Bald Eagles
Pacific Region


Eagle Permits

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) regulates the “take” of eagles; where take is defined as (50 CFR §22.3):

Take means pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest, and disturb. Disturb means to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available, (1) injury to an eagle, (2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or (3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior.

Permits are issued for a wide variety of activities including: non-purposeful take (disturbance),scientific research, conservation education, Native American religious purposes, threat to human/eagle health and safety, damage caused by eagles, and nest removal.

Standard permits take 90 days to process once complete.  Additional time is required depending on the complexity and scope of the request (including tribal consultation and environmental analyses).  Please contact us early if you think you may need a permit!

Eagle Take Permits

Disturbance Take (50 CFR §22.26)-

A permit can be issued for non-purposeful disturbance of eagles where take (disturbance) is not the purpose of the activity and the activity is important to society.  A permit can only be issued if it can be demonstrated that take cannot be practicably avoided in the course of otherwise lawful activity.  Additional compensatory mitigation may be required for: (a) programmatic take/multiple take authorizations; (b) disturbance associated with the permanent loss of a breeding territory or important traditional communal roost site; or (c) as necessary to off-set impacts to the local area population.  Post-activity monitoring may be required for up to 3 years following completion of the activity. 

For more information please see our page on Disturbance.  Still need help?  Please contact your Local Fish and Wildlife Office.

Native Americans (50 CFR §22.22)-

Permits are needed to possess live or dead eagles, their feathers, and their parts for Native American Religious Purposes.  These permits are issued out of the Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office.

Science, Education, Safety, and Damage-

Permits for purposeful take include activities such as:
Scientific research and possession for conservation education (50 CFR §22.21)
Threats to eagle or human health and safety (such as airports) and damage caused by eagles (such as livestock loss) (50 CFR §22.23
These permits are issued out of the Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office.

Nest Removal Take (50 CFR §22.25 and 50 CFR §22.27)-

Eagle nests are protected even when eagles are not present!  While nests may be occupied during nesting or intermittently throughout the year; nests are considered active if they have been used by an eagle in the past 5 years.  Not only occupied, but all active nests are protected and cannot be removed without a permit.  We strongly recommend you consult with your Local Fish and Wildlife Office if you think you may need to remove an eagle nest.

Section 7 Incidental Take Continuation (50 CFR §22.28)-

Do you have a section 7 incidental take statement under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) issued before September 11, 2009?  If so AND you are in full compliance with the terms and conditions contained in the applicable ESA incidental take statement issued, you can obtain a permit for Bald Eagle Take as exempt under ESA. These permits are issued out of the Regional Migratory Bird Permit Office.

What about Golden Eagle Falconry (50 CFR §22.24)?

All states in the Pacific Region are now under the new falconry regulations (50 CFR §21.29). If you meet the conditions outlined in 50 CFR §21.29 (c)(3)(iv) and you have a permit to possess a golden eagle ( Aquila chrysaetos ) from your state, tribe, or territory, we consider your permit sufficient for the purposes of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.


Can’t find what you need?  Have a recommendation for information that would be helpful on this page?  We appreciate your feedback.

Last updated: April 9, 2012

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