An eagle laid an egg Wednesday and then fussed over it with her mate — all of which was captured live on a webcam focused on the twiggy nest on the north side of Big Bear Lake. Forest Service officials say if all goes well, the hatchling should appear around April 10.
“Now, for the next 35 or so days, we will see the parents share incubation duties,” agency biologist Robin Eliason said in a statement. “This regulates the temperature of the egg so the embryo can develop.”
Bald eagles migrate each winter to several spots in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains, including Big Bear Lake. The nest in the Fawnskin area is about 120 feet in the air near the top of a Jeffrey pine.
The area currently is off limits to the public because the eagles may abandon the nest and the egg if they feel threatened by humans.
The Friends of Big Bear Valley operates the webcam, below, that’s available for viewing on a computer, tablet or smartphone. It’s pointed into the nest at an angle that would be hard to see, even with binoculars at close range. (Occasionally snow or other weather conditions make it unavailable.)
The egg laying comes at the tail end of the Forest Service’s annual eagle count, now in its 40th year. The event gathers data by recruiting volunteers to help count the number of birds during the migration season. No experience is necessary to help track eagles at five locations in San Bernardino County.
The last count of the season will be held Saturday. All are welcome to participate, no reservations required. Volunteers should dress in warm layers, carry extra food and water in their vehicles, and have chains in their vehicles in case they’re needed on mountain roads. Meet at:
—8 a.m. Big Bear Lake Discovery Center, 40971 North Shore Drive (California State Route 38) and also at the Skyforest Work Center, 28104 California State Route 18 in the Lake Arrowhead/Lake Gregory area. Info: (909) 382-2832. You can also call the latter number by 6 a.m. the morning of the count to check whether there is a weather-related cancellation.
—8 a.m. Silverwood Lake State Recreation Area park office, 14651 Cedar Circle, Hesperia. Info: (760) 389-2303.
—8:30 a.m. at the Lake Hemet Market, 56570 California State Route 74, Mountain Center. (Note that Highway 74 from Hemet and California State Route 243 from Banning are closed because of storm damage. You can access Route 74 only from the south from Anza or Palm Desert.)