Ecological Services
Northeast Region

Bald Eagle Management Guidelines and Conservation Measures

More Resources

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)


Bald eagles were removed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species on Aug. 9, 2007. Though no longer protected under the Endangered Species Act, bald eagles remain protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act). The Eagle Act prohibits anyone from taking or disturbing bald eagles and their nests.

The Service prepared National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines to help landowners, land managers and others avoid disturbing bald eagles.

This website outlines those national guidelines to help determine whether new or intermittent activities may disturb nesting bald eagles and thus violate the Eagle Act. This guidance is specific to bald eagles in the Northeast Region, which includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

Legal Protections for the Bald Eagle

Federal laws and many state laws and regulation continue to protect the bald eagle. More.

National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines (LINK TO SUBPAGE 3)
Voluntary measures to take during recreational activities that help to avoid disturbing nesting bald eagles and their young
Guidance to determine the likelihood of disturbing nesting bald eagles during new or intermittent activities (other than recreation)
Additional conservation measures to benefit and promote the conservation of bald eagles
Please contact your local Service field office for further assistance.

Wind Energy Development Guidelines (LINK TO SUBPAGE 1)

The Service has developed guidance to protect eagles in the development of wind energy projects. More.
Management Guidelines

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: March 8, 2016