So many fascinating and heartwarming stories demonstrate animals’ unique capabilities and behaviors in the natural world. Bald eagles, a part of nature, are famous for their strong pair bonds lasting for several years or even for life. This story involves two eagles who took turns protecting their precious eggs during a long, snowy storm.
Technology can bring us beautiful things.
Ever wished you could experience life as an eagle? They soar above the clouds, hunt with precision and speed, and raise young in a cozy nest. Modern technology lets us glimpse these majestic birds’ lives through live-streaming cameras that capture their every move.
One such camera is located at Big Bear Lake in California, where two bald eagles named Shadow and Jackie have been nesting since 2018. Friends of Big Bear Valley (FOBBV), a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the natural environment of Big Bear Valley, operated the camera, and what they captured was amusing.
Eagles take care of parent duties.
Shadow and Jackie, two bald eagles, were busy preparing for their new arrivals: two eggs they laid in early March. Since then, they have been taking turns incubating the eggs, keeping them warm and safe from predators and weather. They showed great trust and communication with each other during this time.
Long and snowy storm
On March 14th, a winter storm hit Big Bear Valley, bringing snow and strong winds. The temperature dropped below freezing, making it hard for Shadow and Jackie to keep their eggs warm. But they did not give up. They hunkered down on the nest, covering the eggs with their feathers and bodies.
Jackie was courageous. She stayed in the nest for 27 hours straight and did not leave to eat, drink, or stretch her wings even once. She endured the cold and the snow for over a day without any break and was exhausted and hungry by then. But she trusted Shadow enough to let him take over when he returned.
Shadow was there to report to duty.
On March 15th, around 12:30 pm, Jackie finally decided to take a break. She called out to Shadow before leaving, ensuring he was nearby. And he was. He arrived at the nest only two minutes later. He rolled the eggs gently with his beak before settling down on them. He tucked them into his brood pouch and rocked them gently. He looked comfortable and confident as he took over his duty.
He also looked happy to see Jackie go for a break. He knew she needed it after such a long ordeal. He wanted her to be well-rested and healthy to care for their eggs together.
Shadow almost did not want to leave.
Jackie came back after an hour-and-a-half break. She must have felt refreshed after her time away from the nest. She landed on a branch near Shadow and greeted him with soft chortles. Shadow responded with some chortles but did not get up immediately. He seemed reluctant to leave his cozy spot on the eggs. He tried to persuade Jackie that it was still his turn by nudging her away with his head or wing.
But Jackie was patient with him. She waited until he was ready to get up before moving closer to him. She gently nudged him back until he finally gave in and got off the eggs. She rolled them again before sitting down on them herself. She tucked them under her feathers as Shadow did before her. Shadow flew off but not far away. He circled behind Jackie as she settled in on her new position on the nest.
Watch this amazing moment between two eagle parents here.
Shadow and Jackie’s story shows the incredible bond and teamwork between mated bald eagles. Even in harsh weather conditions, the level of care and attention these birds give to their offspring is impressive.