Bald eagle lays second egg at Big Bear nest

Contact(s): Zach Behrens, 909-382-2788

After more than 125 people fanned out across Southern California’s Inland Empire to participate in the last public bald eagle count of the season, a bald eagle in Big Bear laid a second egg at a nest where a live webcam is placed. It was laid at approximately 5:25 p.m. The first egg was laid on Wednesday, March 6.

The incubation period for bald eagle eggs averages around 35 days. The parents will switch off incubation duties to keep the eggs warm as the embryos develop. If all goes well, including if the eggs were fertilized in the first place during mating, chicks should hatch in early to mid-April.

At the public count earlier in the day, thirteen bald eagles were confirmed citizen scientists during this last winter bald eagle count of the season. It is the 40th year of the annual count that spans five lakes within San Bernardino National Forest and two California State Park recreation areas on four Saturdays throughout the winter. The results from today are as follows:

  • Big Bear Lake:  2 adults, 4 subadults (37 participants)
  • Lake Arrowhead:  1 adult (4 participants)
  • Lake Hemet:  1 adult (5 participants)
  • Lake Perris State Recreation Area: 2 adults (47 participants)
  • Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area:  1 adult, 2 subadults (30 participants)

Several dozen bald eagles typically spend their winter vacations around Southern California’s lakes, adding to a few resident nesting bald eagles that stay year-round.  Agency biologists recruit the public to help monitor the local population by conducting simultaneous counts.

The count coordinators from the Forest Service and California State Parks would like to thank those participants for their dedication in getting up early and participating in the event.  The success of the eagle counts is entirely dependent on the citizen scientists! 

For eagle viewing any time of the day, there’s a live-feed of the Big Bear bald eagle nest! The nest-cam is provided by the Friends of the Big Bear Valley and can be viewed at their website, the Institute for Wildlife Studies’ website or on YouTube.

The webcam monitors a nest on National Forest lands near Big Bear Lake’s north shore.  The area around the nest is closed to all public entry until the chicks have fledged.  The closure encompasses Grout Bay Picnic Area, Grays Peak Trail and surrounding National Forest areas. No entry, including snow play on the edges of the area, is allowed.  Bald eagles during nesting season are sensitive to human interference and may abandon nesting activities if feeling threatened.

Those who did not make the counts can still try to see bald eagles around local lakes this winter. Contact the Big Bear Discovery Center (909-382-2790) or the Idyllwild Ranger Station (909-382-2921) for eagle watching tips and etiquette on the San Bernardino National Forest