Wildlife and You - Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How can I get a fishing or hunting license A. Contact your state wildlife agency to apply for fishing or hunting licenses

Q: How do I find out if there are endangered or threatened species that could be affected by my project and what are my responsibilities?

A: The Chesapeake Bay Field Office reviews proposed projects within the Maryland, Delaware and Washington D.C. region for potential impacts to federally listed endangered and threatened species, in accordance with Section 7 Section 7
Section 7 Consultation The Endangered Species Act (ESA) directs all Federal agencies to work to conserve endangered and threatened species and to use their authorities to further the purposes of the Act. Section 7 of the Act, called "Interagency Cooperation," is the mechanism by which Federal agencies ensure the actions they take, including those they fund or authorize, do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species.

Learn more about Section 7
of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Project applicants must provide a map on which the project is located and a brief description of the project to us, and we then provide a list of any federally listed species in the project area and potential impacts for you to consider in your environmental review. If there are no endangered or threatened species present, you do not need to consult further. Use the 
Project Review tool for step-by-step guidance through this process.

If you must use mail/email, send a map showing the location of the project and a description of the project to:

Project Review 

Chesapeake Bay Field Office

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

177 Admiral Cochrane Drive

Annapolis, MD 21401

or email to 

Q. What should I do if there is a bald eagle on my land or project site?

A. Bald eagles and golden eagles are protected under the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Refer to the Northeast Bald Eagle Project Screening Form, a voluntary tool that  helps people comply with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act by planning activities in a manner that avoids disturbing nesting bald eagles. Additional information concerning the protection of eagles can be found at Bald and Golden Eagle Management.

Q: I found an injured wild animal. Who should I call? 

A: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not have rehabilitators here on staff. Call your local veterinarian, humane society, or county or municipal wildlife agency to find the nearest qualified wildlife rehabilitator that can take and treat the animal. You can also locate a wildlife rehabilitator for your state at How to Find a Wildlife Rehabilitator.

Q: I found an injured wild bird. Who should I call? 

A: If you find an injured, orphaned, or oiled native wild bird, contact Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research.

Q: Can I keep the bird and nurse it myself? 

A: No. It is against the law to keep a bird, injured, orphaned, or otherwise, without the proper permits. In most cases, injured birds required specialized professional attention to survive and to be successfully reestablished in the wild. Contact Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research or find a Wildlife Rehabilitator.

Q. Can I remove an osprey nest from a dock, boat, house, construction equipment, or other structure structure
Something temporarily or permanently constructed, built, or placed; and constructed of natural or manufactured parts including, but not limited to, a building, shed, cabin, porch, bridge, walkway, stair steps, sign, landing, platform, dock, rack, fence, telecommunication device, antennae, fish cleaning table, satellite dish/mount, or well head.

Learn more about structure

A. Ospreys, like other migratory birds, are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Osprey nests can be removed without a permit if the nest is inactive. A nest is considered inactive if there are no eggs or young present in the nest. By understanding the osprey's nesting cycle, impacts to and conflicts with nesting osprey can be reduced or eliminated:

March - Arrival of adults from wintering destinations

April – Egg laying; incubation

May through June – rearing of young

July through August - Fledging of young

August through September – Osprey migrate south to Central and South America for winter

All nests are deemed inactive from September through February when ospreys are at their wintering grounds in Central and South America. Ospreys return year after year in early March, often re-occupying the same nesting territories Inactive nests do not need a migratory bird permit or permission to remove nests. A nest is considered inactive if there are no eggs or young present in the nest. Active nests that fail to hatch by July 15 are no longer considered active, and can be treated the same as inactive nests.

A nest should only be removed if it threatens human health or safety, poses potential risk of injury to the osprey parents or their offspring, or conflicts with normal use or function of property or equipment. Be advised, once removal of a nest has begun, you must be vigilant and continue to remove sticks. Ospreys are persistent nest builders and will do so for several weeks to follow. If ospreys lay eggs while you are actively trying to remove the nest, you must cease all activities.

All nests with eggs or young that need to be removed must be done through U.S. Department of Agriculture; Wildlife Services HOTLINE at 1-877-463-6497.

Cell tower maintenance on structures with active osprey nests should not occur between April 1st and August 15th. If maintenance is necessary, contact U.S. Department of Agriculture; Wildlife Service's HOTLINE at 1-877-463-6497. 

Bald eagle up close with wing raised

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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