Webcams have offered us a window into animal life, from the routines of pets at home to adorable scenes of creatures at zoos and candid moments of animals in the wild. A strategically placed camera near an eagle nest in the San Bernardino National Forest has captured something even more special—a bald eagle laying two eggs. From the moment the bird goes into labor to taking turns with her partner to incubate them, the camera has given us front row seats to a truly magical moment.
The camera is managed by Friends of Big Bear Valley, an organization dedicated to protecting local animals through education and monitoring. They have been posting updates about the bald eagles—named Jackie and Shadow—and the entire egg-laying process. While the footage they post is fascinating on its own; the explanation, attention to detail, and storytelling provided by the experts makes it even more compelling.
For example, they can spot that Jackie is about to lay an egg from the way she starts puffing her feathers and making tea-kettle like noises. “She was in labor for about 6 minutes,” the organization wrote on their post about the first laying. “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.”
Sadly, the camera went out when Jackie laid the second egg in the middle of a storm. “It would seem that this time she did not want the world watching her labor and egg-laying process,” they wrote. However, they have been able to keep up with the couple and their eggs, offering commentary on their daily struggles—like an argument about dinner. “When Shadow arrived,” the video caption explains, “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 the thousands of followers and bird-lovers await the day the baby eagles come out of their eggs, the webcams will keep on showing these creatures as they get ready to become parents, whether that means bringing sticks into their nest or scaring off ravens that might come close to where they are incubating.