC Palm Springs!(link:https://nbcpalmsprings.com/.../weekly-rundown-big-bear.../

March 28, 2021 - Shadows Shining Moment

Eagle Update Pictures

A few days ago, Jackie came in like any other time for changing of the guard. She lets him know in her now favorite twittery talk, its time to go. Shadow ignores her (he's so good at that!) A little louder she tries again followed by some repeated beak kisses which usually does the trick.....Shadow not only ignores her but has the nerved to mess with the coot Jackie brought in earlier in the day....good job Shadow, trying to divert her attention! Hey! Beak off my coot!! More beak kisses, mess with the coot some more, more twittery chat... Jackie finally gave up and headed to the back porch, where she had a whole lot to say to Shadow on her way out! Shadow looked just as shocked as the rest of us...You see, this is the first time he has ever won a nest sitting battle!! Yay Shadow!!

Shadow - 1

Jackie - every other time

March 27, 2021 - Who Has The Best Tricks

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have been busy with shift changes, stick and fluff deliveries, weathering sudden storms, chasing away intruders and as always, finding creative ways to get the other one off the nest so they can have their turn.

Of course, Shadow has been bringing food to the nest, and Jackie even brought a coot...but no matter who brings it, Jackie loudly makes sure everyone in the area knows that the food just delivered is hers.

During these past few days, they have both been setting new records...


--most number of times of biting/nibbling Shadow's beak in a single visit...not sure we caught them all but at least 7 or 8

--cleverest trick to get your partner up...she brought a big stick and then had trouble maneuvering it around. Of course, she, along with all of us, knows Shadow's thing for having sticks in the right place. He was helpless to do anything besides get up to help her with that stick...then she slipped into the nest bowl while he was focused on getting it arranged. (Shadow had a close 2nd for this record when he brought Jackie a giant fish and then sneaked into the nest bowl while she was eating.)

--most unique new sounds...Jackie seems to have developed a new soft, twittery kind of language that she often does the whole time Shadow is there with her.


--most mischievous teasing of your partner...while he was refusing to get up when Jackie arrived for her turn, he kept biting the leg of a coot delivered earlier (he did it 3 times!) to keep her focused on protecting that food. She soon gave up and left him on the nest. After she left, he completely ignored the coot from then on.

--most bonks on your partner with an out-of-control stick...Jackie tried to catch his record a couple times, but he managed to stay in the lead.

--best mumbling under your breath when you have to get off the nest

--most mysterious fish delivery...after Jackie and Shadow were both involved in a noisy aerial chase of an intruder in the area, Shadow arrived with a fish in his talons--was he defending it from the intruder? Did he steal it himself? Or maybe the intruder unexpectedly dropped it upon being chased by an angry pair defending their nest and Shadow just retrieved it from the ground?

Though Jackie and Shadow have not given up, the 2nd egg has not shown any signs of hatching. It is unlikely that it will at this point. There is no way for us to know why this is the situation. Jackie and Shadow have taken the best care ever of that egg and will likely continue doing that for several days or maybe a few weeks. We'll watch and see.

While it feels sad to all of us watching since we were hoping for a chick (and please do allow yourself to feel the sadness so you can release it), we can also choose to focus on all the amazing things we are getting to see with Jackie and Shadow and continue to feel grateful to them for allowing us into their lives and teaching us so much about nature and its sometimes mysterious ways. It has its own way of balancing the ecosystems it supports...it is our job to watch, learn and trust.

Thank you, as always, for watching and caring about Jackie and Shadow and everything we are all learning here.


March 24, 2021 - Smorgasboard

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday, a sudden storm passed through the area--with on and off rain, wind, snow and even hail. Jackie and Shadow hunkered down on the nest, still taking turns, but with Jackie taking the longest shifts as she usually does in bad weather.

In the morning Shadow arrived in the fog with a small tree to add to his stick collection, and then took over nest duty. When Jackie came back after only an hour, Shadow complained quite loudly--it almost seemed like he was saying 'I'm tough, too, you know. I can handle this bad weather.' -- but it didn't matter. She made him get up anyway.

So, Jackie sat through the snowy part. And Shadow decided to work hard in other ways--he went out and brought back a fish for Jackie...and then later he brought a coot...

After her coot lunch, Jackie gave Shadow another turn on the nest...and he even got snow sitting on his back the way she always gets to do during storms. He still complained when she returned, but she was ready for him this time, with one of his tricks--she brought a stick and put it on his back! It didn't work...she had to resort to her old stand-by, 'I'll keep biting your head if you don't get up.' That worked.

Then later Shadow brought another fish. By this time Jackie was so full she didn't take the fish even though Shadow made a point to hand it directly to her, right next to her beak. She finally ate it a couple hours later, shortly before tipping beak down into what looked like a deep sleep after a long, cold day.

The remaining egg is now 40 days old. Though we are still in the window of possibility for hatching, with each passing day it is less likely. We will continue to observe, but sadly we believe by Friday that window will close. We do not and cannot know the why for any of this. It is nature, operating in its own way, without explanation.


March 23, 2021 - Shadow The Stickman

Eagle Update Pictures

Over the past couple days, Jackie and Shadow have been working hard on their shift change comedy routine...

...they both refuse to get up when the other one arrives to take over...often try pretending the other one has not arrived...and both add in vocalizations--loud complaints in Shadow's case, and little continuous squeaks in Jackie's--to make sure the one arriving knows that they are quite displeased with even the idea of turning over nest duty.

...Shadow continues to bring giant sticks, or in some cases, small logs, then bash around the nest, sometimes bonking Jackie repeatedly with the stick, sometimes laying it on top of her and sometimes stepping on her on his way to the perfect location for that stick.

...mostly Jackie is very tolerant...well, except for yesterday when she tried to take the stick away from him only to have it jerked away when Shadow spotted another 'perfect location' for it...

Also, yesterday, Shadow brought Jackie a nice fish for lunch, Jackie had a wing slapping run-in with a gutsy raven, and both Shadow and Jackie joined forces in yelling at an intruder to get out of their territory.

Early this morning Jackie wing slapped to chase away someone--probably Fiona, the little flying squirrel.

And then there was this afternoon, when Shadow brought another big stick and put it right on Jackie's back...but he realized it quickly and only put it back down on top of her three more times in trying to move it off, and then only almost hit her in the head as he slid the stick right over the top of her to finally get that stick into the nest without any part of Jackie underneath it...

...then he found that perfect place for it in the front and everything looked fine...for almost a minute ...but apparently something about that place just felt wrong, so he picked it up again, and bashed Jackie again...and, but hey, wait a minute, this time she reached over and took that stick right away from him and carried it to the other side of the nest out of his reach. He looked a bit dumbfounded.

Tonight he came in after dark and brought a very small stick and quietly placed it without hitting Jackie and then stood and watched Jackie for a bit...apparently just checking on her before he headed off to roost in a nearby tree.

They are still incubating the remaining egg. It does not appear to have a pip yet. This egg hatching is still within the window of possibility--Big Bear is one of the highest elevation nests on the continent, so the local climate tends to slow incubation by a few days. At the same time, it does seem delayed and we cannot guarantee when or if it will hatch. It is up to the chick in the egg and mother nature.


March 21, 2021 - Stick Trippin

Eagle Update Pictures

Shadow came in yesterday with a nice sized reasonable addition to the nest....

...until it got caught on the "V" branch.

...and until he tripped over it and fell on Jackie.

...and until he tripped over another stick.

When he puts the stick in front of Jackie's face, "see what I found?" and she has the nerve to try and take over the stick....Shadow seems to say, no way Jackie, You may be the boss around here, but I rule the sticks!! Even though Jackie appears to be the boss, Shadow sure does get his way quite often.....

Jackie and Shadow are moving forward, caring for egg 2.

We will continue to observe and report on what is happening, without speculation about what might or might not happen in the future or the reasons for what might have happened in the past when we have no way of knowing either of those.

March 19, 2021 - Sad Turn of Events

Eagle Update Pictures

Watching nature often fills us with curiosity and adventure, with joy and delight. Sometimes nature is hard to watch, especially when there is an unexpected turn of events that we do not understand. The chick in the first egg that was working on hatching last night, appears to have stopped moving this afternoon. This is very sad and also, it is part of nature.

We do not know and cannot know what might have happened, no matter how much our human minds would like to speculate or try to figure it out. With this nest camera, we are observers of nature. We have been granted the privilege of watching the daily lives of this beautiful pair of bald eagles. I am willing to watch and to learn and to both laugh and to cry at the things that we see here...

…Jackie and Shadow are continuing to diligently take care of the second egg…we will watch and see what happens next. Thank you all for your great interest in and love of watching Jackie and Shadow in their daily lives. We appreciate your dedication and support.


P.S. While I am saddened by the turn of events in the nest today, I am also saddened by the unexpected and unneeded behavior of some of the humans that are bringing demands and negativity to our social media outlets. Our job is environmental education—to provide a doorway into nature for people to observe and learn. We are very grateful for the huge and growing numbers of people that are getting to watch this nest and we do our best to answer questions and provide information about the nest, the eagles and the continually changing events happening. Thank you to the huge numbers of people who are appreciative of what we do, as well as patient and understanding when things get overwhelming due to the sheer numbers of questions and comments coming in. If you do not like the way things are handled here, then I would apologize that we have not turned out to be what you were expecting or hoping and I would also ask that you please find a place that you can enjoy rather than spending your energy bringing angry negativity to the comments you make in chat or our Facebook pages. We are always open to constructive suggestions and new ideas. We are not open to and will not tolerate for any reason having our very knowledgeable and dedicated moderators and staff abused by people who just want to vent. Please take that elsewhere. Thank you.

March 18, 2021 - Pip!

Eagle Update Pictures

We have a pip! Hatching in progress!!

March 12, 2021 - Take That Shadow

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie & Shadow continue to diligently incubate through wind, sleet, snow and whatever else nature throws their way.

Yesterday when Jackie returned from her break, as usual, Shadow voiced his opinion, then tried to ignore her...but Jackie had a trick up her sleeve, a Shadow stick trick to be exact! When she placed her tiny little stick on his back, Shadow seemed stunned she would even think of doing that and headed out the back door!

Though it is sometimes hard to see them behind the wall of snow, both little eggs are still in there all warm and cozy. They are now 32 & 29 days old, pip watch begins March 15th!

March 9, 2021 - Dressed For Winter

Eagle Update Pictures

With snow falling in Big Bear for most of today, Jackie hunkered down and did the vast majority of the egg-sitting, as she always does during bad weather. She of course is certain that she is the most capable to protect the eggs, so she sat and sat, napping and getting snow covered in between occasionally shaking it all off. But she must really trust Shadow...

...she let him have a turn on the eggs for a whole hour. During the middle of the day when the storm had died down for a bit, he came in to give her a break and it didn't take much convincing before she happily got up to take him up on the offer. She came back with a full crop after her little lunch break and Shadow immediately turned the eggs back over to the storm-sitting expert.

Even though she gets covered with snow at various points, there is no need to worry about Jackie in this cold weather--she is built for handling it...

...bald eagles have over 7000 feathers, including a layer of down--that traps warm air pockets next to their body--covered by heavy interlocking waterproof feathers...so, it's like Jackie has on 2 or 3 warm winter jackets. And since the feathers also cover her head, she is fully equipped with an insulated hat to go with the jackets. Her large body size and high body temperature (about 105 degrees Fahrenheit) allows her to retain body heat quite well to keep both herself and the eggs warm--and being larger than Shadow makes her even more equipped for the storm duty than he is. They both also have a brood pouch on their chest, a small area with fewer feathers that allows them to wriggle down on eggs and bring them right in close to their warm body.

So, even though it looks amazingly cold to us, Jackie and Shadow and the eggs are all doing fine sitting through the storm.


March 4, 2021 - A Big Win For FOBBV

Eagle Update Pictures

All this week, Jackie and Shadow have been diligently incubating and guarding their precious eggs, and having smooth shift changes when one comes in to take over for the other...well, except for the loud complaints about their turn being over...oh, and well, those dirty looks when the one sitting refuses to get up right away...but other than that, it's all been great...

...and we received some Great News this week that makes it much more likely that Jackie and Shadow will be able to enjoy nesting here in their beautiful penthouse suite into the future.

Background--besides the Moon Camp project that was approved this past July, there has been another development project threatening the bald eagles' nesting and foraging area. A project called Marina Point development, immediately west of the Moon Camp parcel--even closer to the nest and also visible from the nest cam. This Marina Point project was approved by the County in 1991--19 three-story condo buildings, a total of 93 condominiums, plus a 175 slip private boat marina, a club house, restaurant and other facilities, all on 12 acres of lakefront property. For the past 18 years, Friends of Big Bear Valley has been involved in continuing legal actions against this Marina Point development based on violations of multiple environmental laws...but this week, WE WON!!!

A California Superior court judge ruled in our favor on this last lawsuit, stating that the original 1991 project approval has expired. This means that those condos cannot be built without the developer getting a new approval from the county. -- our press release about this major win is included in the photos below. We're sure that Jackie and Shadow would be very happy about this news...if they weren't so busy discussing whose turn it is to sit on the eggs.

In the meantime, our legal action against the recently approved Moon Camp project is still in the beginning stages of the often lengthy court process--no updates on that one so far.


February 24, 2021 - Whos Turn Is It Now

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have been doing a great job of protecting their eggs, with beautifully coordinated shift changes and very loud teamwork when any threats show up in the area...

...all through Sunday and Monday, they were tag-teaming right on the mark with no more than a minute between one leaving and the other arriving--and often with one already in the nest or on the back porch before the other left.

...on Sunday, Shadow started shouting at someone in the neighborhood--likely, it was the ravens that had been talking nearby earlier. Jackie came rushing right in to join him, shouting from the back porch as he continued yelling from the nest. Whoever it was, got the message, literally loud and clear.

With that emergency handled, Shadow left and Jackie stepped in immediately.

...A couple hours later, it was Shadow's turn to come to the rescue. Jackie started complaining to the ravens and Shadow flew in to the front porch to assist with the loud warnings. But this time a hawk flying in the area apparently wasn't listening--strongman Shadow flew right out and took up an air chase to make sure he got the message. (you can see both Shadow and the hawk in the distance on the right side of the photo after Shadow flies).

The next time Jackie left, Shadow was already on the back porch ready to step in.

...when Jackie returned from her break, Shadow was not ready to leave and had some loud words about it...but, as usual, fighting with Jackie when she has decided it's her turn is pointless. She moved in closer and closer...he tried to ignore her...but soon gave up and let her have the eggs.

...Shadow always seems to know when he's pushed the limit...so his next move was to deliver a fish, which she happily scarfed down.

When Jackie went on alert and started yelling after dark, she left to check it out and Shadow popped right in to take over. He seemed to think she might let him spend the night on the nest, but nope, that wasn't about to happen.

...As usual Monday morning, Jackie let Shadow know she was leaving and he was there to take over in 35 seconds flat...and then complained big time when she returned saying that it was still his turn. As always, she didn't buy it...and had a bit to say about it as he left. Wise Shadow soon delivered a fish (headless of course) to make amends. Jackie happily accepted his offering...but then told him he was not allowed to watch her eat it, so he had to leave.

...somehow during the day, a trickster stick got into the nest and played games with both of them. Shadow first, tried to arrange that stick where it belonged, but it jumped right out of his beak and across his back. then after the final shift change of the day, Jackie started biting the same stick, and it flipped right over across her back. They will definitely have to be more careful about which sticks they let into the nest.


February 21, 2021 - Daddy Duty

Eagle Update Pictures

Early Friday morning, Shadow woke Jackie up with his sweet morning chortles, to which she responded, and they had a nice long discussion. Jackie rolled the eggs and spent a bit more time with them before calling out to Shadow and flew off, Shadow was right there for daddy duty within 30 seconds!!

