America’s majestic bald eagle is a wildlife conservation success story – and they’re so common in Jackson Hole that we almost take them for granted. In truth, the species almost succumbed to habitat loss and DDT contamination before earning federal protection in 1967. One of the treats for those visiting the National Elk Refuge north of Jackson, says Refuge Spokesperson Lori Iverson, is the prolific sightings of bald eagles in the vicinity of the elk herds. She says because of the presence of elk, there are also a number of scavengers that populate that area as well. Iverson says, “It’s really common to see them near the creek – in fact, the sleigh rides go by a lone cottonwood tree where you can frequently see bald eagles perched there looking down on the water and out on the refuge and sometimes they’ll be standing on posts throughout the refuge trying to get that higher view to see what’s going on and what’s available for scavaging.” Iverson says these powerful birds of prey use their talons to fish in Flat Creek, but they are opportunistic feeders and get many of their meals by scavenging carrion or stealing the kills of other animals. Eagles are renowned for their excellent eyesight.