Eggs of viral bald eagle parents "unlikely" to hatch, group says

Jackie and Shadow, the bald eagle parents who have gone viral for taking turns keeping their eggs warm, may be facing a heartbreaking situation. The group monitoring the eagle parents says that despite the parents' efforts, it's "unlikely" that their eggs will hatch.

Bald eagles Jackie and Shadow have been taking turns keeping their three eggs warm – even as conservationists say it's
Bald eagles Jackie and Shadow have been taking turns keeping their three eggs warm – even as conservationists say it's

Conservation organization Friends of Big Bear Valley has been monitoring the eagles. Jackie, the 12-year-old mother, laid their three eggs at the end of January. A month later, the group launched a 24-hour live webcam for people to observe the eagle parents, and ever since, thousands of people have tuned in to watch as Jackie and her partner, 10-year-old Shadow, take turns keeping their future offspring warm.

But on Monday, the organization had a less-than-joyful update.

"There has been no confirmed pips in any of the eggs," the group said alongside a video of the nesting parents that has amassed 253,000 views. "This is later than Jackie's eggs have hatched in the past, so it is probably unlikely for them to hatch at this point."

But, the group said, "miracles do happen."

"It is not a matter of 'giving up,' it is simply a matter of taking what is in front of us and moving forward...just the way Jackie and Shadow do," the group said. "...At this point, they are both caring for the eggs, switching places, arguing over who's [sic] turn it is and being gentle and tender both with the eggs and with each other."

The group said it's not sure why the eggs have yet to hatch. Generally, it takes about 35 days for them to do so, according to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and with the first egg laid on Jan. 25, that would mean the eggs were expected to hatch around Feb. 29. The group said there is "no way of knowing" whether environmental factors – such as temperatures and humidity – biological, or "something just being off at the time the eggs were created." They don't believe it to be a fertility issue, as the pair already had two sets of chicks together in 2019 and 2022.

In their latest update on Wednesday, the group said that Jackie and Shadow "continue taking dedicated care of their eggs…and lovingly building their beautiful relationship in the process."

 Aliza Chasan contributed to this report.

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