They seemed to have a fairly quiet and relaxing day, no arguments over who is on egg duty, just nice, smooth transitions. At one point Shadow even took a little nap, something we don’t see often, he woke up, shook his head and threw out a big ole yawn! Around noon, we could hear raven vocals, Shadow shouted out and Jackie was there in a flash, both working together to protect the nest. Jackie took the afternoon shift but just before bedtime, she shouted out for a full 2 minutes until Shadow flew in with another headless fish, starting to wonder if the lake is full of these headless fish!! Jackie gobbled it down in less than 2 minutes and settled in for the night…. But wait! Shadow surprised us and dropped in for a quick visit after sundown, seems he wanted some more daddy time with the eggs, maybe overnight? Jackie made it quite clear, that wasn’t happening….not tonight, not tomorrow, not ever...

On a very windy Saturday, Shadow came in early to relieve Jackie, she never argues on that duty change, when morning rolls around she is ready to stretch her wings. After 2 ½ hours on daddy duty, wondering if Shadow envisions Jackie bringing him a tailless breakfish, it could happen….in his dreams! When Jackie did return, Shadow again tried his best to stand his ground….yelled a little, ignored her a lot, nipped at her wing (that wasn’t a good idea)…Jackie moved in closer…closer…closer then went right in for the beak nibble, that worked! Shadow finally waved his white flag and let her have her way, after all she IS a really big eagle! Shadow returned with a nice sized, well-manicured stick that suspiciously had clean cuts on both ends, someone just might be missing some firewood, and this wasn’t the first time we’ve seen a stick like that! Dad took the afternoon off again and showed up after dark again and wanted Jackie to give him a turn again and Jackie said “no” again…this time he even tried to sweeten the deal with a little beak bump to no avail.

Pip watch will begin March 15th! A pip is the first hole or crack in the egg indicating the hatching process has begun. We should see a hatch shortly after that.

Quick Facts:

When the eagles walk around the eggs, they curl in their talons under so they don’t damage the eggs.

Eagles frequently roll the eggs throughout the day & night. This keeps the membranes from sticking to the shell and helps to evenly distribute heat to the egg.

Shadow sleeps in nearby roost trees at night, why he does not stay in the nest tree we don’t know. Seems each eagle pair has their own preference. At some nests, the male does sleep in the nest tree.

February 18, 2021 - The Fish That Got Away

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow continue expanding their incubation-time expertise--from proper fish etiquette and shift coordination to stick management, order-shouting and silent persuasion.

...Shadow had to learn the hard way that if you plan to eat part of the fish, you had best do it BEFORE bringing the fish to the nest. Wednesday morning he tried bringing the whole fish and eating the part he wanted (the head) with Jackie watching--not a good idea. It is difficult to enjoy your meal with someone yelling loudly from across the room and then moving, all huffed up like a monster, closer and closer until they steal it right out from under you. His later fish delivery was headless and all went smoothly.

...the same day, Shadow tried a new technique for getting Jackie to turn egg duty over to him--he arrived on the back porch (out of view) and started 'suggesting' that she should get up and leave...it took over 17 minutes of rather heated back and forth discussion before she agreed to let him take over.

...Meanwhile, Jackie has stuck with her old standby techniques--leave and shout from the distance that you'd better get there pronto (he does), or the ever effective 'louder-than-words' silent stare. No matter how much he argues, her stare always wins.

...When an unruly stick sneaked in too close to the egg-sitting zone, it took both of their efforts to get it back in control--they tried biting it into submission, pushing it while sitting, ignoring how much it was in the way and pulling it up higher before Shadow finally took that stick in hand (or beak) and moved it clear to the side of the nest.

One last note for anyone having trouble telling Shadow and Jackie apart. You can use the always accurate shark-fin method...when Shadow is bending over the eggs, his back feathers stand up in a point that looks like a tiny shark fin. Jackie's 'fin' conveniently splits into 2 points so it looks different than Shadow's.


February 17, 2021 - Serious Discussions

Eagle Update Pictures

Monday mornings seem to be the same for everyone, even eagles! Jackie woke up at her regular time, but lounged around and stayed in bed until 7:00am, pretty late for an early bird like herself….that's ok, she isn’t after the worm anyway…. She sounded off her alarm for Shadow and headed out to stretch her wings.

Shadow still being stubborn and refusing to move, Jackie often bows her head and appears to be counting to 3 which rarely works, well it never works….kisses were the key this time!

Both Jackie and Shadow decided to accessorize with some long lake grass, though both looked beautiful, Shadow won the prize for this round in the pageant! Shadow brought in another headless fish for Jackie, he sure can’t pretend he found it like that, the proof is all over his beak. They couldn’t be more perfect for each other, he likes the head, she loves the tail and yes, she gulped that huge piece of fish down all at once!!

Yesterday Shadow arrived early landing on the front porch balcony. They both threw their heads back and belted out a duet, singing good morning to the neighborhood! When Jackie moved out to the front porch, Shadow had no choice but to play leapfrog, hurdling over Jackie’s head to get to the nest. They switched off many times and yes, Shadow used his stick tricks and yes, it worked again…. and again…. In addition to Shadow using sticks, fluff and walking on Jackie’s back, looks like he is taking notes from her and has become quite the vocalist! Squeeing, chortling, whining, complaining (maybe even yelling) at Jackie when she comes back to take over incubating….you can almost hear “I don’t waaaaaanna get up!” At the last changing of the guard, wow…. they had quite the discussion going on, maybe Shadow wanted to stay in the nest overnight….we can see who won that debate!

February 15, 2021 - A Day In The Life

Eagle Update Pictures

Over the weekend Jackie and Shadow were both great at incubating, rolling eggs, yelling at ravens and arranging the nest while sitting...and they worked together on shift changes in complete cooperation--well mostly complete...well at least some cooperation, except for the part where neither one of them wants to get off the eggs when it's the other one's turn to incubate.

...Jackie usually lets Shadow take over early in the morning after she sits all night...Saturday she left before dawn and did a chortling announcement about it from a distance...Shadow arrived at the nest in less than a minute and announced his arrival back to Jackie.

...Jackie often brings fluff to the nest and then stares at Shadow until he gets up...he usually tries to ignore her at first, but eventually follows her implied orders (it's hard to argue with Jackie, even silently)

...when it's his turn to take over, Shadow has a whole kit full of techniques to convince Jackie...Saturday morning, he brought a big stick, decided it belonged on the other side of the nest and walked right across Jackie's back to get there--a not-so-subtle reminder that he was there and it was his turn...it worked.

...but for the rest of the day, probably because of the high winds, Jackie decided she was the only one qualified to sit on those eggs and no matter what Shadow tried, she refused to budge...

---a giant stick delivery didn't work...

---bonking her with the next big stick delivery didn't work...and neither did laying the stick on her from either direction...

---delivering a bunch of fluff didn't work...nor did an even bigger bunch of fluff...nor did nipping at her wing...he finally gave up and she stayed on the nest through the windstorm (about 20 hours straight on the nest).

During her 20 hours, Jackie had to poop off the side of the nest...and afterwards, as she often does, she loudly announced it to the neighborhood. In the night, the wind was blowing her feathers all around and one giant gust blew her clear off-balance.

. On Sunday, besides always pretending Jackie wasn't there when she came to take over (it never works), and sadly losing one prize stick over the side--he stared longingly down at it--Shadow perfected his "getting Jackie off the eggs" techniques...

...bumping her with the big sticks he brings continues to work well...

...but his best technique yet was to stand right in front of her so there is no way she can't see him, and then clinch it with a surprise kiss--she was up off the eggs in under a minute.

...and then just to stay in her good graces, it doesn't hurt to bring her a fish for lunch and another one for dinner.


February 14, 2021 - New Live Cam Link

Click here for the live eagle cam. 


February 13, 2021 - A Job Well Done

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have been super egg parents since the 1st egg of the new clutch was laid. They been protecting the nest and incubating the eggs like they have in previous seasons.

Thursday started like any other day, Jackie & Shadow shared incubation duties and Shadow like the good mate he is continued to bring in food. At the end of the day after Shadow’s last visit, Jackie laid the 2nd egg of the clutch!

Yesterday Jackie slept in later than usual, woke up with a big yawn and waited for Shadow. She didn’t have to wait long; there he was to see the 2nd egg for the first time and to let her go out and stretch her wings. Shadow is already up to his old tricks… when he incubates and Jackie returns… he simply ignores her, she takes a step closer, he turns his head, she stares at him, he turns the other way, she talks softly to him, he talks back to her…..oh Shadow.

The area had a little bit of hail and snow yesterday, Jackie hunkered down and kept the egg babies warm and comfy, the weather quickly cleared, the sun came out and the snow in the nest melted. Shadow brought in a nice fish and a small bird, Jackie ate both!! Shadow even did a mighty wing slap at some ravens when he thought they got a little too close! Shadow headed off to a nearby roost tree for the night and Jackie settled in with her eggs.

February 13, 2021 - URGENT - LIVE CAM

The current live stream will be down for maintenance on 2-14-2021 at 9:00 am PST. At that time a new stream address will be created and the current stream will no longer work. Please check back here on 2-14-2021 for the new live cam link. Announcements will also be made on the FOBBV Facebook page and on the Facebook interactive sister group. Thank you.

February 11, 2021 - Egg # 2 Has Arrived!

Eagle Update Pictures

Congratulations Jackie & Shadow!!! Jackie laid her 2nd egg of the 2nd clutch of the season at 5:21pm PST on February 11th. Both eagles have been doing a great job protecting and incubating egg #1. Pip watch will begin on March 15th.

February 9, 2021 - Laying, Protecting and Incubating The New Egg

Eagle Update Pictures

Over the last few days Jackie & Shadow have been very busy bringing more sticks, more fluff, lots of fish and oodles of kisses!

Now for the big event! Though we knew there was a chance Jackie would lay a 2nd clutch, she really surprised us yesterday afternoon by laying the egg mid-day and with Shadow by her side no less! The morning started like most other days, sticks, sticks more sticks…..Shadow delivered a couple of large bundles of soft materials….. Jackie flew in with a nice catfish and did not share with Shadow, no worries Shadow had a nice sized crop already. They tidied up the nest and spent a lot of time just hanging out side by side.

Just after 2:30pm PT, Jackie’s head feathers starting to rise, then she roused her body feathers and started rocking side to side. This is when Shadow decided he needed to get out of there and go to the waiting room or the front porch in this case. Jackie started her “tea kettle” vocals and Shadow watched with concern for her. The actual egg laying event didn’t take long, 4 to 5 minutes and then the great reveal! Shadow stayed with her until the egg was laid and flew off shortly after. He returned just short of an hour later and mama said, nope, not your turn yet! So Shadow does what he has always done…. leaves….returns with a stick….puts it on Jackie’s back and gets his way! Jackie let him have some incubation time, about 1 ½ hours when Jackie returned for the night….

February 8, 2021 - Congratulations Jackie & Shadow! Part 2

Eagle Update Pictures

Congratulations Jackie & Shadow!! Jackie laid the 1st egg of her 2nd clutch at 2:42pm PT on February 8th. Shadow was by her side for much of the beautiful event. Jackie looks good and is now resting.

February 7, 2021 - Fish Gifts and More

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have been at the nest several times a day this week, sharing togetherness; bringing, arranging and sometimes battling with new sticks; sitting in the fluff of the nest bowl; sneaking in sweet kisses and dining on Shadow's frequent fish deliveries.

Some of the highlights...

...Jackie seems to thoroughly enjoy sliding into the nest full speed from the right side entrance...this time she even startled Shadow when she forgot to hit the brakes and landed a bit on her nose. He, of course, did what any caring mate would do and immediately started straightening out the sticks she knocked out of place with her daredevil landing.

...as Shadow brings fish to the nest, Jackie starts squealing as soon as he even thinks about catching one, either in the nest announcing his imminent delivery or from a distance as she races in to claim it...and Shadow has gotten sweeter each day in the deliveries...stepping back to show it's all hers, sliding the fish over to her, or giving her gentle kisses as she takes it.

...He's kept her so well fed that sometimes she cannot even finish the fish, so he helps her with that...and once quite bravely reached in even as she continued soft squeals to pull the fish from under her feet and finish it for her.

...Jackie set new records for the best 'hovering over the fish to claim it as mine'...and seems to be doing a lot of wide open wings-spread arrivals, sometimes fully caressing Shadow in the process.

...both Jackie and Shadow are keeping a close eye on the nest and have come racing in to assist each other in warning away ravens that are getting too close...and as a result, the ravens have been mostly keeping their distance.

...one evening after the homeowners had headed to their roost tree, Fiona dropped by for a short little visit.

As always, we will just keep watching to see what Jackie and Shadow have in store for us next.


p.s.There are still a few 2021 Jackie & Shadow calendars remaining... you can get yours at https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/product/2021-calendars/

February 3, 2021 - Work Work Work and a Little Us Time

Eagle Update Pictures

All work and a little play…..

Over the last several days Jackie and Shadow have been working their talons to the bone. Sticks, fluff, fish & kisses….

After the storms, the nest started out full of snow, it didn’t seem to bother them much, Jackie just kicked it out of the way and settled right in. Each day they have made several visits to the nest, Shadow bringing fish & sticks, Jackie fish & fluff.

The ravens have kept their distance since Jackie and Shadow have been more alert and in nest protection mode. Their behavior is showing they are back in sync, Shadow bringing fish gifts for Jackie, placing sticks on her back and standing by her side while she is laying in the nest. Does this mean more eggs? We simply don’t know. Jackie can have up to 3 two-week periods of fertility in a breeding season. The frequent visits, recent nest building and bonding are all good signs that they haven’t given up.

Yesterday Jackie & Shadow arrived early, worked on the nest, enjoyed the sunrise then the real work began! In total they brought in 6 sticks by 10:36am, but that wasn’t the end….Jackie came in with a nice fish, just as she started in on her mid-morning snack, Shadow showed up with his own fish….well he thought it was his until Jackie decided it looked tastier than hers (don’t worry, Shadow had already munched on his fish before he got there, he knows his lady too well!). Shadow watched and waited for Jackie to finish her meal before he moved in on “her” fish (maybe making sure she was full) and then he saved the tail for her. They returned in the afternoon for nice long bonding visit, Shadow being very attentive and kissy kissy with Jackie, this time more play and less work. At dusk, Jackie came in for one last check on the nest, then she headed out to find her Shadow.

February 1, 2021 - Happy Hatch-Day

Eagle Update Pictures

When Jackie and Shadow both arrived at the nest for the 1st time, we could age them both by their plumage. Each of them still had remnants of sub-adult markings in their feathers which made it possible to determine their age (See attached pictures). Once a Bald Eagle turns 5 years of old, their age can no longer be determined as their feather patterns do not change. Since Jackie & Shadow are not banded, we can’t be sure where they came from or the date they hatched. We do know hatching can take place anytime in winter/spring depending on the region. FOBBV decided to make February 1st the observed hatch day for both eagles. So HAPPY HATCH-DAY Jackie, 9 years old & Shadow, 7 years old!!

* Happy Hatch Day photo courtesy of our chat moderator, Silent Wings.

January 30, 2021 - Sharing Is Caring

Eagle Update Pictures

With the off and on snow storms over the past few days, Jackie and Shadow keep finding themselves ankle deep (literally!) in new snow. But it hasn't kept them from working, bringing sticks, sitting, hanging out together and sometimes even dining in the snow-covered nest.

. Jackie has been at the nest daily and Shadow on most days. They've also had a few visits from their raven neighbors looking for left-over snacks. For each visit however, either Jackie or Shadow has raced in and chased away their guests. Jackie also loudly reminds them who this nest belongs to. But this pair of ravens is apparently quite adventurous--one day they even mated in the middle of the nest while the eagles were away.

That afternoon, Shadow brought in a big fish for lunch and Jackie quickly arrived squealing about the fish being hers. Shadow had a little something to say about that and the loud discussion continued for some time...interrupted only by Shadow having a sudden OCD attack...he had to move an obviously out of place stick to the right place before jumping back into the conversation. Jackie won that argument and Shadow stepped aside like a gentleman and let her have the fish. She happily hunkered over it and continued squealing all while she ate. As soon as Shadow left, Jackie was apparently tired of politely eating bits at a time and she swallowed the whole tail in one gulp.The ravens came in again to gobble up leftovers, but Jackie was there in an instant to get them gone--and she gave them a loud warning to boot.

