Time-lapse shows bald eagles sheltering eggs during Big Bear snow storm

- It was bumpy for a pair of bald eagles that took turns protecting two eggs in a nest at Big Bear during a recent storm that brought snow and high winds.

The nonprofit group “Friends of the Big Bear Valley” created a time-lapse shot of a male eagle taking over the egg-watch after the female bird’s long 24-hour shift. As the snow flurries pick up, the eagle is seen covering the eggs while he is encased in a shell of snow. 

Throughout the course of the video clip, the eagle props himself up to shake off the snow before going back to the incubating process. Around the 5:30 mark, a falling tree can be heard, suggesting the kind of conditions the birds are riding out. 

Both eagles are regular residents to the area where a livestream camera was installed in 2016. They laid the eggs last week ahead of the public bald eagle count that’s due to take place Saturday Jan. 13.

“This is part of the story of bald eagle population recovery nationwide. Only a few decades ago, bald eagles were considered an endangered species,” said Robin Eliason, a U.S. Forest Service biologist, touching on the counting process that began as a way to monitor the species when it was listed as endangered. 

Anyone is welcome to assist the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region with the eagle count this Saturday. Signing up is not necessary, just show up to any of the locations below if you’re interested. 

  • Big Bear Lake area volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at the Forest Service’s Big Bear Discovery Center on North Shore Drive for orientation. Contact Robin Eliason (reliason@fs.fed.us or 909- 382-2832) for more information. 
  • Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory volunteers will meet at 8 a.m. at the Skyforest Ranger Station for orientation. Contact Robin Eliason (reliason@fs.fed.us or 909-382-2832) for more information.
  • Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area volunteers should plan to meet at the Visitor Center at 8 a.m. for orientation. Contact Mark Wright for more information about volunteering or taking an eagle tour (760-389-2303 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.; or email: mark.wright@parks.ca.gov). 
  • Lake Hemet volunteers should plan on meeting at the Lake Hemet Grocery Store at 8:30 a.m. for orientation. Contact Ann Bowers (annbowers@fs.fed.us or 909-382-2935) for more information. 
  • Lake Perris State Recreation Area volunteers should plan to meet at the Lake Perris Regional Indian Museum at 8 a.m. for orientation. For more information, call Lake Perris SRA at 951-940- 5600 or the Lake Perris Regional Indian Museum at 951-940-5657. 

The eggs in the video are expected to hatch around Feb. 10. Those interested in keeping an eye on the process should tune visit the live nest cameras.  

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