Heavy snow at Big Bear

Jackie is working hard to keep her wee chick warm and dry. Shadow made sure that a huge catfish was in the pantry knowing that the weather was going to get worse. The chick has been fed at 07:45, 09:57, 12:50, and 14:41. As I type this it is currently 16:45 nest time.

The weather forecast says that this snow will continue until 18:00-19:00 and then stop. It is 23 degrees F. at Big Bear City with winds blowing and gusting more than 13 mph.

At the rate that the snow is currently falling, Jackie could be literally buried by it. Some of you might recall the Duke Farms Mother being encrusted in ice and snow when she was incubating her eggs last year. It is also almost an annual occurrence for our favourite hawk, Big Red, to get buried at least once, if not several times, in ice and snow.

Jackie is nodding off at times. It does not take much of her energy to brood. She is fine. Do not worry.

There are several things to remember. Bald Eagles do very well in snow and cold weather. They are fully equipped for it – better than humans! One of the largest areas that is home to Bald Eagles is in Alaska. Even here in Winnipeg with our temperatures dropping to -35 C, we have at least one resident Bald Eagle who never migrates. Jackie has more than 7000 feathers to keep her warm. In turn, she is keeping her chick warm. 105 degrees F transferred from Jackie to the baby. The area under Jackie where the chick and second egg are is warm and dry.

The problem is if the chick gets wet and chilled. Jackie and Shadow have been very good about feeding it quickly and getting it back under them. I suspect that Jackie might not feed the little one again until this snow and wind stop. There is a nice chunk of fish buried in the snow behind Jackie.

As we know anything can happen. The lives of our beloved birds can change so quickly. Please send all your positive wishes out to this beautiful family – and wish for sun and warm weather for them.

Thank you for joining me. Take care everyone.

Thank you to the Friends of Big Bear Valley for their streaming cam where I took my screen captures.


  1. Linda Kontol says:

    Thanks Mary Ann for this update. Wishing them positive wishes and that the snow soon stops!
    I do remember the Dukes Farms mom last season being covered with the snow. Also I’ve seen several others at Decorah and National arboretum with Mr P and the First Lady. It was such an amazing thing! Prayers for Jackie and Shadow and their little one. The fish is probably already frozen but maybe she can tear some from the edges to feed the little one when the snow stops. 🙏❤️🦅🐣❤️🦅🙏
    Have a good evening Mary Ann and I look forward to the newsletter tomorrow!

    1. It looks like it is easing up some. The weather forecasts in the area do not agree so I hope the early stop to the snow – instead of 10pm – is it! Yes, the Eagles don’t mind it. It is entirely possible that a piece of that fish is being kept a little warmer under Jackie’s tail. If not, I am sure she will figure it out. They are amazing. Have a lovely evening, Linda, and a beautiful Sunday. You are always welcome for the updates. These eagle mums are the best!

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