Bald Eagle Monitoring Guidelines-Southeastern US

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An adult bald eagle soars in front of a bright blue sky.

This step-by-step guidance will help you determine if your new or intermittent activity near an eagle nest, including alternate nests, is likely to take or disturb bald eagles (a potential violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act) and measures that you can adopt to avoid that disturbance. Remember your first responsibility is to avoid disturbance and/or impact to eagles and their nests. Please be aware-Following the guidelines does not guarantee that take or disturbance will not occur, however it reduces the potential for take, including disturbance.

Oct 1 - May 15 are the general nesting season dates used for guidance in the southeast. Eagles may nest before Oct 1 or after May 15. All technical assistance guidance applies to nesting eagles including adults, eggs or young, whenever they are present for breeding purposes, which may be before Oct 1 or after May 15 each season. For nesting dates for your state contact your local field station.

 

Construction or development activities

If your project involves any of the following activities:

  • Building construction, 1 or 2 story, with a project footprint of ½ acre or less.
  • Construction of roads, trails, canals, power lines, and other linear utilities.
  • Agriculture or aquaculture – new or expanded operations.
  • Alteration of shorelines or wetlands.
  • Installation of docks or moorings.
  • Water impoundment.

 

Construction or Development Activities Determination

1. Is the nest visible from the project or activity area?  Yes
2. Is there a similar activity within 1 mile of the nest?  Yes

Your answered yes to both questions, then you have determined that the bald eagle nest (active or alternate) can be seen from the activity or project site and there is similar activity within 1 mile of the nest. To avoid disturbing nesting eagles and their young, we recommend that you:

Maintain a buffer of at least 660 feet (201 meters) between your activities and the nest (including active and alternate nests), or as close as existing tolerated activity of similar scope, i.e. maintain a buffer at least as far from the nest as the existing tolerated activity, and within 660 (201 meters) feet of the nest (including active and alternate nests), restrict any clearing, external construction or landscaping activities to outside the nesting season (outside the nesting season is from mid to late May through early to late September. Nesting season in the Southeast is generally Oct 1- May 15), and; maintain established landscape buffers that screen the activity from the nest.

Determination

If you can meet these guidelines and do not wish to apply for a permit at this time, please print the final determination.

If you cannot meet these guidelines visit the eagle permit application page.

 

Determination
Question Answer
Is the nest visible from the project or activity area?  Yes
Is there a similar activity within 1 mile of the nest? Yes

Your answer is yes to both questions, therefore:

You have determined that the bald eagle nest (active or alternate) can be seen from the activity or project site and there is similar activity within 1 mile of the nest. To avoid disturbing nesting eagles and their young, we recommend that you:

Maintain a buffer of at least 660 feet (201 meters) between your activities and the nest (including active and alternate nests), or as close as existing tolerated activity of similar scope, i.e. maintain a buffer at least as far from the nest as the existing tolerated activity, and within 660 (201 meters) feet of the nest (including active and alternate nests), restrict any clearing, external construction or landscaping activities to outside the nesting season (outside the nesting season is from mid to late May through early to late September. Nesting season in the Southeast is generally Oct 1- May 15), and; maintain established landscape buffers that screen the activity from the nest.

 

If you can meet these guidelines and do not wish to apply for a permit at this time, please print the final determination.

If you cannot meet these guidelines visit the eagle permit application page.





 

 

 

 

 

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The Migratory Bird Program works with partners to protect, restore and conserve bird populations and their habitats for the benefit of future generations by: ensuring long-term ecological sustainability of all migratory bird populations, increasing socioeconomic benefits derived from birds,...
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Species

A large raptor, the bald eagle has a wingspread of about seven feet. Adults have a dark brown body and wings, white head and tail, and a yellow beak. Juveniles are mostly brown with white mottling on the body, tail, and undersides of wings. Adult plumage usually is obtained by the sixth year. In...

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