Ecological Services
Northeast Region
Bald Eagle Management Guidelines and Conservation Measures More Resources

Additional Conservation Measures to Benefit Bald Eagles

These recommendations can also be used to benefit bald eagles.

  1. Protect potential roost and nest sites by retaining mature trees and old growth stands, particularly within ½ mile from water.
  2. Where nests are blown from trees during storms or are otherwise destroyed by the elements, continue to protect the site in the absence of the nest for up to three (3) complete breeding seasons. Many eagles will rebuild the nest and reoccupy the site.
  3. To avoid collisions, site wind turbines, communication towers and high voltage transmission power lines away from nests, foraging areas, and communal roost sites.
  4. Employ industry-accepted best management practices (APLIC) to prevent birds from colliding with or being electrocuted by utility lines, towers and poles. If possible, bury utility lines in important eagle areas.
  5. Where bald eagles are likely to nest in human-made structures (e.g., cell phone towers) and such use could impede operation or maintenance of the structures or jeopardize the safety of the eagles, equip the structures with either (1) devices engineered to discourage bald eagles from building nests, or (2) nesting platforms that will safely accommodate bald eagle nests without interfering with structure performance.
  6. Immediately cover carcasses of euthanized animals at landfills to protect eagles from being poisoned.
  7. Do not intentionally feed bald eagles. Artificially feeding bald eagles can disrupt their essential behavioral patterns and put them at increased risk from power lines, collision with windows and cars, and other mortality factors.
  8. Use pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other chemicals only in accordance with Federal and state laws.
  9. Monitor and minimize dispersal of contaminants associated with hazardous waste sites (legal or illegal), permitted releases, and runoff from agricultural areas, especially within watersheds where eagles have shown poor reproduction or where bio accumulating contaminants have been documented. These factors present a risk of contamination to eagles and their food sources.

Other Guidelines

Back to the introduction

Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act

National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines

Permit regulations to authorize limited "take" of bald eagles or their nests (pdf)

Bald eagle natural history and sensitivity (pdf)

Management at a Glance

Two factors most influence an eagle's response to human activity:

  1. The activity's visibility from the eagle nest and;
  2. The regular occurrence of similar activities near the nest.

General recommendations to avoid disturbing nesting bald eagles:

  1. Keep distance between the activity and the nest (distance buffers).
  2. Maintain forested or natural areas between the activity and the nest tree (landscape buffers).
  3. Avoid certain activities during the nesting season (timing buffers).


Last updated: May 22, 2013