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We've Stopped Counting Bald Eagles -- And That's A Good Thing

An American bald eagle flies over Mill Pond while carrying a newly caught fish on July 21, 2018 in Centerport, New York. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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After 40 years, the annual Bald Eagle Count at the San Bernardino National Forest is ending -- but forest officials say the announcement is a happy one.

The bald eagle population has been steady for the last 12 years, and the count is no longer needed.

Bald eagles were taken off the endangered species list nationally in 2007.

Since then, the San Bernardino National Forest has had a population of 13 to 15 eagles. That's the maximum number the area can support, according to Zach Behrens, a Public Affairs Officer with the San Bernardino National Forest and the onetime editor of LAist.

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He says both the Silverwoodand Lake Perris recreation areas will continue organizing eagle watching events and winter is the best time to see local and migrating eagles.

"You want to see them when they're around the lake and hunting," he tells LAist. "If you get some good patches of ice, it's a really great opportunity to see the eagles resting on the lake."

You can also try to catch migrating eagles in Big Bear, at events organized by the Southern California Mountains Foundation.

If you can't make the trip to see the birds in-person, you can always watch them on the Big Bear Eagle Cam, which documents the lives of two adult eagles, named Jackie and Shadow by locals.

The two lovebirds (see what we did there?) have recently been spotted working on their nest, which is located in the Fawnskin area. Forest officials say it's a sign that eggs could again be laid in coming months.

In the past two years, viewers have already been able to watch a pair of chicks hatch live online. However, the mortality rate for bald eagle chicks within the first year is high -- 50% -- and one of those chicks died during winter storms.

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