. Jackie and Shadow have both been bringing sticks to the nest and have spent a lot of time team-working the sticks, hanging out together and sneaking in a bit of kissy kissy.

. Jackie has been trying out the nest bowl often and after the snow melted a bit, she brought in a pile of soft nest bowl lining (which can be hard to obtain on ground covered with 2 feet of snow). The next day, even though Shadow tried to make sure no one was looking, we caught him sitting in the nest bowl for a split second...but Jackie arrived soon after and did more of her own sitting.

Please remember to get your 2021 Jackie and Shadow calendar before they are gone--https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/product/2021-calendars/

Thank you for your support and for enjoying Jackie and Shadow!


January 25, 2021 - Snow Snow, More Snow And A Big Fish

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow continue their adventures at the nest over the last few days. Friday Shadow was in early with a stick, he seems to be tracking Jackie flying around and soon she came in to join him. They worked a bit on the nest…Jackie hunkered down to deal with the high winds that were rockin & rollin the nest all day! Shadow came soaring in later on a small tree that he got all tangled-up in. Once he freed himself, he placed the stick right in front of the east entrance, he spent the next 10 minutes trying to get the stick to lay down…soon Jackie arrived… They hung out together at the nest, relaxing, Jackie testing the nest bowl. Shadow hurdled over the new front porch rail, Jackie used the back door and they headed out to enjoy the rest of their afternoon. Jackie arrived the next morning to find the nest buried in snow and despite the cold stuff, she tried out the nest bowl once again for a short time. She took some time standing on the edge of the nest and gazed out over the valley looking like the beautiful snow queen she is! Both retuned later in the evening for a short visit, attempted to work on the nest but didn’t seem to like the snow piling up in their beaks. Jackie did a quick test of the nest bowl while Shadow looked a bit confused as to why she would do that! They headed off to find shelter as a new storm was moving in. After a full night of snow, the ravens came by to do some snow removal for Jackie & Shadow, quite neighborly of them wouldn’t you say? They were flinging snow off the nest, tossed a couple of sticks over the side and found a few snacks for themselves along the way. Later Shadow flew in with a huge fish, apparently the brazen ravens thought they should have a dinner invite for all the work they did earlier in the day. They landed in the nest while Shadow was eating, he wasn’t about to let them interrupt his meal, despite a couple of wingslaps and an few mean eagle stares, they stood their ground until they saw Jackie coming in! Jackie arrived with a decent sized crop but wanted some of Shadow’s tasty fish, she cried, whined, yelled…. tried to steal it…eventually Shadow gave in, stepped aside and let her have the tail end which she gulped down in one swallow! They hung around for about an hour, Shadow out on the high branch and Jackie laying in the nest. They both headed out early to the roost tree as yet another snowstorm was rolling in…

January 22, 2021 - Taking Care of Business

Eagle Update Pictures

Calendars available! plus Jackie & Shadow fundraising results below...

. Yesterday Jackie flew in screaming at intruders flying near the nest...making sure everyone in the neighborhood knows that this is her nest and they better clear out. And it worked! Whoever was around left immediately and Jackie was able to spend her time arranging the soft nest liner that she brought in with her.

. She returned in the evening for more arranging and was quickly joined by Shadow so he could make sure everything was put into it's proper place. Shadow was the smoochie one this time, but Jackie didn't seem to mind. As soon as Shadow headed out, Jackie had a little try-out in the nest bowl before joining him with lots of chortling back and forth from the nearby roost tree.

. The day before Jackie slid into the nest while yelling at ravens and Shadow quickly joined her to very loudly tell those guys to get away. Jackie and Shadow have been at the nest several times over the past few days, often together, yelling at intruders, putting the nest back in order and bringing new sticks--sometimes giant ones. Of course with all that closeness, there have been a few little kissy kissy sessions. And they have both been eating quite well, coming in with crops so full it looks like they might tip over. But that didn't stop Shadow from bringing a giant fish to the nest for Tuesday's lunch...this time he generously left the tail for Jackie.

CALENDARS -- we still have a few remaining Jackie and Shadow 2021 calendars available, in case you forgot to get yours:


JACKIE & SHADOW'S HABITAT FUNDRAISER -- we reached our goal with $80,759 received. THANK YOU all very much for supporting us in this!! We have filed the legal claims challenging the approval of the development that would impact Jackie and Shadow and their nest. We will keep you posted as things develop on this.

Thank you to all of you for watching the nest cam and caring about Jackie and Shadow. We are very happy that everyone is learning about these beautiful bald eagles and their daily activities.


January 16, 2021 - Moving On

Eagle Update Pictures

After an eventful and tough week full of highs and lows, it looks like Jackie & Shadow are moving forward to the next chapter in their lives and now we can all move forward with them. Thursday night Jackie stayed in the nest as her body is telling her that is where she needs to be. Jackie came in Friday afternoon to discover a bonded pair of ravens had decided to rearrange the nest, snooping in all the nooks and crannies looking for some sort of treasure. She didn’t seem to like their decorating style too much but decided to wait for Shadow to get everything back in place. Both Jackie and Shadow retuned after sunset and seemed to be back in nestoration mode, both working on the same sticks together, clearing out the nest center, bumping and bonding….Shadow headed off to the roost tree and Jackie stayed another night at the nest, this time she slept standing up, which is preferred with eagles. Yesterday they took the day off to enjoy the beauty of Big Bear Valley. They both stopped by the nest again after sunset, each with HUGE crops, they must have spent the day fishing! They worked on the nest, each stopping for a little kissy beaky at times. Shadow headed out to the roost tree for the night and Jackie followed shortly after….Life is back to normal for our sweet eagle couple.

January 14, 2021 - The Last Egg Lost To Ravens

Eagle Update Pictures

We are very sad to report that egg #2 was preyed on by ravens this afternoon. The eagles have clearly been focused on something else, we will never know what that may be. The egg having little incubation time was not likely to hatch. Jackie & Shadow can now move on and focus on their future. We are early in the breeding season so there is still a chance Jackie can lay a 2nd clutch in a month or two, though it is not guaranteed. We will continue to observe Jackie & Shadow to see what they have planned for the future.

January 13, 2021 - Egg #3

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie is sleeping now after another rough event this evening. She laid a third egg, but it somehow had gotten broken either before or during the laying process. That process ended up being long and hard this time, possibly due to the egg being broken. We do not know why it would have gotten broken. She is resting now and incubating the 2nd egg.


January 9, 2021 - Congratulations Jackie and Shadow On Their 2nd Egg

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow's 2nd egg arrived in the evening of 1/9. Shadow joined Jackie shortly after the egg was laid, she made him wait quite awhile before the big reveal... Congratulations Jackie and Shadow!

January 8, 2021 - Shadow Returns

Eagle Update Pictures

After being absent from the nest for a couple of days, Shadow flew in with a nice big fish, calming the viewer's concerns for his safety!

January 7, 2021 - The Egg Has Been Taken

Eagle Update Pictures

We are all very sad to report that the egg Jackie laid yesterday was preyed on by ravens this afternoon while Jackie was away from the nest. Shadow has not been seen at the nest since yesterday morning. We do not know why he was not coming to help with the egg, but there is no cause for concern at this time. There is a possibility that Jackie will lay another egg within a couple of days. The only thing we can do now is observe.

January 6, 2021 - Congratulations Jackie & Shadow!

Eagle Update Pictures

On 1/6/2021 at 5:41 PM Jackie laid her 1st egg of the 2021 season! Congratulations Jackie & Shadow!!

January 3, 2021 - Egg Watch 2021

Eagle Update Pictures

My oh my…Jackie & Shadow have been busy and keeping us busy!

Thursday Jackie flew in the side door with a nice crib rail, she has been working hard getting the nest ready for eggs….she didn’t waste much time testing out the nest bowl, it looks mighty cold to us, but she doesn’t seem to mind too much. Soon Shadow came in with a fish and this time Jackie took it for herself. Shadow did not put up a fight meaning this fish was a gift! They made several more visits, adding more sticks placing them just right. With the high winds, Jackie got tangled up in Shadow’s tail feathers, she didn’t look as amused as we were by the situation. Later in the afternoon Shadow returned with another fish, he was only gone about 5 minutes showing what a great fisherman he is! Jackie seemed to think this was another fish gift, but Shadow made it very clear, this one was his. When there are no eggs or chicks, eagles fend for themselves, so it was a good sign when Shadow brought Jackie breakfast.

New Years day was a busy one for the eagles, starting early bringing in one stick after the other, they delivered 9 sticks in 1 hour, 11 for the day! Jackie is back to her giant stick shenanigans, just when it seems there is no room for more, she proves us wrong… After several visits they ended the day at dusk together in the nest, Shadow is being much more attentive. A lot of bonding, bumping and of course some beaky kisses…

Saturday Jackie was once again flying solo, Shadow decided to take another day off to relax. Jackie checked in a few times for some short visits and to lay in the nest for a bit.

A big thank you to all our followers, yesterday we reached 100,000 followers!! Remember to follow us to get all of the updates on Jackie & Shadow and of course we are officially in egg watch 2021!

January 1, 2021 - Snow and Fish

Eagle Update Pictures

Happy New Year's Day! Starting a few days before New Year's eve, Jackie has been making a few visits to the nest every day, mostly to sit in the nest bowl. She and Shadow have also been bringing fish to eat at the nest--both of these are definite nesting season behaviors...

On Sunday, she came twice and Shadow not at all--so she had an extensive long distance conversation with him about it...Shadow got in the last word...and still didn't show up at the nest.

By Jackie's mid-day visit on Monday, the nest was overflowing with new snow. No matter how many times she tried to sit down, it was just way too cold on her belly and she ended up sort of squatting for a few seconds at a time instead of laying in that icy white stuff. She brought a fish for lunch and ate the whole thing herself. Shadow finally joined her on her 3rd visit for a little 'sticky' teamwork. It was windy and cold all day, but that didn't stop Jackie from another visit right before sundown to give sitting one more good try...still too cold.

Jackie came sliding in from the right entry door with a big fish early Tuesday...and again she ate the whole thing herself. She didn't try sitting until her late morning visit, and even though it was very windy and cold she managed to sit for a few minutes at a time.

Then it was Shadow's turn to bring a fish...and he wouldn't share either, no matter how loud Jackie's cries were. I'm pretty sure I heard him saying something about her crop being still full from breakfast--but that didn't stop her from trying to convince him she was starving. At one point he stood on his fish with both feet to make sure she didn't try any shenanigans. After he finished, Jackie laid in the nest and he almost blew away on his way out...karma?...so, he brought another fish...and still wouldn't let Jackie have any when she came flying in, squealing. But they made peace after that. And when Jackie returned for her early evening visit, they teamed up to keep an eye on some pesky ravens.

Jackie started the day early again on Wednesday and made a total of 8 visits to the nest, sitting a bit each time. A couple of those visits were to chase away a couple of ravens snatching fish scraps. The 2nd time Shadow even came to help.

After sitting for a while in the evening, Jackie was apparently upset that Shadow had not arrived. So, first she called out to him across the valley, then went out to fetch him...he seemed to get the message at that point and followed her right back to the nest for an after sunset visit...and he was smart enough to give her some attention and nice head nibbles before heading out to roost.

Jackie and Shadow wanted me to remind everyone that there are still 2021 Jackie&Shadow calendars (and t-shirts also) available on the FOBBV website. https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/product/2021-calendars/



December 27, 2020 - Bonding And More

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie & Shadow have been hanging out at the nest more often recently, adding sticks, fluff, arranging furniture and just relaxing. This is all part of the bonding and breeding process…. Jackie lays in the nest bowl on just about every visit, sometimes for long periods of time….does this mean eggs? Only Jackie knows the answer to that question!

Thursday Jackie was flying solo making several visits to the nest while Shadow decided to take the day off…She brought in a nice fish for lunch, while eating she seems to be looking for Shadow, maybe she wanted him to know she is just as good at fishing as he is or maybe she wanted him to know this was her fish and she had no intentions of sharing! As she was enjoying her lunch, light snow started to fall, by nightfall the nest was covered in snow & icy slush….winter has arrived…

Friday they both arrived early within seconds of each other & stayed for a short visit. Jackie stopped in a couple more times to deliver some sticks, test the nest and back out again. Later in the day Shadow arrived with a fish of his own, this time Jackie stayed away so he could enjoy his afternoon snack (though we did hear her voicing her opinions from afar!). Soon after he gulped down the last of his fish, Jackie came in, they worked a little…Shadow couldn’t resist and grabbed Jackie’s tail feathers while she laid in the nest…. this of course led to a whole lotta sweet kissy kissy which was probably Shadow’s plan all along!

Saturday they arrived together to the nest each with nice clumps of fluff, … When Shadow was heading out the front to leave, Jackie nibbled on his tail feathers, her plan was successful, he returned to the nest for some more beak kissing & bonding time. Shadow took off to the stick depot while Jackie used her alone time to arrange the fluff around the nest until everything was just right. Jackie returned for a long visit later in the afternoon, laying in the nest for more than 1.5 hours…. Its getting eggciting!

December 24, 2020 - Indecision

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow seem to be having a bit of indecision about whether it's nesting season or not--Jackie seems sure that it is and Shadow sometimes acts like it is, sometimes not. Some of their nesting season actions include...they both continue to bring sticks to the nest and bond, Jackie keeps coming to sit in the nest bowl, Shadow brings food to the nest...but then Shadow doesn't want to share the food he brings with Jackie, which is an off-season behavior--or maybe he's just waiting until he sees an egg to be convinced enough to give up some of his lunch.

...Monday afternoon, Shadow brought a fish to the nest. Jackie, with her skilled food detection system, started squealing at him from a distance that she was coming for that food. In response, he put his foot down (literally!) on that fish and squawked back at her. When she arrived, he held his ground, guarding and eating the fish no matter how loud Jackie squealed...until at the last minute, Jackie pushed in and grabbed the tail and swallowed it down in one gulp...

...then they both cleaned up the crumbs and went back to moving sticks like normal. Jackie sat in the nest bowl while Shadow sat on the front porch for almost an hour. When she got up, Shadow came right in to check underneath her, apparently looking for an egg. After a little teamwork on the nest, Jackie sat back down and Shadow showered her in kisses.

The next evening everything seemed back to peace and calm...Jackie arrived first, with Shadow right behind her for a little nest arranging team work and some more of that kissy kissy stuff.

Yesterday, Jackie slid into the nest mid-morning for some quiet nest-sitting...that is until Shadow arrived with a little rodent lunch that he again refused to share. Jackie wasn't quite so upset this time (maybe because her crop was pretty full already) and Shadow did let her help clean up the leftovers. Then Jackie went back to sitting while Shadow went in search of the perfect stick...twice.

While they were away for the afternoon, a couple of hungry ravens dropped in to clean up any remaining leftovers--at least they were smart enough to keep a sharp lookout every few seconds for any returning homeowners.

Jackie was back a bit later for more sitting...but something was upsetting her in the distance, so she left to check things out. She returned one more time for some nest sitting before heading out for the night.

Jackie, Shadow and all of us at Friends of Big Bear Valley wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever other holiday you celebrate, please Enjoy!


December 19, 2020 - Preparing and Protecting The Nest

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have continued their quiet bonding with nest-building and hanging out at the nest the past few days...

Tuesday early morning, Jackie had a visit from a couple of very brave (or not very bright) ravens while she was in the nest...one at a time, they sat right on the front porch, even trading places and hip-hopping closer, right up until...Jackie had had quite enough and with one giant wing-slap sent them skedaddling out of there. Then she sat on the front porch like she was reclaiming her territory...and she came back within the hour to double check all was in order.

Late morning, Shadow delivered a nice stick and worked hard until Jackie arrived with her contribution, which he promptly took from her to place where he knew it belonged...then they just hung out in the nest for 2-1/2 hours...and of course Shadow could not resist his mischievous little bites at Jackie's tail. Jackie made one more short evening visit before roost time.

The next day, Jackie only dropped by in the evening for a quick stick delivery and a little nest sitting...but she was back early the next morning with another stick, more sitting and a little housekeeping. Shadow soon joined her with a more serious stick and some teamwork on the nest...

