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Thousands Watch Eagle Couple Bicker Over Child Rearing Tactics While Waiting for Eggs to Hatch

Friends of Big Bear Valley set up a live cam to watch three eggs created by bald eagles Jackie and Shadow hatch

<p>Friends of Big Bear Valley/ Facebook</p> Female bald eagle Jackie and her partner Shadow photographed in California

Friends of Big Bear Valley/ Facebook

Female bald eagle Jackie and her partner Shadow photographed in California

A wait for some bald eagles to hatch in California has turned into quite the spectacle.

Thousands of people have tuned in to watch a YouTube live cam set up by the California conservation organization, Friends of Big Bear Valley, to monitor three eggs laid by female bald eagle Jackie on Jan. 25 and her partner Shadow — and to watch the drama unfold between the two birds.

On Feb. 29, the organization declared on Instagram that it was time for pip watch, which meant time to see if any of the eggs would begin to hatch.

However, what many viewers didn’t expect to see the past week while waiting in anticipation for the eggs to hatch was the two birds fighting over who would keep the eggs warm in the nest.

“After her full nights on the eggs, Jackie sometimes calls for Shadow in the early dawn. Shadow instantly comes in to take over…but the past few days he has been more stubborn than ever about refusing to leave when Jackie returns,” the organization shared in a Sunday update posted on Facebook.

<p>Friends of Big Bear Valley/ Facebook</p> Female bald eagle Jackie and her partner Shadow photographed in California

Friends of Big Bear Valley/ Facebook

Female bald eagle Jackie and her partner Shadow photographed in California

Related: California Bald Eagles Spotted Raising Baby Red-Tailed Hawks in Their Nest Alongside Eaglet

“On Thursday when Shadow arrived with fluff, Jackie quickly let him take over,” the organization continued. “An hour later, she returned and announced her presence…and Shadow immediately argued.”

Friends of Big Bear Valley noted that the two birds began to fight as Jackie “bit Shadow on the beak” and after a while, he eventually gave in and she took over. From there, the organization joked that the female bald eagle “played hardball” as she refused to leave the eggs for several hours.

<p>Friends of Big Bear Valley/ Facebook</p> View from the Eagle Watcher Cam in Big Bear Valley

Friends of Big Bear Valley/ Facebook

View from the Eagle Watcher Cam in Big Bear Valley

Related: Rat Poison Found in Over 80 Percent of Bald Eagles in the U.S., New Study Shows

However, the two birds fought again the next day over who would keep the eggs safe with Jackie waiting “almost 10 minutes before Shadow would leave” after taking a Friday morning break.

The organization noted that Jackie bit his beak again and “tried gentle beak poking” — both of which were ignored by Shadow — before she finally “had to push her weight around by laying on him to get him to move.”

This continued for the next several days, and the birds’ antics even brought in more than 30,000 viewers, who tuned in to watch the live cam on the nest on Monday, according to KTLA.

Despite all the bickering between the two birds, the organization previously noted in a Feb. 13 Facebook post that it’s all out of love.

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"Jackie has been pretty patient and understanding of his love of incubating, so she usually gives him a little extra time on the eggs," Friends of Big Bear Valley said. "When she thinks 'okay that's enough', she gives a gentle love nibble or nudge, or a sweet beak kiss to soften him up a bit before he gets up and ready to leave. Then, of course, she moves in quickly on the eggs!"


However, the organization said the pair of birds also adhere to a set of rules, including that Jackie is the one who will mainly preside over the nest, especially during harsh weather. During a February storm, Jackie watched over the nest for a whopping 62 hours, according to CBS News.

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