Meet Stormy, Big Bear's baby bald eagle taking social media by storm

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Saturday, June 16, 2018
Meet Stormy, Big Bear's bald eagle taking social media by storm
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Big Bear Lake is a popular resort known for skiing and water sports, but one of its biggest attractions right now is a bald eagle named Stormy.

BIG BEAR, Calif. -- Trish Marzell has lived in Big Bear Lake for more than a decade. She spends much of her time photographing birds, especially the bald eagle.

"Majestic. America's bird," Marzell said about the bald eagle. "The symbol of our nation."

The pictures Marzell has captured of two adult bald eagles are stunning. But it's their baby eagle, known as Stormy, who's stealing the show.

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"I do think he's kind of looked at like an Elvis," Marzell said. "He's very famous."

He's also become somewhat of a YouTube star lately now that there's a live camera placed at the nest. And Marzell said people all around the world have their eyes glued to the live video stream, watching Stormy's every move.

"I think it's absolutely incredible that an eagle is a rock star," Marzell said.

Marzell said people were on pins a needles a couple of months ago when the live camera captured the moment Stormy fell from the nest.

"They stayed home, they didn't go to work," Mike Marzell, Trish's husband, said. "They were traumatized by Stormy falling out of the nest."

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They said you could almost here a collective sigh of relief across the internet when Stormy returned to the nest about a week later.

"The most special thing about the bird is that it's brought a lot of people together," Marzell said.

Stormy's presence in a tall pine tree on the north shore of Big Bear Lake is also bringing a lot of people to the area.

"It's pretty cool to have all these people showing up here every single day from all over the world, saying "I'm here to see Stormy,"" said John Saunders, who runs a marina right across the bay from where the nest is perched.

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"It's wonderful," Saunders said. "It's the first thing I've seen on social media lately that people don't get argumentative about."

But people aren't coming to Big Bear just to try to catch a glance of Stormy and his parents. They're also buying Marzell's photographs at a shop in the Big Bear Village.

"They're very popular," said Jennifer Kellum, who owns Artisans, Etc. "I have people come in, looking side to side, and I know exactly what they're looking for."

But while the images of Stormy and his parents may last forever, his presence in this nest will not. Marzell estimates that in late November, the eaglet's parents will force him from the nest.

"You have to just go with nature taking its course, that's the way it is," Marzell said. "It is heart-wrenching to see this young eagle you've watch for almost a year get kicked out."