...not to be outdone, Jackie later brought in one of her monstrosities. After arranging that quite properly, she did a little nest-sitting, some more furniture arranging, and a little more sitting to try out the fit before Shadow joined her and the stick rearranging got much more serious with some nice teamwork...never mind that it was sometimes in opposite directions...and that sometimes Shadow was more called to nibbling on Jackie than on the sticks. One more really fat stick delivery in the evening made Shadow's day complete...and of course, Jackie brought in her contribution, which was obviously greatly appreciated with a little peck on the cheek.

The only visit yesterday was a quick drop in by Jackie in the evening and some long distance communication that took her back out to join up with him (heard by some distant chortling).


December 13, 2020 - Busy Times

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday was an exciting and busy day at the nest. Jackie in first, she tested the nest bowl and nope, it needed some work. She was soon joined by Shadow with his contribution….Jackie seemed to want to help him find a spot, but Shadow insisted, this was his stick….out of the way, I will find the best place to put it. Jackie tested out the nest bowl once again, but Shadow couldn’t resist a little beaky kissy…. again, Jackie settled into the nest bowl and this time she stayed for over 2 hours (the rumors are starting)! For a bit, the nest had a nicely defined bowl but that sure didn’t last long….

Shadow returned empty taloned, diddled with a few sticks and then enjoyed a few minutes of quiet time before Jackie joined him. They worked together moving sticks, a little kissy kissy, move a stick, another beak bump… both supervising the other on stick placement. Jackie was on a roll in the afternoon bringing in stick after crazy stick. She had a few interesting fly ins…. even coming in through the far side of the nest, we were wondering if air traffic control diverted her entrance due to the high winds!?! She spent the rest of the afternoon moving the big furniture from place to place, several times heading right towards the camera….. Noooooo! All in all a great day at the nest!

December 11, 2020 - A Little Work...A Little Play...A Lot of Rest

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow visited the nest several times over the past few days...and they all were calm, quiet visits--even though it was often so windy their feathers were standing straight out.

Jackie was in early on Tuesday morning for a quick look around, then back twice more that morning to do some work and a little nest sitting. Shadow joined her at one point...and was back to some of his mischief. He left the nest briefly and popped back in with a nice stick...that he proceeded to lay on top of Jackie. No worries, though--her look was enough to get him to remove it immediately.

A raven decided to check things out while they were away, then Jackie dropped in for some sitting, Shadow stopped by to deliver a another nice stick, Jackie joined him and then sat more as soon as Shadow left. He brought another stick for a little game of 'stick tussle', which lead to a some sweet cheek nibbling and the beaky beaky game. Shadow returned later with one more stick for the day...but well, decided that wasn't quite enough so he had to go get just one more. Then Jackie joined for a bit more work, a bit more kissies and a bit more sitting.

The next day, a brave gray squirrel was the first visitor of the day, but he was quick to leave before Jackie arrived a minute later--she could obviously tell someone had been in her nest. She did a little housekeeping before Shadow joined her, with, guess what?--another stick. After Jackie left, Shadow stayed to work...and then spent 2-1/2 hours standing in the same spot just watching the neighborhood. (So we were able to zoom in for a few close-ups of this handsome guy.) After all that standing, a little yoga pose was of course in order to stretch it out.

In the afternoon, Jackie dropped in with a fish for a little nest-side lunch. And she returned in the evening to finish the housekeeping and get in one more nest bowl sit before leaving for the roost.

Sweet, quiet days of preparation...


December 8, 2020 - Nosey Neighbors

Eagle Update Pictures

After a short vacation, Jackie and Shadow decided to visit the nest yesterday afternoon. Seems when the Eagles are away, the Ravens will play. The neighborhood Ravens love to play in the wind and yesterday they were out and about, even stopping in to check out the nest a few times. Jackie and Shadow sure had something to say about that! Shadow came in first, gave them a piece of his mind, then Jackie came in and had to throw out a couple of wing slaps, the Ravens knew she meant business and soon vacated the area.

Our celebrity couple returned late afternoon making sure the Ravens were still behaving, did some light housekeeping, a little feather nipping and of course got in some kissy kissy before heading out to roost for the night.

The big news of the day, that unruly giant stick that was blocking our view of the nest and lake lost its battle with the wind and is now laying low under the camera!!

November 30, 2020 - Regular Visits

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow seem to be on a 'more regular visits to the nest' schedule lately...

The past two days they made at least 3 visits each day, mostly together, sometimes with just Jackie (especially if she wanted a little sit in the nest bowl time)...and most of those visits included multiple trips out to bring in more sticks, a small tree or two and a of couple mini-logs.

Saturday morning was a work visit with Jackie in first, bringing and arranging sticks. She rested on the back porch while Shadow took his work shift...then working together with a few little kisses in between tasks (or maybe a couple of those were 'don't touch my stick, I had it in just the right place' warnings.)

. That evening Jackie won the 'tiniest stick' contest...and Shadow gave her little nibbles of appreciation when he arrived. They finished out the day with a bit more work, a bit more play. (and a good size comparison of the two of them as they stood backs to us, side-by-side)

Shadow was first in Sunday morning, followed soon by Jackie with a small tree complete with leaves (she of course had to make up for that tiny stick the night before!)...and Shadow pitched in to help her find just the right location for it...'over here'...'no, over there'...'let me show you'..'.this is where it goes'. They both had to do a little raven watching (one landed right above the nest).

Shadow brought more sticks, then Jackie brought another tree...and she found the perfect spot--right across Shadow's back!

Jackie was first in the evening sliding in from the right with sticks...and a little nest bowl sit time. Shadow arrived in time for some teamwork, some snuggling and a few late evening poses before he headed off to roost. Jackie followed almost immediately.


November 26, 2020 - Stick Sticks and More Sticks

Eagle Update Pictures

Happy Thanksgiving from Jackie and Shadow....and all of us at Friends of Big Bear Valley. We are all very grateful for each and all of you!

Yesterday was an intense work day for the "J & S Premier Stick Delivery Service" company. They started late morning and worked diligently for almost two hours. Company owners, Jackie and Shadow, each flew off several times only to return moments later with yet another long, pointy addition to the nest...and of course, their expert service includes placing each stick in exactly the proper location. Many of the sticks delivered were such large prime specimens that placement was a two-eagle task. For work efficiency, one often stayed behind to continue the arrangement tasks while the other flew out to procure the next addition.

In between deliveries, neighborhood watch duties were maintained, with both workers participating.

And in spite of strong winds often whipping their feathers around, they performed all duties with great expertise and professionalism...well, almost all of them...well, except for the little moment when Jackie couldn't resist trying out the nest bowl...and then Shadow returned with a little stick to put on her head...and the moment with the extra long stick that Shadow got stuck on his foot...and the little flirting slips that Shadow couldn't resist in biting Jackie's tail feathers. I mean, after all, what guy would be able to contain himself around a woman who can so confidently lug around those big, complex sticks!

When Jackie sat again, Shadow arrived with a big stick that accidentally poked Jackie in the wing...but she let him know immediately to move it. To make up, they worked together on a big stick and were quickly able to find a few moments for some little beak smooches in between the tough tasks and giant sticks.

In the evening, Jackie brought one more big stick and gave the nest a good inspection before heading out for the night.

We hope you all have a wonderful day!


November 25, 2020 - Another Productive Day

Eagle Update Pictures

Another productive day at the nest, Jackie and Shadow were in and out of the nest, bringing sticks, working, bonding, beaking and relaxing….well, not much relaxing…..

Shadow arrived first surprisingly with no stick, he diddled around, moving sticks, watching for Jackie, move a stick, watch for Jackie….Finally Jackie flew in with another new addition, they both got right to work, it goes here, no over here, it would be better here….(Shadow usually waits until Jackie is not looking and puts it where it really belongs). Shadow off to the lumber yard returns, coming in hot through the back and crash lands into Jackie, even Shadow had his eyes closed! After a some more stick deliveries, Jackie heads out on the front porch for some preening, sunning, relaxing and of course her closeup photo shoot.

Another late afternoon visit, more sticks and teamwork…..this time it was Jackie’s turn, coming in hot from the back with another one of her crazy sticks, despite the fear in Shadow’s eyes, he stood his ground…..though a second later he was knocked off his feet! They worked on this one together and seemed mighty proud of their work…taking time in between all of this work for some sweet nips, beak kisses, a little wiggle wiggle testing out the nest bowl and looking out over the neighborhood. Jackie and Shadow will continue with nestorations, breeding season is right around the corner! Normal egg laying for this nest is January, but Jackie did lay eggs in March one year.

New in the online shop, in addition to the 2021 calendar, we have added 2 new Jackie and Shadow t-shirts! You can check them out on our website at: https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/shop/

November 24, 2020 - An Eagles Work Is Never Done

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie has been visiting the nest frequently the past few days, with Shadow often joining, especially for the evening "work and smooch" sessions.

Friday afternoon Jackie came in for a short time to check out the nest bowl fit...she waited a while but when Shadow didn't show up she left out the back door.

Saturday was apparently their day off to hang out at the lake. Shadow was in first and working hard Sunday evening...until a raven ruckus got his and Jackie's attention...he headed out the back to join Jackie on the old nest tree and check out the situation.

Then they were both back in the nest for a bit of tangled together work, which always seems to lead to a little beaky bitey. Jackie was especially flirted this visit. Shadow provided the evening entertainment by giving the camera a good inspection and getting a stick stuck on his beak. On their way out the back to the roost tree, they did some great poses on the back porch for their portrait shots.

Yesterday, Jackie arrived before dawn for a little nest-sitting. And then returned for more in the early afternoon. She spent over an hour hanging out in the wind-swirled nest tree.

Shadow arrived first for their evening visit. They worked hard together, and then it was Shadow's turn to be the flirty one, with lots of back and wing bites to get Jackie's attention...of course, he played innocent whenever Jackie caught him or the camera saw him. Jackie did one more short nest-bowl sit before they headed out to the roost tree.


November 19, 2020 - Nest Preparation

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have been diligent in continuing their nest work over the past few days--bringing sticks (some the size of small trees!), rearranging furniture, trying out the nest bowl...and of course, always a little kissy kissy.

They both dropped in for a short visit and some nest work after sunset on Sunday...and Shadow seemed to be fascinated about Jackie sitting in the nest bowl. She was back the next evening for some more sitting, and Shadow's arrival led to a little stick work and a little beaky bitey...and even Shadow tried out that nest bowl sitting thing.

Shadow came first on Tuesday evening, with a nice stick...then Jackie brought in a bigger one...

...But apparently that one wasn't big enough. She headed out to bring back a stick that would easily classify as a small tree! (She definitely won the giant stick of the day award!)...it was a 2-eagle job to wrestle it into its proper location. After all that work, Jackie took a little break on the back and then the front porch...but Shadow was too busy keeping those unruly sticks in line for any breaks. He continued until after sunset...so Jackie came in to give him some well-earned smooching!...and even a little work assistance.

Yesterday, Jackie was up bringing in sticks before dawn (and looking at the camera to make sure we were all noticing!). But there can't be any major nest additions without Shadow involved, so he brought such a big stick it got caught on the front porch and tripped him up a bit. They were in and out bringing more sticks all morning...and finally, Jackie again, brought the giant stick of the day...but that wasn't quite enough, so she brought in a giant more complex monstrosity. ..another 2 eagle job...

...it's been a busy, but quite successful, few days!


November 15, 2020 - Big Sticks and Bonding Time

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow continued their increased frequency of activities at the nest the past two days...(plus, we're announcing the release of the JACKIE & SHADOW 2021 CALENDARS--see below!!)

On Friday, both Jackie and Shadow flew in after dusk. Shadow arrived first as usual, to do a little cleaning up around the nest. Jackie joined him within a couple minutes, and maybe it was the darkness, but Jackie was especially lovey dovey and couldn't seem to keep her beak off of Shadow for more than a couple minutes at a time. And Shadow didn't seem to be arguing about it. At one point he went to the front porch, but when Jackie laid down in the nest, he rushed back to check on her...and was immediately inundated with kissy beaky action.

Shadow of course did his share of the instigating, but Jackie wouldn't leave him alone for a second, even biting his cheek and then his tail as he headed out for the night. She tried out the nest bowl for a bit before joining him in the roost tree (and chortling all the way to it.)

Yesterday, Jackie started her visits in the early morning, bringing a big stick...as Spiderman kept running back and forth across the lens and spying on her from his new little lens web.

But apparently that stick didn't quite do the trick...she left and came back soon with a GIANT stick and for a short time it was unclear who was going to win the battle of where it belonged...Jackie or the stick. But of course, Jackie prevailed.

She returned late morning with another stick...and then watched out over the neighborhood for the nest hour and a half before heading out toward the lake.

In the evening, Jackie landed in a bit of a kerfuffle as the big stick she brought caught on the current nest sticks...but she got the stick properly placed before Shadow arrived. When Jackie went to hang out on the back porch, Shadow immediately went to work on moving that GIANT stick that Jackie had so obviously placed incorrectly in the morning.

She soon returned and sat to try out the nest, which got the kissy kissies started again.

For their evening relaxation, Shadow sat on the front porch, Jack on the back, then Jackie joined Shadow in front when he moved upstairs. She couldn't resist a little evening chortle...you know, when life is good, you just have to talk about it.

Jackie stayed only a few minutes longer after Shadow headed off to roost, then joined him.

Jackie and Shadow have very generously posed for enough gorgeous photos, that we have assembled them into a beautiful 2021 calendar (thank you, Teri!) and already have them in stock. You can order yours (in time for the holidays) from our website at: https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/product/2021-calendars/

Thank you!


November 12, 2020 - Snow Play

Eagle Update Pictures

After waiting through the big weekend snow storm, Jackie and Shadow made 4 long visits to the nest in the last 2 days--on Tuesday, Jackie visited mid-day, then both Jackie and Shadow came in the evening. Yesterday they visited the nest together both mid-day and evening...with lots of stick arranging (I'm pretty sure that every stick not currently bogged down in snow has been moved at least 3 times), kissy-beaky bonding (with Jackie getting ever more playful with each visit), and keeping an eye on the neighborhood (you know, you have to always be keeping an eye on those sneaky ravens, and that pesky squirrel that has been talking up a storm, and those little birds chittering under the nest right next to the microphone.)

Tuesday evening Shadow put in 15 minutes of solid housework before Jackie arrived...and then he bit her wing. They continued doing smooching in between the work or maybe it was work in between the smooching...at one point Shadow was so dedicated to moving every visible stick that he tried to move the little black talon attached to Jackie's toe...or maybe that was his idea of flirting because she turned it into a smooching session.

Both nights Shadow headed off to roost before Jackie.

Wednesday's visits continued the intense work and even more intense play. At one point Jackie even did a really quick nest bowl fit and as they brought new sticks in they had a slight crash on the back porch as Shadow seemed to be directing Jackie's arrival and forgot to get out of the way. Jackie got so aggressive in her evening smooching that she pushed Shadow right to the edge of the nest...then a little more teamwork on those sticks and off to roost for the night.


November 1, 2020 - Jackie 0 - Squirrel 1

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie had a long visit to the nest yesterday morning...starting off with giving that cute little gray squirrel a shock to his little heart by showing up in the middle of his nest inspection--of course, he filed a formal complaint by chattering up a storm at Jackie as she landed. (in case you missed the live event, we posted a video of it here last night).

Jackie, of course, had a serious scan around the nest, wondering who had been brave enough to trespass on her territory...she even seemed to be looking under the camera, just in case anyone was hiding there. At one point, she watched a stellar jay squawk at her from the background, so it could have been that same jay we've seen talking to Shadow in the past (that we're pretty sure has been hired to keep an eye on things at the nest and snitch on anybody that oversteps.)

With that episode settled, Jackie watched around the neighborhood from the nest and then from the front porch. (Both places she seemed to be staring at her feet a lot, so we're wondering if that squirrel left something behind that sticks to feet...or talons.)

Overall, Jackie was at the nest for 3 whole hours, including time for some nice close-up portraits...a beautiful day, beautiful scenery, beautiful bird. Enjoy!


