Bald Eagle Dad Relieves Mom, Helps With Egg-Warming Duties

January 20, 2023

A bald eagle has laid two eggs this month in a Southern California nest. Every moment has been captured on a live feed called "Big Bear Bald Eagle Live Nest Cam" on YouTube.

Jackie laid two eggs, and her partner Shadow has been helping with the egg-warming duties. Friends of Big Bear Valley wrote:

"Shadow seems to be more comfortable with sitting on them. With 1 egg he often looked nervous about the egg and did lots of walking around it and staring at it before actually sitting down. But today, he looked right at home and even put up a bit of a complaint when Jackie came back to take over.

This afternoon around 12:30 pm, Jackie finally took a well-deserved break—she had been on the nest since 9:30 am yesterday--27 hours! During that time, she was riding out the long snowy storm, laying her 2nd egg in the middle of the storm, and making sure her 2 eggs stayed safe and warm through the long, snowy night. She must really trust Shadow because she almost never lets anyone else sit on the eggs during a storm. But today, she let him take over for almost an hour and a half.

Before getting off the eggs, she called out to Shadow and apparently got confirmation that he was nearby. When she left, he arrived at the nest only 2 minutes later to take his turn. As soon as he rolled the eggs, he sat right down and tucked in low, rocking to make sure the eggs were snuggly fit into his brood pouch. (During nesting, bald eagles lose some of the feathers on their chest, creating a little area where the eggs can fit close to the skin to be warmed by the eagle’s high body temperature.)

When Jackie came back after her break, Shadow chortled out his complaint that it was still his turn. He didn’t move off the eggs and tried a few times to dissuade Jackie from making him get up. She was patient with him but when she started moving closer, he knew he wasn’t going to win. He let her take over and flew off the back porch, then did some fancy flying through the falling snow behind her as she settled in on the eggs."

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