Midwest Region Conserving the nature of America

USFWS Offices and Refuges Near You

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Find a location near you.

The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Find a location near you »

Conserving the Nature of America

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.


Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle flying with a fish in its talons.

Watch as monitors check young eagles in Michigan!

Video - - Bald Eagle Banding in Michigan by Michigan Out of Doors TV

Images - - Bald Eagle Banding in Michigan


On August 9, 2007, the bald eagle was removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. After nearly disappearing from most of the United States decades ago, the bald eagle is now flourishing across the nation and no longer needs the protection of the Endangered Species Act.


The two main factors that led to the recovery of the bald eagle were the banning of the pesticide DDT and habitat protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act for nesting sites and important feeding and roost sites. This recovery could not have been accomplished without the support and cooperation of many private and public landowners. Here is more information about the recovery and delisting of the Bald Eagle.

Bald Eagle Post-Delisting Monitoring Plan

To ensure that eagles continue to thrive, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service worked with state wildlife agencies to monitor eagles. If it appears that bald eagles again need the protection of the Endangered Species Act, the Service can propose to relist the species. The Service opened a 90-day public comment period on July 9, 2007 for the draft post-delisting monitoring plan. We evaluated comments on the plan and released the final Bald Eagle Monitoring Plan on June 3, 2010.

Current Legal Protections for Bald Eagles

Although they are delisted, bald eagles are still protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the Lacey Act.


Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act

This law, passed in 1940, provides for the protection of the bald eagle and the golden eagle by prohibiting the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by permit . "Take" includes pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb. Read more >>


Bald and Golden Eagle Permits

There are a number of different types of activities and projects that are eligible for a permit under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. See the Midwest Region's Eagle Permits website for information about the types of permits available, when a permit is necessary, and how to apply for a permit.


Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a Federal law that carries out the United States’ commitment to four international conventions with Canada, Japan, Mexico and Russia. Those conventions protect birds that migrate across international borders. The take of all migratory birds, including bald eagles, is governed by the Migratory Birds Treaty Act’s regulations. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) prohibits the taking, killing, possession, transportation, and importation of migratory birds, their eggs, parts, and nests except as authorized under a valid permit.




Lacey Act

Protections provided by the Lacey Act will continue even though the bald eagle has been delisted under the Endangered Species Act.  This law, passed in 1900, protects bald eagles by making it a Federal offense to take, possess, transport, sell, import, or export their nests, eggs and parts that are taken in violation of any state, tribal or U.S. law.



Bald Eagle Conservation

You can help conserve bald eagles by protecting habitat around their nests and by keeping safe distance from their nests or winter roost sites. Bald eagles are susceptible to harm by disturbance because of the prominence of their nests and communal roosts. Bald eagles need continued conservation so that their population remains healthy.

Go here for further information on Bald Eagle natural history and sensitivity information.

What you can do to avoid disturbing bald eagles and their young while observing eagles or hiking, camping, boating, snowmobiling, etc.

Additional measures to conserve and protect bald eagles.


National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines (25-page PDF; 144KB)

If you have questions or for further assistance, please contact us.



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