October 29, 2020 - Testing The Nest

Eagle Update Pictures

The sudden cold weather might have triggered something in our favorite eagle pair...they each spent hours at the nest yesterday just hanging, waiting, sitting.

Mid-morning, one of them gave us a little fly-by...

Soon after, Shadow popped into the nest from the back door...and he spent the next hour and a half watching...and waiting...and waiting...and sitting...and watching...and sitting...and waiting...

...until he had to yell at a raven who was squawking at him from just above the nest.

And then Jackie flew in to help Shadow yell at that raven. And then they both yelled at the raven together. (that raven will think twice about squawking at an eagle next time!)

Having told the raven a thing or two, Jackie and Shadow just hung out there for over 30 minutes, until Jackie hopped into the nest, which kicked off a little lovey dovey stuff, a little nest work, especially on the center nest bowl, and a lot more hanging out.

Just when Shadow looked like he was leaving, Jackie moved a stick, which of course got Shadow all interested again, so he came back in and moved more sticks. With the relief of that task complete, Shadow flew out the front door.

Then Jackie waited...and watched...and sat...and sat (for over an hour!)...and had to do a little yoga after all the sitting. Then she popped out to the front porch where she watched...and waited some more...and gave a little smile for some close-ups...and finally headed out toward the lake after being at the nest for over 4-1/2 hours.

Do you think they might be preparing? We'll have to watch and see what they decide to do next.


October 20, 2020 - Play Time

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow had a playful little visit to the nest yesterday right before bedtime...surprisingly, they both gave themselves a break and neither one brought a stick this time.

. Shadow arrived first to do his normal tidying up and surveying before Jackie joined him. After she arrived, they shared in the work operations and even developed a new technique...the relay. Shadow moved a stick forward and just as he was laying it down, Jackie took it and moved it further forward--so it could get to exactly the right spot.

. After dark, under the beautiful (and invisible to them) Infrared light, they got all playful and romantic, with Jackie pecking Shadow's beak several times in a row to get a kissy beak to beak response from him. She must have liked that because she did it again.

Then it was back to work on the sticks...and Shadow got his toes stuck on a stick that wouldn't leave him alone.

. Then it was Shadow's turn...he bit Jackie's wing as she headed to the left back door limb, and got her to snap back at him...and then again after he bit her tail...

...and as usual, he couldn't resist getting the last word in with a final snip snip at her tail as she headed out the back door. He headed out right after her and off to the roost tree.


October 12, 2020 - A Loverly Visit

Eagle Update Pictures

A 'Loverly' Visit ...

Yesterday evening Shadow arrived at the nest first, as usual, to do a little bit of surveillance and housekeeping before Jackie arrived.

She arrived by a whole new entrance this time--landing first on the lower right limbs and then making a teetering debut from the upstairs front door limb. She soon came in and supervised Shadow's nest arrangements, but very quickly things got a little beaky bitey and lovey dovey.

That calmed down for a minute, but Shadow couldn't resist a little nibble on her wing, which started up the kissy beaky activities again...then Shadow went back to his normal post-kissing routine--a little nest housekeeping.

They shared in the neighborhood observation duties, but again could not stay away from a little more kissy connections. And as Jackie headed to the left limb door to leave, Shadow couldn't stop himself from a little bite on her tail feathers...and then an "oops, I've done it now" look as she responded.

Soon after Jackie left, Shadow headed out Jackie's new upstairs front limb entrance--he circled around out toward the lake before zipping past again toward the roost tree.


October 5, 2020 - Another Quick Visit

Eagle Update Pictures

Shadow and Jackie both stopped by the nest again yesterday evening to give all of their fans a little more of their sweet show--(they are apparently luring us back in slowly to our addictive watching of the Jackie and Shadow show!)
As usual, Shadow was the first to arrive and of course he came carrying his standard big stick as his gift to the ever-growing nest.
...and while he was there, this time it was TWO Steller's Jays that came to visit him (now I'm sure they must be his neighborhood spies reporting in to him about something!) (See if you can find them both in photo #5, where Shadow pretends not to notice them.)
A little while later, Jackie arrived with her own big stick contribution to the nest...and it took both of them diligently working together to get that stick in just the proper place. In the end, Jackie had to take over the placement while Shadow did the supervising...
...then Jackie took over the supervising while Shadow moved other sticks that had so obviously gotten out of their proper positions...
...and tonight was Jackie's turn to be the stinker...she bit Shadow in the behind to get his attention for a little kissy kissy. Then, as always, went back to looking all innocent about it as they continued working...but then she bit his wing as he turned around to pick up another stick!
He got her back, though...as she headed toward the back door on the left, he bit her in the back end...making her spin around, while it was his turn to play innocent.
Shadow moved a few more sticks around after Jackie flew from the back door...then he exited the same way, both flying toward the nearby roost tree.
Jackie and Shadow (and I) would like to thank everyone that has donated to our "Defend Jackie & Shadow's Habitat" Fundraiser...raising funds for the legal actions working to stop the nearby (Moon Camp) development that threatens their foraging habitat and environmental neighborhood. We still have a ways to go on raising sufficient funds--we are at $21,800 with a goal of $80,000. You can check it all out, keep an eye on the funds received gage and donate on this website page:

Thank you to all of you for your continued support of FOBBV, our cam and especially of our favorite bald eagles!

October 4, 2020 - They Are Back

Eagle Update Pictures

They're back!!!
Shadow and Jackie both stopped by the nest this evening and spent time there together--with a little kissy kissy and a little Shadow mischief--before heading off to the roost tree.
Shadow came in first with one of his giant sticks. He checked out the neighborhood for a while before making sure to place that stick and a couple others in just the right locations.
While he was looking around a very brave Stellar Jay came in and sat on the limb behind Shadow...(maybe the jay came to report on the latest activities of people in the nest while the eagles were not at home...)
Jackie soon joined Shadow, hip-hopping into the nest...apparently forgetting to press the brakes soon enough for her landing. Shadow kept working on his sticks in the background while Jackie seemed to be checking out the new camera location--but then she went right back to her nest work...
...and very soon there was a little kissy beaky going on.
As Jackie headed out to the front limb, Shadow put on his 'little stinker' operations of biting Jackie and then playing innocent when she turned around to check--he bit her tail and wing feathers 5 different times (!), even catching one of a tail feather and refusing to let go until she pulled away.
After spending time watching from the front porch, Jackie flew up to the front observation limb to check things out before flying off toward the roost tree...and Shadow did the same before heading out to join her.
It's great to have such a lovely visit from them after not getting to see them for so long!
ps. Some notes--there is a large board now tied to the tree limb (that you can see sometimes when we pan the camera around). This board is how the camera was raised to be above all the sticks that Shadow and Jackie have added to the nest in the past few years. It is firmly mounted with straps so as to keep it stable with no harm to the tree. It is left unpainted because as plain wood, it is just like the rest of the tree even if it appears different to us. Paint would have added dangerous chemicals to the nest.

October 1, 2020 - Teamwork

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have done a few 'fly-by's of the nest in the past couple days--so they are definitely still around the nest area. We can hardly wait to get back to seeing them playing kissy beaky in their penthouse nest like the last time they were on camera. --Maybe you can spot the white and black beauty whizzing by the nest in the upper center of the 2nd photo to at least have a glimpse. This past weekend while we were working on the nest camera, Jackie flew in to sit nearby and chortle loudly every few minutes, demanding to know exactly what we were doing around her nest.

The Great Repair Story...

.....For anyone who might not realize it, this nest camera is run and streamed by an off-grid, solar-powered, complex system in a harsh outdoor environment. After 7 full weeks of not getting to see our favorite pair, it is great to have the camera up once again--the live stream is on our website:

https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/ ...

Jackie & Shadow, Friends of Big Bear Valley and I would like to say HUGE THANK YOU's to all of the people involved in getting the camera system repaired and back in operation! Our team has been working full out for nearly 2 months to bring this complex system back online--Immense thank you's to: Jim Applebury, Mike Bode, Cindy Bode, Dr. Peter Sharpe, Nate Melling, Chris Alexander, Teri Ashmore, Robin Eliason, Shelley Egan, JJ Strano, Silky Sue, Dennis Dawson and the U.S. Forest Service. (and extra thank you to each of them for their flexibility and cooperation in changing schedules many times to be able to get everyone needed at the site when equipment was delivered, when we received permission to work, etc.)

The other photos below are: #3-part of the onsite team during climbing weekend: Chris Alexander, Jim Applebury, Nate Melling, Dr. Peter Sharpe; 4-Nate climbing; 5-Nate in the nest working on the camera; 6-Chris and Pete preparing to climb; 7-Chris climbing; 8-Cindy Bode, Sandy Steers and Mike Bode testing equipment; 9-Cindy and Mike with JJ's key assistant, Silky Sue; 10-Teri Ashmore assisting onsite; 11-Silky Sue and JJ Strano; 12-a woolly friend who came to keep us company while we were working onsite.

Here is a summary of what it took...

(for those who might be asking--yes, we cleaned the lens, yes, the camera has been raised for a view above Shadow's sticks. We also discovered the nest is 145 feet high in that beautiful tree rather than the previously estimated 120 feet!)

--replaced and upgraded the switch that burned out, starting this whole process--the switch connects and coordinates communications between all the devices (solar, batteries, camera, antennas, etc).

--relocated, raised and remounted the antenna at the equipment site (the 2 antennas transfer the signal between the system equipment that picks up the nest cam feed and the station where the signal is fed to the internet) because trees have grown into their direct line of sight line path of communication lowering the connection quality.

--replaced all the cables, conduit and connectors between the antenna and the switch and for the antenna at the station

--nighttime missions to the equipment to be able to "sight" the station (7/10 mile from the equipment) from the equipment antenna through a spotting scope via bright lights flashing off and on at the station

--relocated and remounted the antenna at the station (and with permission of the tree, removed one tree branch that was blocking the communications)

--replaced the switch again after the 2nd one burned out (due to shorts we were unaware of at that time)

--climbed up and down the cliffside along the full length of cable to find enough slack in the cables to be able to replace connectors

--replaced/rewired network cable connectors to assure solid communications

--communicated and spoke with 9 different climbers with expertise in biological tree-climbing and camera systems, rearranging schedules and travel plans from as far away as Nevada and Oregon.

--placed multiple next day shipping orders and trips to both local and down the hill hardware suppliers for new equipment including antennas, switches (3 times), mounting assemblies, 500 feet of network cable, power cables and flexible conduit, stand by camera, mic and IR system...and more

--restrung a few hundred feet of new conduit, new network cable and new power cables down cliffsides, across boulders, under fallen tree trunks, through large areas of brambly sticker bushes and up the tree (pulling cables through conduit is much more complex than it sounds)

--strung the climbing rope up over the upper limb for the climbers to pulls themselves up with(also a lot more complex than it sounds since the nest is 145 feet up in the tree!)

--climbed (2 climbers) to pull up and check the conduit and new network and power cables for measuring and planning the final layout

--brought camera down for testing, etc (which you may have seen on youtube)

--cleaned lens dome so the videos will be clearer!

--strung a 2nd climbing rope from a different limb in the tree for support to bring conduit and cables up

--climbed the tree (2 climbers) to reinstall the camera, mic and IR (infrared lighting) system with new network and power cables

--pulled conduit and cables up the tree and fastened them securely (in ways that would not harm the tree) along the full height of the tree

--installed board and straps to raise the height of the camera above the 10-12 inches of new sticks that have been added to the nest in 2 years by Jackie and Shadow

--found alternative offline power sources to test the camera view during installation while the switch was still not functioning

--tested and realigned the camera through various positions for the best views of every key camera position

--rebooted, downloaded, reinstalled various versions of firmware into the various electronic devices being used throughout the system (firmware getting corrupted turned out to be a big issue throughout the repair operations)

--got special exemption to enter the closed forest so we could get these repairs done before Jackie and Shadow's nesting season

...and many more operations...

Thank you to all of you for your patience, your support and your donations to make this all possible!!


September 25, 2020 - Live Cam & Fundraiser Update

Eagle Update Pictures

Shadow and Jackie are demanding some answers about what's going on with the repairs on their nest camera...so, probably all of you would also like to know the status.

.....We had things set up for repairs to take place last week but then forest fires in Southern California, including one right over the ridge from Big Bear Valley, got much worse and the local national forest was closed to everyone. Since the nest tree is on National Forest land, we could not enter to do the work. That nearby fire was close enough that for a few days it looked like the whole valley might be ordered to evacuate...but thanks to our amazing firefighters, and a little help from the weather (the winds slowed and temperatures cooled), the fire is much more controlled now.

.....Things can begin moving forward again for our planning and we hope to have some good news about it in the next few days.

Thank you all for your patience!! We miss seeing Jackie and Shadow as much as you do. Please hang in there a bit longer.

***And thank you very much to all of you who have contributed to our "Defend Jackie & Shadow's Habitat/Neighborhood" fundraiser. (We noticed that sometimes I've called it 'habitat' and sometimes 'neighborhood'--oops! It's all the same fundraiser.) Our legal challenge to the development that would greatly impact the eagles has been filed and is progressing forward. Donations are coming in and we will have updates on the website soon. Remember that you still get special gifts for your donations: a special Jackie & Shadow certificate for over $50, plus a J&S refrigerator magnet for over $100, and for over $250, those two great gifts plus the beautiful Jackie and Shadow photo.

Huge thank you to everyone for your patience and continued support!!


September 11, 2020 - Live Stream/Chat

Eagle Update Pictures

The live stream and chat on our YouTube channel stopped working today. FOBBV did nothing to cause this, we are assuming at this time it is an action YouTube took. FOBBV is moving forward with the cam repairs detailed previously. We are working on getting this resolved and will update you as we have more information.

September 10, 2020 - Jackie & Shadow Fundraiser - Cam Update

Eagle Update Pictures

JACKIE and SHADOW would like to announce a few updates...

.......NEST CAMERA--

We now have some options for qualified biological, technical, expert climbers to help with our nest cam repairs, so that is moving forward--we'll keep you posted with more details as we have them. (According to Shadow, Jackie sent out the word across the animal kingdom that people better start stepping up or they'd have to answer to her...so if anyone noticed their dog or cat, or local chipmunk acting a little anxious lately, they were probably spreading the word as directed.)


As most of you know, at the end of July, the County of San Bernardino Board of Supervisors approved the development of the Moon Camp housing project (50 homes and huge marina) less than a mile from Jackie and Shadow's nest, in their foraging area (within view of the nest cam), in spite of stated "significant detrimental impacts to bald eagles" that cannot be mitigated, along with inadequate and faulty environmental analysis, immense community input against the project (thank you to all of you for that!!) and increased danger to the public and community.

.......In response to this action, Friends of Big Bear Valley, along with partners the Center for Biological Diversity and the San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society filed a CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) complaint in court on August 28--see press announcement below. (For anyone who does not know, CEQA law establishes that when the public (us) has used all available means to bring noncompliance with environmental law to an agency's attention (which we have done) the only remaining way for the public to enforce these laws is through the court system.)


As you might guess, this legal action we must do to enforce our environmental laws to protect the eagles, the endangered plants and the community (re: fire, evacuation, traffic and more) is costly. We are raising funds for this effort from now through October 20. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated!! Our Board has put up $10,000 in MATCHING FUNDS to assist with the fundraising!

Our fundraising goal is $75,000. We will have a donation tracker up on the website soon, so you can check in to see how we're doing.

Right now the best way you can help support Jackie and Shadow, the nest camera and FOBBV is by assisting us to raise funds, so please help spread the word.

Special Gifts--We are also offering special gifts--for donations of $50, a special Thank you certificate from Jackie & Shadow; for $100, a certificate plus a Jackie & Shadow refrigerator magnet; and for $250 or more, a certificate, a J&S magnet PLUS a beautiful printed photo of Jackie and Shadow (see sample below)

Please DONATE on our website: https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/donate/

(If you would like your gifts...please include your mailing address so we can send them to you!)

or SEND CHECKS to: Friends of Big Bear Valley, P.O. Box 422, Fawnskin, CA 92333. (As a 501(3)c nonprofit organization, donations to FOBBV are tax-deductible.)

