First of 2 Big Bear Lake eagle chicks hatches on livestream

After weeks of anticipation, the first of two bald eagle eggs near Big Bear Lake hatched over the weekend as viewers watched in real time via a streaming webcam, San Bernardino National Forest officials announced. The chick began to emerge at 9:57 a.m. Sunday from the first of two eggs laid days apart in early January, the U.S. Forest Service said. The parents have been taking turns watching over the eggs during their 35-day incubation period. The second egg is expected to hatch within days, officials said Sunday. It took several minutes for the chick to emerge, with the help of its parents. The video showed one of the adults as it carefully moved the bedding supporting the egg, and as it appeared to help lift and crack the remaining shell. Occasionally the parent settled on top of the chick for warmth and protection. The chick had thin, gray feathers and appeared to fully escape the egg by 11 a.m. Its head was too heavy for it to lift and its small wings were held closely to its body. The female bald eagle laid eggs in the same area in February 2012, officials said. She can be distinguished from her mate by a few black-tinged tail feathers. Those should turn white by next year, officials said. She is also larger than the male, which is common among most raptors, according to experts. If all goes well for the hatched chick and its sibling, both will live in their nest for… [Read full story]

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