‘Pip Watch’ arrives for Jackie and Shadow – NBC Los Angeles

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What to Know

  • Jackie and Shadow are the world-famous Big Bear bald eagles; the pair can be seen on a pair of cameras, including one that’s next to their nest
  • Jackie laid three eggs in January 2024; the first egg will be 35 days old on Feb. 29 at 4:55 p.m.; hatching may begin at any time, though the pair’s previous eggs hatch around 38 or 39 days
  • A “pip” in the shells, which are tiny breaks made from the inside by the baby, may appear on the eggs in the days ahead; it may be some time before an eaglet fully emerges during “the very strenuous process”

“Three is a magic number,” or so the catchy “Schoolhouse Rock” song told us.

Fans of Jackie and Shadow, the celebrated bald eagles near Big Bear Lake, are believing in the power of three as the final day of February dawns and “Pip Watch” commences in excited earnest.

What’s the playfully named “Pip Watch” all about?

To the feathery duo’s thousands of worldwide followers, the tender term simply and sweetly and scientifically means this: We’ll be looking for tiny pips in the eagles’ three eggs, those minuscule breaks in the shells that reveal that hatching is underway, over the coming days.

Jackie laid the first of her three 2024 eggs 35 days ago at 4:55 in the afternoon. What’s so special about 35 days in the regal realm of eagledom?

That’s about the length of time that an eagle egg incubates before a hatchling may emerge, though, of course, nature is on its own schedule.

That said, previous eggs from the duo have stayed toasty under Mom and Dad a bit longer in years gone by, with chicks beginning to emerge from viable eggs around day 38 or 39.

Will this clutch, Jackie’s first successful three-egg clutch, change the trend?

People around the world are observing the sizable, stick-laden nest, an aerie that boasts a deep bowl of forest “fluff,” and waiting with hope.

The “fluff,” which is comprised of the organic material that the eagles have tirelessly gathered in recent weeks, makes the nest softer and more egg-ready (and chick-ready, too).

The fascinating chance to unobtrusively observe the beautiful birds is made possible by the Friends of Big Bear Valley, a nonprofit nature-focused organization that operates two eagle-focused around-the-clock cameras: One located in a tall, lake-adjacent Jeffrey pine, next to the nest frequented by Jackie and Shadow for several years, and another nearby, giving viewers a wider view of the tree and the eagles coming and going.

Supporters would love to see a feisty trio of siblings emerge, but time will soon tell us what those precious eggs hold in store.

The last baby of Jackie and Shadow was Spirit, in 2022, a charismatic youngster that grew big alongside an egg that never hatched.

What will the coming days reveal? Will there be three wobbly and wonderful babies for the busy parents to feed in a week or so? Or will there be one or two fuzzy infants eager for their next bite of fish delivered straight, and gently, from the beak of their mother or father?

It is a Leap Day, a once-every-four-years occasion that possesses a kind of magic. That Pip Watch 2024 is kicking off on Feb. 29 is giving our hopes a reason to soar, much in the way the eagles of Big Bear do so majestically, thrilling people around the planet.

Read original source here.

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