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Experts Say Big Bear Bald Eagle Eggs Unlikely to Hatch

If Mother Nature produced a reality show, it might look like this.

Shadow and Jackie, pair-bonded bald eagles that have been so carefully tending to their eggs in a snow-covered nest 145 feet above Big Bear, will likely not see them hatch.

“It looks like those eggs are not going to hatch,” said Sandy Steers, head of the non-profit that installed that camera, Friends of Big Bear Valley, announced on Facebook.

It’s unclear why the eggs didn’t hatch, now more than 10 days after they were supposed to.

“Everybody has a broken heart because they’ve been working so hard, those two eagles. They’ve been sitting in the snow,” Steers said.

Whatever the cause, long-time watchers from around the world are mourning.

“Each egg is priceless. I wonder if they’ll grieve,” one woman said.

“This makes my heart hurt,” said another.

Over 25-,000 people have reacted to that sad post.

In a certain way, they’ve become like members of our own families, wild animals that we can now watch in our own living rooms.

“This is something you otherwise would not see,” said David Riherd, of the Wildlife Learning Center.

Like many of us, Riherd and his family did their share of watching. NBC4 met with him at his wildlife learning center in Sylmar, where he pulled up the live cam and we watched Jackie taking her turn warming the eggs with her body.

Like many thousands of others, they witnessed a mom doing her best for her young and a dad, guarding her and the eggs in the home they built together and, sadly, the tragedy of a loss they’re not even aware of yet.

“It can be heartbreaking, but it is what it is. Nature is difficult,” Riherd said.

Riherd would know, he has two bald eagles live at his learning center, both were seriously injured and now are held in captivity to survive.

But there’s good news from Big Bear, Steers said Jackie and Shadow still have years of mating and more eggs ahead of them.

“We just have to assume that Nature knows best,” Steers said.

No one can know what the future will bring for this little family in the great big wilderness.

It’s what makes the “real” reality show of life, such a perfect adventure.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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