BIG BEAR, Calif. — A bald eaglet has died six weeks after being born in a nest at San Bernardino National Forest. The eaglet and a sibling hatched on a livestream watched around the world by thousands.
Friends of Big Bear Valley, a non-profit said Monday: We are very sad to say that it looks like Cookie died just a little bit ago. He was up earlier but looked weak; he also seemed less energetic yesterday. This last storm was a tough one with rain first and then snow and cold temperatures (just like last year). As we could see with Jackie, the feathers got wet and then the snow stuck to them. The chicks weren’t able to fit fully underneath her yesterday and last night. We’ve consulted with Dr. Sharpe and he says that it hypothermia was likely the cause again. Cookie was not moving much and hardly breathing earlier. With elevation of Big Bear, the nest timing should be more similar to Alaska with egg laying in April (not in January, February, or March). Such early egg laying at this elevation exposes them to a lot of bad weather.
Typically when a chick dies in the nest, it gets moved off to the side or buried by new nesting material. Climbing the tree again to retrieve the body is unlikely. We are mourning with all the rest of you. Nature can be very tough. The survival rate for bald eagles is 50% in the first year. We will all be rooting for Simba to stay strong and healthy.