Ecological Services
Northeast Region
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Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act

National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines

Latest national eagle policy and guidance

Bald Eagle Management Guidelines and Conservation Measures Management at a Glance

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. Learn more.

National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines

*New* -- In response to the spectacular recovery of nesting bald eagles throughout the Northeast, and the accompanying demand for agency review, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Unified Interior Region 1 Migratory Bird Permit Office is releasing the Northeast Bald Eagle Project Screening Form, a voluntary tool to assist project proponents in their compliance with the Eagle Act. The tool provides the familiar guidance of the National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines in an interactive format, with added content and features to help users find and understand the information they need to plan their projects. Release of this tool is intended to simplify project proponents' consultation experidence, reduce review time, and improve overall efficiency of compliance with the Eagle Act's protection of nesting bald eagles. The Service plans to periodically update this tool based on user and partner input, and will release updated versions from this webpage.

Northeast Bald Eagle Project Screening Form

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: April 20, 2020