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The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

Jackie & Shadow

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Shadow watches over the lake at dawn, resting on top of the eggs. FOBBV Eagle Cam

In 2015, Friends of Big Bear Valley, a nonprofit organization based in Big Bear Valley, California, installed a camera in a Jeffrey Pine tree. This camera would sit above a nest that belongs to two birds the world has come to love.

Big Bear Lake’s official website states that the camera was installed in 2015, recording its first nesting season in 2017. It has been live ever since on both YouTube and Facebook.

Thousands of people watch the livestream every day. “For many of us that work indoors, the Eagle Cam is a great way to observe nature and be aware of the world outside,” said SoCal Battalion Chief Jim Brown. He shares how his coworkers are always among those thousands saying, “It is very common to see my coworkers have one screen on Jackie and Shadow, while working on other screens. It is very grounding to be connected to nature while we navigate through our daily routine indoors.”

Terra Brown, a work-from-home travel agent, also enjoys spending time with Jackie and Shadow. “I enjoy watching the Eagle Cam and following the eagles, because it allows me an opportunity to get up close and personal with them in a way I never would be able to experience otherwise,” Brown states, “It is very educational, and seeing the baby eagles is always an added bonus!”

Shadow nestles on the eggs to provide warmth and shelter from the snow.

However, viewers of the Eagle Cam haven’t seen many hatchlings throughout the years. Wikipedia claims that Shadow has sired 14+ of Jackie’s eggs over the years that the camera has been filming, with only five hatchings and three of the five making it to adulthood.

It’s a celebration for watchers when eggs are laid, but a miracle when they hatch. In January 2024 Jackie laid a trio of eggs and viewers celebrated with the hopes of being able to witness the eggs hatch once again. However, when 35 days passed—35 days being the incubation period for eagle eggs—viewers began to get anxious.

Shadow (left) leaves the nest, revealing the eggs as Jackie (right) arrives for night watch.

The moderators of the livestream later announced that there was almost no chance that any of Jackie and Shadow’s eggs would hatch this season. There was widespread devastation across the internet, and heartbreak continued as the couple persisted in incubating the eggs.

As fans of the loveable eagle pair, and even the birds themselves, begin to process and accept the death of the eggs, watchers are already looking forward to future breeding seasons where they hope to watch eggs hatch once more.

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About the Contributor
Natalie Brown, Staff Writer
Natalie Brown, is a ninth grade student at Santa Rosa Academy. She is a staff member of The Lasso and is amazing at digital art and physical art. She loves to write about anything she is interested in. She is also a kind and outstanding writer. Some of her interests include bugs and cats. She also has a cat named Boof -- Boof is a fat black cat and she is very loud, very needy, loves to cuddle her owner, and cry out when she is hungry. Natalie is into the paranormal and even has a club dedicated to the super natural/paranormal. Her club is called the Mystery Club which is very new, so show kindness and support!
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