Huge THANK YOU to all of you for your continued support!!


September 3, 2020 - Camera Repair Update

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow, just like the rest of us, would like to get back to normal with the camera working, so we can watch their activities and continue learning about their lives. We're sorry the camera system has been down for so long! We have been and continue working as hard as we can to get it back up as soon as possible. We discovered a few equipment malfunctions that we've fixed --the antennas were no longer communicating with each other, partially because trees have grown into the pathway (and the antennas have to direct 'line of sight' connection) and partially because the antennas and connectors on them were not functioning adequately...so now we have new, more powerful antennas and each has been placed in a slightly different location that allows them to connect more clearly with each other to communicate the signals. --After we got the antennas communicating, the switch box, that connects and coordinates the equipment communications, burned out...so now we also have a new, upgraded switch that is working well. --But with the new switch (which includes diagnostic capabilities), we discovered that the cable that runs to the camera itself has some degradation that is keeping it from communicating back to the system. We have new cable ready and we have additional equipment ordered so we will have anything that might need repair already on hand. We are focused now on hiring a technically savvy, experienced tree-climber, to install the new cable and any other equipment needed (plus move the camera a bit higher as per our original plan), but the biological tree-climbers are all pretty busy at this time of year, so we are still working details of that out--trying to fit our repairs into their schedules. (While we continue working out those schedules, if any of you know or have connection to someone who fits those qualifications--please contact us at sandy@friendsofbigbearvalley.org ) A few times when we were working on the equipment in the area of the nest, we saw and heard our eagles... so be assured that Jackie and Shadow are still around...and wondering why we haven't fixed their live broadcast yet. Thank you all very much for your patience and continued support! We will keep working diligently to allow all of us to get back to watching our favorite couple.


August 28, 2020 - Cam repair still in process

Eagle Update Pictures

The repairs to the eagle cam are still in process. Hopefully the cam will be back up soon so please keep checking back for the live stream. Thank you!

August 10, 2020 - Long Awaited Visit + Moon Camp Update

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday evening, Shadow and Jackie both dropped in for a little working visit to the nest. After a bit of general surveying, there was...a slew of stick rearranging...some solid 'hanging out on the back porch' time...and a few adorable kissy beaky moments.

.. (--for Updates on the proposed development project.. that could impact the eagles, see bottom of post--)

