Two adult eagles still call Lake Hemet home

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The two Big Bear Lake eagle chicks are 1 month old and growing. Within two months, they should be fully grown and taking their first flights. Photo courtesy of Friends of Big Bear Valley from U.S. Forest Service

The final bald eagle count of the 2017-18 season was Saturday, March 10. Despite inclement weather, the five observers at Lake Hemet spotted two adult nesting bald eagles.

The other four counting sites recorded six adults, three juveniles and two chicks in the nest at Big Bear Lake.

These chicks are nearly a month old and about 1 foot tall. In the next six weeks, they will grow to full size and begin their first training flights, according to Zach Behrens, public information officer for the San Bernardino National Forest.

But it is possible that the Lake Hemet pair may become parents again, according to Ann Bowers, biologist for the San Jacinto Ranger District.

The two adults have probably resided at Lake Hemet since 2015. “They exhibited solid nesting [and] incubating behavior by switching and promptly settling back on the nest, so they probably are incubating eggs,” Bowers said. “This pair has a tendency to be ‘late bloomers.’ Their nesting behavior and success has lagged behind the Big Bear eagles for the last two years.”

More than 150 people came to the five sites early Saturday morning in the rainy and foggy weather to help spot and count the Southern California eagles.

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