Yesterday, while I was hiking on the connecting trail between Forsyth and Whipple, I saw what I am almost entirely sure was a bald eagle. It wasn't close enough for this to be my photo :( but I could clearly see the big dark bird with the white head. While I was watching it, it stayed on the south side of the valley, fairly near the mountain. At first it was flying not too far above the pine trees, but most of the time, it was just having a great time on the wind currents.
I hope that it really was a bald eagle and will decide to make Pine Valley home. I understand from reading that the bald eagle may be the most successful recovery of an endangered species in North America. Because of the impact of pesticides on their ability to reproduce, in 1963, the population was down to 417 breeding pairs in the Lower 48 states. By 2000, there were over 10,000 pairs, with counting after that date considered unnecessary. America’s national bird was removed from the federal list of endangered species in 2007.