Shadow arrived first, because obviously there was a major stick overhaul needed before anything was ready for Jackie's inspection. As everyone knows, Shadow is always up for stick work...and he undertook his job with his usual enthusiasm and dedication. When Jackie arrived, she pitched right in on the furniture rearrangements in process....and then all that hard work most certainly deserved some very kissy-kissy thank you's from both sides. Shadow still had sticks to get back under control, so Jackie left that to him while she hung out on the back porch keeping an eye on the progress. Even when she flew off to the roost tree, Shadow was not quite satisfied and stayed to complete his finishing touches...then he was away, out the back door, to join Jackie on the roost tree for the night.

~~~Proposed Development UPDATE:

For anyone who has not heard, there is a development project proposed less than 1 mile from this bald eagle nest that environmental review concluded would have 'significant detrimental impacts to the bald eagles'. Even after receiving hundreds of letters asking that the project be denied (thank you to all of you!), and against large amounts of scientific evidence regarding public safety concerns, endangered species destruction and much more, the County Board of Supervisors approved the project.

...But, that is not the end of the story...

After carefully reviewing the situation, Friends of Big Bear Valley, along with other interested organizations, plans to pursue every possible legal remedy available to us to get this wrong decision reversed. We must act quickly (there are short legal time limits) and to do this, we urgently need your financial support to make this happen...

...So, our

"Defend Jackie & Shadow's Neighborhood" Fundraiser for environmental habitat preservation begins immediately! Our fundraising goal is $64,000. We currently have $8,800 in matching funds being offered and are working on more. We are offering special gifts for different levels of donations. All the details will be in our upcoming newsletter and on our website in the next few days.

Please help us support Jackie and Shadow and their neighborhood. Thank you!!


(For anyone wondering, the funds for upgrading the eagle cam equipment and moving the camera higher so it doesn't get buried by sticks are separate funds and that project is fully funded and currently in process.)

July 29, 2020 - The Long Long Visit

Eagle Update Pictures

Both Jackie and Shadow spent a long time at the nest yesterday...in the middle of the afternoon! Shadow came in first, bringing a big stick with him, and of course, there was lots of nest-tidying to do. Maybe he's been meditating or something, but for a change, he allowed himself to just hang around the nest for a full 10 minutes doing nothing...then Jackie arrived......and Shadow went immediately back to his stick arranging work. Jackie started pitching in right away and even threw Shadow a few kissy kissies. Then she headed out to her favorite front perching limb. Shadow sat on the front of the nest, just hanging with Jackie for almost 90 minutes... ...blocking the camera view of her for most of that time... ...absolutely unintentionally of course (according to him!).Jackie stayed on her front view long after Shadow left...she was at the nest in total for almost 4 hours!Later in the evening, Jackie and Shadow each flew in to spend the night on the roost tree.


--Regarding our camera move...thank you to everyone who donated to make it possible! We were delayed a bit--the people we've used before to climb the tree are not available, but we're moving forward on finding the right person and scheduling the move in late summer.

--Regarding the proposed development that would impact the eagles, Moon Camp, the County Board of Supervisors approved the project yesterday following the public hearing. First, that doesn't mean this is the end of this. There are other steps we can take. We'll get back to you soon with how we will be moving forward. And in the meantime, HUGE THANK YOU to each and every one of you that has written letters, came to speak at the hearing, made calls to the county and other agencies. You are all awesome!!


July 18, 2020 - URGENT HELP NEEDED

Eagle Update Pictures


~~Jackie and Shadow Need Your Help~~

Their shoreline habitat and nesting neighborhood could be destroyed to the point that they abandon their nest and leave the area.

The Moon Camp proposed project is back on the agenda.

A proposal for:

-50 luxury house sites

-new roads

-huge private marina in eagle foraging area

-large marina parking area

...only ½ mile from their nest could eliminate the possibility of them continuing to nest here.


WHAT YOU CAN DO? Every voice counts!

—Write comment letters to the Board of Supervisors immediately

—ASAP ask the County to delay this hearing until it is safer to attend a large meeting

—Speak at the public hearing on July 28

—Share the news with family, friends and social media

For more details please visit our website https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/environmental-watch/action-needed/


Even the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) states that the current project plan would have SIGNIFICANT DETRIMENTAL IMPACTS on bald eagles (a California Endangered Species) that cannot be mitigated or lessened. And that analysis was done before 2010—BEFORE any bald eagles stayed year-round and nested in our valley. So, the impacts now would be MUCH more significant than they are still currently reporting.

. In spite of all that, San Bernardino County Planning is recommending project approval. The decision will be made by the County Board of Supervisors at a public hearing, currently set for July 28.

. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me at sandy@friendsofbigbearvalley.org



July 9, 2020 - Summer Vacation

Eagle Update Pictures

It appears Jackie and Shadow have started their summer vacation. They are still in their habitat area, but not visiting the nest as often as we are used to or would like them to. They generally stop by the nest once or twice a week to add a stick or two, do a little housekeeping and let us know they are doing great! Since we have also located one of their favorite roost trees, sometimes we get to peek in on them settling in for the night when the camera pans. 

The eagles do not really have a need to be in the nest at this time, there are no eaglets to be fed and it is too early to prepare for next nesting season. They will start working on the nest more regularly in late September or early October. The normal timeframe for laying eggs in this region is January, though Jackie has surprised us once before and laid later in the season. 

You can find more updates on the eagles and the Big Bear Valley on our Facebook page at the link below. This is a public page so having a Facebook account is not necessary.


June 12, 2020 - Unruly Sticks

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday was another beautiful day at the nest, though a little on the windy side. It is always a great day when Jackie and Shadow pop in for a little nest visit! Shadow came in first with more decor for the nest, he sure worked hard with that one unruly stick that kept popping up when he stepped on it. Apparently he thought he had it under control then BOINK, it popped up again! He worked all around the nest, moving sticks, breaking some apart that wouldn't cooperate all the while keeping an eye out for his sweetheart.
By the look on his face, Jackie must have snuck up on him, he looked a little surprised and maybe a bit scared as she came in hot with her own contribution! They both worked together, moving sticks, fluffing fluff and even worked in a couple of kissy kissy moments. Jackie didn't stay long before she headed out the back door to the roost tree. It sure looked like it took all the self control Shadow could muster up to not grab onto her tail feathers as she passed him by!
Shadow stayed at the nest to put in a little overtime before he headed out the back to join Jackie for the night.
As an extra bonus, this morning the camera operator was up extra early to catch Jackie (?) waking up in the roost tree. Shadow was there as well, we got to see them both fly off for another adventurous day....

June 7, 2020 - More Nestorations

Eagle Update Pictures

The cool, foggy weather yesterday must have been very inviting--Jackie and Shadow had two long visits to the nest, with Shadow having lots of fun both times.
Jackie was first to arrive in the early morning. She kept an eye out in all directions, apparently for good reason...within a couple minutes, Shadow came crashing into her from the left. He looked sheepish and bit her on the neck to make up for it...which she ignored. So, he bit her in the leg...and then went right to work as if nothing happened.
...In the midst of his work, he stopped to help her with a stick--because, you know, the guy always knows that he knows how to do these things better... this time it got him a little thank you peck on the beak.
Jackie hopped up to hang out on the left limb...Shadow joined her for a while...but had to go fetch another stick...then catch up on lots of work. Finally she came down to help him...with a bit of teamwork...and some more of those kissies.
He worked especially hard after that while Jackie watched and then went out to the front porch.
For the evening visit, Shadow arrived first, with a nice stick. He worked hard before Jackie flew in...and even harder with her watching...and he even sneaked in a little peck on the cheek...
...but when she tried to leave...ho ho ho...the mischievous Shadow came out to play. He bit her on the wing...and she snapped back...so he did it again...another snap back...and again...and apparently feeling especially rowdy, he did it a 4th time!...then back to work, all innocent like.
When she tried to leave out the left side, he bit her wing again...then her neck, which finally got him some kissy bities back. This time she sneaked out the left as soon as he went back to work...and he joined her a bit later at the roost tree, ready for some sleep after all his mischief.

May 28, 2020 - Teamwork

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday Shadow finally convinced his lovely Jackie to visit the nest with him before day's end.
He came zipping in first with his stick and then straightened the nest out a bit to have everything just right...
...Jackie was close behind bringing a big stick that took a lot of coordinated teamwork to place properly...
...well, and then you know how things get after you work on a nice project together...a little nippy thank you...a bigger bitey you're welcome...then everything quickly turns into kissy kissy bitey beaky.
Dedicated Shadow went right back to work...while Jackie kept watching him, and then helping with the work...until she had the chance for some little nips that steered things back to the kissy kissy stuff.
Jackie played innocent by straightening the grass in the nest bowl...so now it was Shadow who tried sneaking in some head nips--but the camera caught the action right between his legs...and then off the adorable pair went again into the beaky bities and necky nuzzlies.
After all that, Jackie left first toward the roost tree. Shadow followed soon...but only after a couple of last minute stick adjustments...of course.

May 19, 2020 - Exciting News

Eagle Update Pictures

Hello everyone, we have some exciting news for you. In the wake of the Big Bear Valley Eagles-Official Group archiving their page, we decided you needed a place to post your screen captures, videos, pictures and questions! We have created a new interactive FOBBV “sister” Facebook group for you, FOBBV Bald Eagle Group. You will need to request membership, answer 3 questions and agree to the group rules. This will be a place to express yourself, learn and interact with other eagle lovers. We have a files section with interesting facts about our bald eagles, their environment and other wildlife and bald eagle information in general. Being a new group, it is a work in progress and we would love to hear any suggestions you may have. We hope you enjoy the new group, see you there!

* Please note, the current Friends of Big Bear Valley and Big Bear Eagle Nest Cam page will remain the same with the wonderful pictures and updates you love to see!
*Please make sure you answer all 3 questions and click on the box that you read and agree to all of the group rules before you click the submit button. These steps area required before your membership can be approved.

May 11, 2020 - Spring Fundraiser

Eagle Update Pictures

This year to kick off our spring fundraiser, we've opened up Bald Eagle Adoptions for Jackie, Shadow, Simba (last season's chick) and Stormy (chick from 2018 nesting season)...with 5 adoption options available (shown below).
With every adoption donation, you receive a special adoption certificate, with your name or the name of someone you designate if you are giving this as a gift.
Check them out at: https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/…/bald-eagle-adoption-c…/

All the sticks Jackie and Shadow have brought to the nest over the past few months, have been getting closer and closer to the camera and could soon cover the camera lens! We expect them to continue their building process, so it means we will need to move the camera higher on the limb to keep it from being blocked. The camera system also needs some other restructuring maintenance.
Since Jackie and Shadow seem to be moving into their new summer schedule of only visiting the nest a few times a week, we can now make plans for system renovations... ...which fits right into our SPRING FUNDRAISER. Donating to FOBBV as a whole will assist us not only to pay for this eagle nest live stream project, but will support our projects that protect the eagles’ habitat and surrounding environment and will assist to keep our nonprofit operating so we can continue all of this important work. Please mark your donation “Spring Fundraiser” in the ‘add a note’ or ‘order notes’ field so we can thank you properly! 

Donate here:

Join here:

Shop here:

Thank you! We very much appreciate for your continued support!!

April 30, 2020 - Eagles Eagle Eagles.....

Eagle Update Pictures

Today I decided to grab the camera and go take a couple of spins around the lake looking for Jackie and or Shadow. Evidently they were having some private time deep in the forest, as there were no sightings of them. I did however spot four different immature bald eagles of which I was able to photograph three. One has an unidentifiable band on the right leg, it looks to be orange. Two others had blue bands, one was identified as V33, Blue from Arizona. The two with blue bands were hanging out at the east end of the lake. The fourth was a very young, 1st year eagle with no bands. The one with the orange band and the one with no bands were both spotted on the edges of Jackie and Shadows habitat. Such wonderful news to see so many bald eagles in the Big Bear area!!

April 28, 2020 - Enjoying the view...

Eagle Update Pictures

Apparently with all the nice weather, Jackie and Shadow are spending their days at the lake shore and checking in on the nest in the evenings.
Jackie arrived first and seemed to be just waiting around for something...Shadow arrived with a fat stick delivery 2 minutes later...
...he dropped his stick and rushed past Jackie to dive straight into important nest work...so, Jackie headed out to her front porch while he kept working.
After all of his hard work, he allowed himself to relax with Jackie for a whole 5 minutes before heading off toward the lake for further adventures.
Jackie stayed in her favorite spot on the front porch for over an hour more--allowing us to get some nice close-ups...then she headed out the left side door, but stopped on the way just long enough for another portrait.
Shadow had more work to finish before roost time...stick delivery, rearranging, nest fluffing...and posing for a few of his own portrait shots...then out the left side door like Jackie.

April 24, 2020 - A fish story....

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday's activities turned out to be all about a fish...
Jackie and Shadow took the day off from nest work until Shadow arrived in the late afternoon with dinner--a fish, a GIANT fish. (Keeping in mind that male bald eagles have a wingspan of about 6-1/2 feet (1.9 meters) and stand about 35 inches tall (yes, that means almost 3 feet or .9 meters), take a look at the size of that fish in comparison!)
...Jackie was on her way into the nest exactly 30 seconds after Shadow touched down...and she was so busy latching onto that fish that Shadow just stayed out of her way. He went back to work while she ate in the background.
She did come up for air once...with a seemingly appreciative look at him...
...but a while later, when Shadow noticed that she had stopped eating (probably because her crop was so full it might explode if she took another bite)...that's when the fun started...
...he dared to go over and latch onto the leftovers right under Jackie's nose...
...she showed her disapproval by taking hold of the other end of what was obviously HER dinner...
...but Shadow insisted...by using his 'I'll control this' foot action...
...Jackie looked away as if she was going to let him have it...
...but, ha, no chance...as soon as he picked it up, she grabbed it again...
...and an actual tug-of-war ensued!
Shadow did finally get the leftovers. And took it to the other side of the nest to finish...Jackie was probably too heavy and lethargic from eating so much to bother going after it...so she went out on the front porch for a nice after-dinner sit.
Shadow, of course, went back to work, but he also got in a little sitting time before leaving for the day...
...Jackie was apparently too heavy to take off from the front porch until over 2 hours later.
And that's your fish story for the day.

April 19, 2020 - Hard work and a late night visitor.

Eagle Update Pictures

Apparently Jackie agreed to be the entertainer of the day yesterday to give Shadow a little respite.
On her first visit, she won the "longest stick prize" for the season--the stick was even longer than her wingspan, so over 7 feet! Getting it into its proper place took quite a bit of maneuvering., but she managed it beautifully.
Her next stick didn't quite match that record, but was big enough to bash into the nest tree's side limbs.
When Shadow brought a big stick, Jackie watched him start to place it, then grabbed it away, nearly bowling him over in the process and scrunched him under her as she put it in its proper place.
To top all that off, she got wrapped up and tangled in the next big stick she brought, which got further complicated when Shadow landed and she had to untangle from both him and that stick...bringing her to be the obvious choice for "entertainer of the day"...all before 9:30 am.
In between, Shadow brought grass, brought sticks, worked hard, stood for long periods enjoying the view...and in the afternoon, brought more grass and more sticks.
They both came back in the evening for a little more work...and threw in some beautiful teamwork in the process.
They didn't call it a night until after dark.
And then a new visitor...within 2 minutes of Jackie leaving, a great horned owl landed on the right side of the nest and did a thorough search around before flying off. These and other owls hunt flying squirrels, so it's not surprising that one would show up to look around a big nest where squirrels could be hiding.

April 16, 2020 - Bonding Time

Eagle Update Pictures

It was such a beautiful, sunny day yesterday that apparently Jackie and Shadow decided to have a little time off. They did each come to the nest to bring a stick and check things out in the morning...but then they were off at the lake shore or somewhere all day until after dark.
As usual, Shadow was first in. He only hung around for a few minutes before leaving...then Jackie did the same before heading out the left side door.
After dark they had a nice little rendezvous at the nest to get in a bit of furniture arranging done before bed...well, and shhh!...also a little smoocheroonies and some obligatory tail biting. That only looks like a smile on Shadow's beak afterwards.
For everyone asking, we do not know and have no way to tell other than by watching them, whether they might have another clutch of eggs at this point. It is late in their nesting season and after all the time they spent incubating the eggs that didn't hatch, it would be very unlikely according to eagle nesting statistics...but then those stats also say that eagles usually mate for life and Jackie decided not to listen to that one. Jackie and Shadow will have to speak for themselves by their actions. And the reason we installed the camera is so all of us can watch as the story unfolds.


April 13, 2020 - Nest Building 101

Eagle Update Pictures

First thing yesterday, Shadow brought a fish for breakfast--he laid it aside a couple times like he was planning to leave it for Jackie, but ended up eating the whole thing...
...then immediately set to work on arranging grass, even having to put his foot on it to keep it from misbehaving before moving on to the sticks.
Jackie didn't arrive until mid-morning with a foot-load of grass. Shadow soon joined her to help keep all that grass in proper order...
The arrangement seemed to be that Shadow control the grass and sticks while Jackie kept guard to make sure no one came to steal their nest materials...
...and all that guarding of course deserved a little kissy kissy thank you...well, then and so did the stick arranging deserve some acknowledgement in return.
Shadow was back by early afternoon, bringing more sticks. He also spent a lot of time throughout the day just hanging out in some of his favorite places around the nest.
Even though she took the afternoon off, Jackie was back working in the evening...and Shadow of course was quick to jump in to help, even trying out the nest bowl fit longer than usual...in two different positions.
Jackie rejoined him from the left limb for a little reconnecting before roost time...and Shadow couldn't resist a tiny wing nibble as she headed out. They both called it an early night.

April 12, 2020 - A Visitor

Eagle Update Pictures

During the span of yesterday, the nest went from looking like a big pile of snow in the top of a tree back to being an intricately built bald eagle nest...
And the day was filled with lots of exciting events...both a coot and a fish delivered for brunch...a visit from a young eagle...a flurry of stick and grass deliveries and nest reconstruction.
For a change, Jackie seemed even more excited about the nest construction than Shadow...all the way to the point of getting a little tangled in her work on the big sticks...and with the sticks she and Shadow worked on together. Apparently she's been doing most of her shopping at the "giant complex stick" store.
Shadow brought a half-eaten coot for Jackie for breakfast, and of course, had to tell her the whole story about it...he went back to work while she ate, but then decided he wanted another bite or two...but Jackie gave her opinion about that...so he went shopping in the lake and brought back a fish for himself...and he even did some chin-ups on the limb he could now reach because of the thick snow blanket.
Mid-day, Shadow had a little lay-down to try out the nest bowl...and in the evening, Jackie did the same.
In the afternoon, Shadow is the one who came to defend the nest against the young eagle, but the banded eagle landed right on the upper branches of the nest tree and after some yelling and watching, Shadow decided just to leave him there--no we do not know if it was any of the chicks from this nest since the band could not be read or even identified by color. (Stormy and Simba both have purple bands--numbered JR1 for Stormy, ZR1 for Simba). The youngster left about half an hour after arriving and showed off his whitish underbelly.
In the evening, Jackie hung out on the front porch for a long time...even giving us time for some close-ups...
...but then there was more sticks to bring and work to do and the nest bowl to try out...

April 9, 2020 - First in the snow

Eagle Update Pictures

Shadow was in early, breaking ground in the snow, but Jackie followed soon after with her own big stick.
Shadow pulled giant sticks from under the snow...
...Jackie had a battle with a big stick that had her surrounded...
...Shadow had to move all the sticks again because that snowy background made it so blatantly obvious when they were out of place...
...Jackie had a little sit-down in the nest bowl covered in deep snow...
...and they left everything looking much more like a nest.
And it's not even 9 am yet....Sandy

April 8, 2020 - camera is back up

Eagle Update Pictures

It's back up!!
We appealed YouTube's decision.
Here's a screenshot so everyone feels better.
Thank you for your incredible support!
Shadow and Jackie will be glad to hear they are back on the live screen.

April 8, 2020 - youtube took down channel

Hi everyone,
yes, we have seen that YouTube says they dropped our channel for violating terms of service. I assure you we have not violated any terms of service -- we assume that it has to do with their 'bots' accidentally deleting our channel because they have bots making these decisions now instead of people
( message on YouTube: "Due to COVID-19, we will conduct fewer human reviews to protect the health of our extended workforce. Unfortunately, as a result we may remove content that does not violate our community guidelines." )
It is also possible that someone complained about a copyright violation--if so, that is erroneous since we, Friends of Big Bear Valley, own the copyright of this live stream video.
We are working on figuring out what we need to do to get it fixed and we'll keep you posted.

March 15, 2020 - Jackie and Shadow say goodbye

Eagle Update Pictures

After the eggs had been unattended throughout the night a coupe of times and various amounts of times during the day, the ravens came to the nest this morning, cracked open the eggs and ate them. From what we could see, the eggs were undeveloped and may not have been fertilized from the beginning. 

Jackie and Shadow both visited the nest individually this morning. They both looked down at their broken eggs, it was a sad moment for the viewers and I’m sure for them as well. Later in the afternoon, Jackie came to the nest with some soft nest materials, picked up one of the empty shells and flew away. Shadow came in right behind her, picked up the nesting material and placed it over the other shell in the nest and he flew away as well. Neither of them returned to the nest, but their chortles were heard later in the distance. 

Many have asked if they will lay more eggs this season. A second clutch is rare, and after the long incubation period they’ve had, maybe even more rare. That being said, this is nature and anything can happen. We can only sit back, observe and see what happens next. 

March 14, 2020 - Jackie and Shadow move on....?

Eagle Update Pictures

After the U.S. Forest Service announced in February that Jackie and Shadow’s eggs were not viable, we have all be watching and wondering what will happen next. Normally bald eagles would start leaving the eggs unattended for longer and longer periods of time. Jackie and Shadow did at times leave the eggs unattended over the past few weeks, but not for the long periods of time we expected. Their devotion to their eggs is inspirational as they continued to incubate through harsh weather conditions and didn’t give up. 

On the evening of March 13th, Shadow was incubating the eggs, the weather was cold, windy and wet, snow falling and dripping on him from the branches above. Jackie had left the nest at 12:14 PM and did not return. Later in the evening, Shadow got up, shook off the snow/rain and headed out on the front branch to leave. He turned towards the nest and looked at the eggs,….came back to the nest and settled back down to incubate. Not long after, he got up and this time he flew off. For the first time this year, the eggs were left unattended through the night. It seems as if Jackie and Shadow are now aware their eggs will not hatch, but are still not ready to completely give up. 

Shadow returned this morning, incubated a short time and left. Jackie came in with some nesting materials, incubated for a bit and left and the switch offs have continued.

Though it is sad and hard for all of us to watch, this is good news for Jackie and Shadow. They are now showing signs of moving on to the next chapter of their lives. What will that be? We don’t really know for certain, some are hoping for a 2nd clutch of eggs, others are looking forward to next season’s eggs and some of us are just happy to see a glimpse of them as they visit for short periods of time. 

We believe they will stay in the area, continue to bond as a couple and do what eagles do in off season. As in the past, we expect them to show up in the fall and work on the nest to get it ready for next season. With that said, this is nature and anything can happen, so stay tuned!

March 3, 2020 - A Busy Time at The Nest

Eagle Update Pictures

Yesterday Jackie and Shadow had their hands (wings) full with an intruder that showed up at the nest mid-morning. We have not determined if this was a male or female, but either way this was a very persistent eagle. This unidentified eagle (UE) actually stepped up on the nest approaching Jackie, she jumped up and wingslapped him/her and the eagle flew off the nest only to return 2 more times. Jackie and Shadow worked well as a team to protect the eggs, nest and their habitat. What were the UE's intentions? We don't really know, but it could have been looking at Jackie as a new mate or possibly taking over the nest and habitat. Whatever the plan was, it looks like Jackie and Shadow were successful in escorting the UE away from their area and the afternoon was peaceful. 

This morning, while Shadow was in the nest, we noticed a bit of blood above his right eye. As the camera zoomed in, our expert determined the eye itself looks fine and free of injury. The blood could be from something he ate, a small injury from hunting prey (or sticks) or it could have happened yesterday during the territorial battle, we will likely never know for sure. 

Jackie and Shadow continue to incubate the eggs, many have asked how much longer they will do this. Since this is a first time experience for them, we really don't know. As observers of these beautiful eagles, we can only sit back, watch and learn together. Jackie and Shadow will determine what happens next. 

February 22, 2020 - Update on the eggs

Eagle Update Pictures

The U.S. Forest Service made an announcement Friday, 02/21/2020, regarding Jackie and Shadow's eggs...here's what they said:

"It’s hard to say this, but the odds of our Big Bear bald eagle nest’s eggs will hatch this year are diminishing each day. We’re on day 44 and day 41 since the eggs were laid. They typically hatch between 35-38 days; even giving them a day or two extra for slow development due to cold temperatures, the window of successful hatching is closing. We haven’t seen a definite pip (crack in the egg from the chick poking a hole in the shell) in either egg. At this point, we'll be very (pleasantly) surprised if either egg hatches.
There are several factors that could result in a nest failure. The eggs may have been infertile from the start (incomplete fertilization during mating, etc.) or the embryos could have died during incubation (from congenital defects, weather, or environmental factors) or the chicks may not have been able to successfully break out of their shells. Chances are that Jackie and Shadow (as they pair of eagles are known) will continue incubation for another 10 days or so, but they’ll start leaving the eggs unattended for periods of time that will lengthen each day. "

We know all of this is hard to hear and see, it is part of watching nature. We will continue watching the nest and posting about Jackie and Shadow and their actions. Thank you for caring about the eagles and their lives.

February 20, 2020 - Egg Watch

Eagle Update Pictures

There is a lot of talk going around different chats and FB pages about what the status is with the eggs and whether they will hatch. Rather than worry, speculate or make pronouncements, we would prefer to be diligent observers of nature in all of its beauty and its amazing processes, curiosities and possibilities. Every eagle pair is different, every nest and nesting season has a multitude of variables and every bald eagle has its own unique way of being in the world--Jackie, for example, was 'supposed to' mate for life with Mr. B. But apparently Jackie forgot to read the rule book and against all human speculation, decided she liked Shadow better. We will continue watching and learning and humbly allow the eagles and nature to show us what will happen next.

February 9, 2020 - Camera up 24/7 again!

Eagle Update Pictures

Hooray! The camera stayed up all night and we got to see the early morning change-over when Shadow arrived with a stick just after 6:30 a.m. He took over nest duty with only minimal whimpering from Jackie.
Yesterday we replaced the semi-functioning batteries with new ones on the system equipment. As always, we worked in total compliance with our permit under the guidance of the U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife to make sure we did not disturb the nesting process. Thank you to everyone who assisted in this!

January 27, 2020 - Egg watch and upgrade

Eagle Update Pictures

Jackie and Shadow have 2 eggs now that they are incubating. They have been taking turns sitting on the nest--or at least we should say that Jackie gives Shadow a turn, usually a couple times a day, while she takes a break and gets some food. He sometimes brings food, usually a fish, to her, and she immediately takes possession and won't let him touch it. So, sometimes he brings 1/2 of a fish, after having gotten his share. Once, however, he landed on her back while she sat and ate some of it before she could get out from under him to take it.    (Note: Regarding the equipment being down for a couple hours in the early morning, we have pinpointed the issue, have equipment ordered and should have it repaired in a week or so. And do not worry, this is for equipment off the nest-site, so no one will be climbing the tree or disturbing the eagles to get it repaired.)

January 8, 2020 - We have an egg!!

Eagle Update Pictures

At 5:34 today (Jan 8, 2020) Jackie laid her first egg of the season! Check out the nest camera to watch Jackie and Shadow and the new egg. 

October 7, 2019 - Project hearing cancelled

The Supervisors' hearing tomorrow about the project that could bring harm to the eagles has been cancelled, so if you were planning on attending, thank you, but no need for the moment. Apparently there are some new environmental documents that the County says they forgot to send out for public comment before the vote can take place. Thank you to all of you for your support! We'll keep you posted on what happens next.


September 28, 2019 - Eagles in Danger!!

Eagle Update Pictures


Jackie and Shadow need your help to keep them from being EVICTED from their home. A proposal for 50 luxury house sites with new roads, a huge private marina and parking area only ½ mile from their nest could destroy the future possibility of them continuing to nest in this area. The site of this proposed development can be seen from the nest cam! (yellow circle in the cam photo below). The decision will be made by County Supervisors on October 8. 

This currently forested lakefront site (sunrise photo below) is used by eagles to feed themselves and their chicks. The marina, parking, roads and houses would destroy this key north shore foraging ground. And the monumental increase in disturbance in this quiet area would likely cause the eagles to abandon the nest. Even the County's official environmental documents state that there would be significant detrimental impacts to bald eagles. County planning is recommending approval, in spite of these harmful impacts, saying that housing is more important. But we currently have over 600 houses for sale--150 more than a year ago--in our small valley! 

The proposed project would also intensify fire danger in an area already plagued with high fire-risk and ranked in the top 1% as having the most hazardous, least adequate fire and emergency evacuation routes. Approval of this would have major harmful impacts to the bald eagles, to our National Forest, to our residents and to our visitors.


-Please share this post with everyone. 

-Please copy, sign and email or mail the letter posted below (or download it from our website), with whatever changes or additional comments youâ'd like to make (and cc each official listed on the letter). 

-Ask your friends and family to send emails or letters, also.

-If you are anywhere nearby, please attend the hearing before the Supervisors on October 8 in San Bernardino (385 N. Arrowhead Ave.) at 10 a.m. (If you need a ride from Big Bear, email me at fobbvinfo@gmail.com ). 

-If you are willing to be more involved to help with anything, please email me also. 

For more information on all of this, please visit the “Environmental Watch/Action Needed” page of our website: https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/environmental-watch/action-needed/

Thank you thank you thank you for your assistance!!



September 17, 2019 - New Address for Live Stream

Our Eagle Nest Cam live stream changed youtube channels. 

Here is the new youtube address to find the: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBQhLAIBTH0

You can also search on youtube for Big Bear Bald Eagle Cam -- and look for the one that says "Live Now" (right now it's the 3rd one down in the search). We're working on getting the new link up on our website.



July 7, 2019 - Simba camera ham

Eagle Update Pictures

Simba, the camera ham...
...would like his family to keep being reality TV stars!

To help him achieve his dream, Friends of Big Bear Valley is hosting an “End of the nesting season” fundraiser through July 11.
Your donation will go toward the camera system and support team for ongoing maintenance, our education programs and our Outdoor Adventure Days so you can continue viewing eagle family antics, learning and enjoying our valley’s beautiful nature. 
FOBBV is a nonprofit organization and all of our activities including the eagle nest cam are supported only by donations from the public. (ID#20-0650845)
Any small, big or ongoing donation is very welcome and appreciated!! Please SHARE SIMBA's post with your friends.
To donate, you can click the donate button on our FB posts, go to our website: https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/donate/ or send a check to Friends of Big Bear Valley, PO Box 422, Fawnskin, CA 92333.
Sincere thank you for your continued support!!


July 4, 2019 - End of Nesting Season Fundraiser

Eagle Update Pictures

**Simba approved this message**
Happy 4th of July! 
--To celebrate, Friends of Big Bear Valley is hosting an “End of the nesting season” fundraiser for the next week (through July 11)-- 
Your donation will go toward the camera system and support team for ongoing maintenance, our education programs and our Outdoor Adventure Days so you can continue viewing eagle family antics, learning and enjoying our valley’s beautiful nature. 
We would especially like to request donations that can be set up monthly so we can continue our cam maintenance and programs throughout the year. (click the ‘monthly’ box above the amount on the paypal form)
FOBBV is a nonprofit organization, supported only by public donations. (ID#20-0650845)
Any small, big or ongoing donation is very welcome and appreciated!!
To donate, go to: https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/donate/ or send a check to Friends of Big Bear Valley, PO Box 422, Fawnskin, CA 92333.
Sincere thank you for your continued support!!

July 3, 2019 - Almost an adult

Eagle Update Pictures

Simba is becoming more and more an adult bald eagle...

...well, except for the hilarious 'I've got a fish' happy dances when he hops around the nest clutching the fish with both feet and flapping and squealing (as Jackie or Shadow watch in amazement)...

...well, and maybe all that crying to mom and dad...

...but he only does that when he is tired of eating on his own and wants them to feed him...

...well, and when they get near his fish...

...well, and when they don't get near his fish...

...well, and a little bit when there is no fish involved at all.

But he's definitely been looking more adult when he's sitting on the front limb with either dad or mom...

...well, except for those sudden hopping back to the nest because 'I have to leap around flapping and squealing' moments...

...well, and a little when it's been a while since a fish delivery and he wants to make sure they know he's hungry...

...well, and...but he really is almost like an adult...almost.

May 27, 2019 - Sad news

We are very sad to say that it looks like Cookie died just a little bit ago. He was up earlier but looked weak; he also seemed less energetic yesterday. This last storm was a tough one with rain first and then snow and cold temperatures (just like last year). As we could see with Jackie, the feathers got wet and then the snow stuck to them. The chicks weren't able to fit fully underneath her yesterday and last night. Typically when a chick dies in the nest, it gets moved off to the side or buried by new nesting material. Climbing the tree again to retrieve the body is unlikely. We are mourning with all the rest of you. Nature can be very tough. The survival rate for bald eagles is 50% in the first year. We will all be rooting for Simba to stay strong and healthy.

May 27, 2019 - Awake after snowy night

Eagle Update Pictures

Both chicks are up and looking strong after a long night under the warm protection of a snow-covered mom. Jackie kept Simba and Cookie warm and mostly dry through the cold, snowy night. At 6 weeks old, the chicks are too big to fit completely under her, but have not finished growing their complete set of weatherproof feathers.

May 24, 2019 - Chick Banding

Eagle Update Pictures

You may have noticed that Cookie and Simba got some pretty purple and silver jewelry today. The chicks were taken in safe bags from the nest to the bottom of the tree, where it is much safer to work with them. The chicks were banded and checked for health conditions and returned back to the nest. They are very healthy and managed the abduction by aliens very well. The climber/bander has training and permits to handle and band bald eagles.
Within 15 minutes after the climber left the base of the tree, the chicks were being fed. The BIG NEWS - they're both males! That means that of all of Jackie's four offspring so far, they have all been male. Simba (the oldest by 1 day) has purple tag #ZR1; Cookie's purple tag is #ZJ1. 


April 27, 2019 - Contest Winner Stories

Eagle Update Pictures

COOKIE and SIMBA would like to personally thank everyone who honored them by submitting a suggested name for them. And they would especially like to thank the Big Bear Valley 3rd grade classes that chose their winning names and the CONTEST WINNERS who submitted them...

"Cookie" -- This was a group effort from the three kindergarten classes at Heritage Computer Science Academy, part of the Garden Grove Unified School District, located in Santa Ana, California. Their whole school has been watching daily since the eggs were laid. The name was submitted for the group by Susan Hansen. She says, "We have all learned so much from watching nature at its finest - can’t wait to see what they do next."

"Simba" -- 9-year-old Samuel Brown, a 3rd grader at Valle Vista Elementary School in Rancho Cucamonga came up with this name and his grandfather submitted it for him. Samuel loves Big Bear. He enjoys science and nature and has been following the birth of the eagles with his grandfather since Stormy (2017-2018 nesting season). His class was watching the eagles being born and was very excited when his suggested eagle name was selected.

Cookie and Simba and their mom (Jackie) and dad (Shadow) are also very pleased that so many classrooms around the country and in other countries have been watching and learning about their lives. The 4-foot eagle nest in the photo below was built by children from Hoover State Pre-School. They collected sticks on a nature walk and brought more from home to create the nest.

April 23, 2019 - The Winners!

Eagle Update Pictures


...the new names of these two adorable week old chicks!

These are the 1st and 2nd place winning names selected by the Big Bear Valley 3rd graders after the drawing from all of your wonderful suggestions.

I will get permission to post the names of the contributors of those names and post as soon as I have it. We will send emails to the 23 runners up drawn from the pool of 1228 names submitted by 288 people.

Thank you very much to everyone who contributed--you are helping us keep the camera and live stream up and running for everyone to enjoy the daily adventures of our little eagle family--Jackie, Shadow, Cookie and Simba.

April 21, 2019 - Last chance to enter!

Eagle Update Pictures

