Ecological Services
Northeast Region
Bald Eagle Management Guidelines More Resources

Determining Whether Construction or Development Activities May Disturb Nesting Bald Eagles: Step 4

Step 4. Documentation
You may document that you are following the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's recommendations for avoiding disturbance of nesting bald eagles by printing this page, then signing and dating it for your records.

Your activity is a construction project or development activity.

The bald eagle nest (active or alternate) can be seen from the project site.


You will adopt the following recommendations to avoid disturbing nesting eagles and their young.

  1. Maintain a buffer of at least 660 feet (200 meters) between all your activities and the nest (including active and alternate nests) unless a similar activity is closer than 660 feet, then you may maintain a distance buffer as close to the nest as the existing tolerated activity.

  2. Restrict all clearing, external construction, and landscaping activities within 660 feet of the nest to outside the nesting season (i.e., outside the nesting season is from August through January. The nesting season in the Northeast is generally from mid-December to June for the States in the Chesapeake Bay (DE, MD, and VA) and the remaining states, as late as January through July).

  3. Maintain any established landscape buffers.


Therefore, disturbance of nesting bald eagles is unlikely to occur.


Date: _____________________________________

These recommendations are valid only for the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.



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)

Management at a Glance

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: May 22, 2013