~~~The chick naming contest closes tomorrow, Sunday, April 21 at 12 noon~~~
Help name these adorable chicks at
Friends of Big Bear Valley's "Name the Bald Eagle Chicks" Contest on our website https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/eagle-naming-contest/

Submit your name suggestions ASAP! 
After submissions close, we will randomly draw 25 of the submitted Eaglet Names and on Monday the third grade classes in Big Bear Valley will vote on those 25 names to pick the two winning chick names. 
(At our local elementary schools, the 3rd graders study bald eagles and get a field trip to look for them around the lake--so, before this year, they have gotten to suggest and select the eagles names.--this year we're letting everyone participate in the suggestions!)
You can submit 1 name for $10, 2 names for $15, 5 names for $30 or 10 names for $50--all fees go to support this live stream eagle cam so you can keep watching this little bald eagle family. Multiple submissions of the same name are allowed (so if you want to give your favorite name a better chance of being drawn, submit it multiple times.)
Prizes will be given for the 2 winning submissions and for the 25 drawn. See the website for more details and to enter. https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/eagle-naming-contest/
Best of luck!

April 15, 2019 - Chick Naming contest

Eagle Update Pictures

These adorable new chicks need names. And you can help name them! Friends of Big Bear Valley is hosting a "Name the Bald Eagle Chicks" Contest on our website https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/eagle-naming-contest/ 

Submit your name suggestions ASAP! Because SUBMISSIONS CLOSE THIS SUNDAY, April 21st at noon Pacific time. We will then randomly draw 25 of the submitted Eaglet Names and the third grade classes in Big Bear Valley will vote on those 25 names to pick the two winning chick names. 

You can submit 1 name for $10, 2 names for $15, 5 names for $30 or 10 names for $50--all fees go to support this live stream eagle cam so you can keep watching this little bald eagle family. Multiple submissions of the same name are allowed (so if you want to give your favorite name a better chance of being drawn, submit it multiple times.) 

Prizes will be given for the 2 winning submissions and for the 25 drawn. See the website for more details and to enter. https://friendsofbigbearvalley.org/eagle-naming-contest/ 

Best of luck!

April 9, 2019 - Power down for a bit

Eagle Update PicturesThe cam is out of power again so the live stream is not up at the moment. Our tech guys Mike Bode and Jim Applebury found the issue today and repaired it, but the sun didn't have time to recharge the batteries. The stream should be back when the sun comes out in the morning and then stay up after that. Many thanks to them and to Peter Sharpe for advising. Today Shadow only put two sticks on Jackie and only fell across her once...he blames the wind. The winds were very strong all day with clouds rolling in. Jackie must have decided a storm was coming because she stayed on the nest herself most of the day (like she does during storms) and only let Shadow have a couple of short shifts. At least she got in a couple of good yoga workouts. This evening when Shadow didn't want to get off the nest, she tried a new tactic of chirping quietly and looking down, humbly, as she moved in closer and closer, urging him up. But when that didn't work, a little nibbling and a dirty look did the trick.
February 6, 2019 - Camera is Up

Eagle Update PicturesThe camera is back up after some morning sun today to melt the snow from the solar panels. Lots of snow to enjoy.
February 6, 2019 - Camera down cause of cloudy weather

Wed 2/6/19 Our eagle nest camera is temporarily down. With all the snow we have gotten in the last couple days, the solar panels have not been able to produce enough energy to keep the system going. The system should be back up as soon as the sun comes out for a few hours. Sandy
January 20, 2019 - Back Again Today

Eagle Update Pictures1/20/19 6:36 pm Shadow was back again for his 2nd visit today, in the blowing wind. He brought a stick with him and had another little fight with that 3-pointed stick that just will not fit anywhere.
January 20, 2019 - Three Prong Stick

Eagle Update Pictures1/20/19 3:44 pm Shadow made a short visit to the nest this afternoon and worked on arranging that same ornery 3-pronged stick he brought yesterday--it just would not settle in anywhere. He tried to put it in, and one end or the other kept popping back up. He gave it up, and left arrangement for another time.
January 19, 2019 - Shadow is Back

Eagle Update Pictures1/19/19 7:23 am Shadow has made 3 visits to the nest between 6:50 and 7:10. He did some nest tidying and delivered two sticks. It is good to see his face again!
January 18, 2019 - Camera Reset

1/18/19 8:19 am The camera was out of power again due to the continuous overcast weather we have been having. It is back up. Here is the link: https://camstreamer.com/yt-redirect/cbe0c0b2eec4946/S-15309
January 14, 2019 - South Side of the Lake

Eagle Update Pictures1/14/19 2:42 pm Drove around the lake today checking out the prey supply and looking for eagles. Found one young bald eagle on the south side of the lake and spotted another eagle flying over the lake. There are some pockets of open water but the numbers of ducks are relatively low compared to what they were a few weeks ago. There were a lot of mergansers and gulls in the open water by the dam but not a lot of coots. The snow is really coming down hard right now. There have not been any visits to the nest for a few days. It is later than when Jackie laid eggs last year so we are all worried that it will not happen this year. The bald eagles on the Channel Islands and other places in southern California lay in February and March so there is certainly more time. However, the intermittent activities at the nest are discouraging. Keep your talons crossed.
January 9, 2019 - Nest Sitting

Eagle Update Pictures1/9/19 6:41 pm Jackie visited the nest this afternoon, rearranged a few sticks, sat for a while and then watched from her perch branch. She made a 2nd visit at dusk, with a little more nest-sitting. The lake is still mostly frozen, and there are not many ducks or coots around.
April 30, 0002 - Life Lessons

Eagle Update Pictures

Little Spirit Victories and New Spirit shirts!

Over the past couple days, little Spirit--who is rapidly becoming giant Spirit--has met and conquered a few more 'learning to be an eagle' challenges. And of course Jackie and Shadow have been watching proudly, assisting when needed and holding back when not...almost like they know exactly how and when to encourage Spirit to figure things out.

Spirit had quite a conundrum in an early morning when he (or she) had what seemed to be an itch in the beak while standing up. First, he tried lowering the beak to the foot...no, that wouldn't reach. Then the trick was to raise the foot, slowly, carefully, to keep from falling over while balancing on the other foot. First, he only got the foot just off the ground, then part way, then halfway, then he made it all the way and quickly scratched that itch. Hooray! Spirit celebrated with some excited wing flaps.

Spirit has bit by bit been learning to eat without being fed...sort of. At least he can grab the big fish from dad, but when he can't get bites off, he goes into begging dad to please feed him. Mom and dad both have been giving Spirit more time to figure it out before they will resort to feeding him, but eventually they do if he needs it...and sometimes there is a whole family discussion with Jackie and Spirit both telling Shadow that the fish is theirs. By the end of the day, Spirit got the eating figured out and looked quite proud about it.

Some of the other talents Spirit is perfecting include wingersizing, and especially doing it without tipping over, plus begging when Dad or Mom don't bring food with them, so they go back out and bring back lunch...and it worked. Shadow left and came back with a fish...

...All in the day of being a curious, enthused eagle chick.

For any of you who love watching Spirit as much as we do, we just added some new Spirit-focused t-shirt designs (photos below) that you can find on our website at--https://www.friendsofbigbearvalley.org/product/eagle-store/

Thank you all for your amazing support!


November 30, -0001 - A Day In The Life

Eagle Update Pictures

Over the weekend Jackie and Shadow were both great at incubating, rolling eggs, yelling at ravens and arranging the nest while sitting...and they worked together on shift changes in complete cooperation--well mostly complete...well at least some cooperation, except for the part where neither one of them wants to get off the eggs when it's the other one's turn to incubate.

...Jackie usually lets Shadow take over early in the morning after she sits all night...Saturday she left before dawn and did a chortling announcement about it from a distance...Shadow arrived at the nest in less than a minute and announced his arrival back to Jackie.

...Jackie often brings fluff to the nest and then stares at Shadow until he gets up...he usually tries to ignore her at first, but eventually follows her implied orders (it's hard to argue with Jackie, even silently)

...when it's his turn to take over, Shadow has a whole kit full of techniques to convince Jackie...Saturday morning, he brought a big stick, decided it belonged on the other side of the nest and walked right across Jackie's back to get there--a not-so-subtle reminder that he was there and it was his turn...it worked.

...but for the rest of the day, probably because of the high winds, Jackie decided she was the only one qualified to sit on those eggs and no matter what Shadow tried, she refused to budge...

---a giant stick delivery didn't work...

---bonking her with the next big stick delivery didn't work...and neither did laying the stick on her from either direction...

---delivering a bunch of fluff didn't work...nor did an even bigger bunch of fluff...nor did nipping at her wing...he finally gave up and she stayed on the nest through the windstorm (about 20 hours straight on the nest).

During her 20 hours, Jackie had to poop off the side of the nest...and afterwards, as she often does, she loudly announced it to the neighborhood. In the night, the wind was blowing her feathers all around and one giant gust blew her clear off-balance.

. On Sunday, besides always pretending Jackie wasn't there when she came to take over (it never works), and sadly losing one prize stick over the side--he stared longingly down at it--Shadow perfected his "getting Jackie off the eggs" techniques...

...bumping her with the big sticks he brings continues to work well...

...but his best technique yet was to stand right in front of her so there is no way she can't see him, and then clinch it with a surprise kiss--she was up off the eggs in under a minute.

...and then just to stay in her good graces, it doesn't hurt to bring her a fish for lunch and another one for dinner.