Eagle Permits

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may issue permits for the take, possession, or transportation of bald and golden eagles, as well as their parts, nests, and eggs. The regulation authorizing eagle permits can be found in the Code of the Federal Register 50 CFR 22. Please find below the list of available eagle permit types. To apply for an eagle permit of any type, please visit ePermits.

National Environmental Policy Act

Issuance of eagle take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act may require environmental consequences analyses pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Service prepared a programmatic review of the impacts from issuance of incidental take of eagles and take of eagle nests. The analysis of various alternative management options and rule revisions, including the final rule revisions, are documented in the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Eagle Rule Revision, and our final decision on proceeding with the final rule is documented in the Record of Decision.

We may also conduct environmental analyses for issuance of individual eagle permits. The Service makes the documents pertaining to these NEPA analyses available to the public in our NEPA Documents for Eagle Permits library:

Eagle Incidental Take Permitting

The Service may authorize the "take" of eagles where the take is compatible with the preservation of bald and golden eagles, and the take is associated with, but not the purpose, of an activity and cannot be practicably avoided. This type of take is considered "incidental take." The regulation authorizing incidental eagle take permits for bald and golden eagles can be found in the Code of the Federal Register 50 CFR 22.80.

"Take means pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest, or disturb" (50 CFR 22.6). Disturb means "to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available, (1) injury to an eagle, (2) a decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior, or (3) nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior" (50 CFR 22.6)

On September 30th, 2022, the Service will publish in the Federal Register a proposed rule and draft environmental assessment with approaches to improve the eagle incidental take permitting program.  The Service’s intent for both bald and golden eagles is to ensure that the regulations for these permits are consistent with the goal of maintaining stable or increasing breeding populations.

Info on Eagle Act Regulation Revisions

 

Bald Eagle Take Limits technical report_final

This report is a technical update of the scientific information for bald eagles published in the Service’s Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS), which was finalized in December 2016. In the PEIS, the Service committed to updating population size estimates and take...

Working with Wind Facilities

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service encourages the development of an Eagle Conservation Plan when incidental eagle take may occur. Our Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance: Module 1 - Land-Based Wind Energy provides specific in-depth guidance for conserving bald and golden eagles in the course of siting, construction and operation of wind energy facilities, and also indicates much of the information the Service will need when processing an application from a wind facility for incidental eagle take.

The updated Collision Risk Model Priors for Estimating Eagle Fatalities at Wind Energy Facilities; was published in the Federal Register on May 6, 2021 and formally announced our adoption of updated species-specific eagle exposure and collision probabilities used to generate fatality estimates for consideration in issuing eagle incidental take permits to wind-energy facilities under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. This action will improve our ability to carry out our statutory responsibility to ensure conservation of bald eagles and golden eagles when issuing those permits.

eagle-conservation-plan-guidance

This guidance provides specific in-depth guidance for conserving bald and golden eagles in the course of siting, construction and operation of wind energy facilities.

collision-risk-model-priors-report-2018

In the Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance for incidental take of eagles associated with wind energy, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service developed a collision risk model to predict the number of golden and bald eagles that may be killed at wind facilities. The Collision Risk Model incorporates...

eagle-incidental-take-permit-questions-and-answers

This document addresses common questions about eagle incidental take permits for wind facilities.

Compensating for Unavoidable Take

Compensatory mitigation may be required to offset eagle take authorized under an incidental eagle take permit. If mitigation is needed to offset bald eagle take, the ratio for mitigation is 1:1. As there is evidence that golden eagle populations may be declining, for golden eagles, there is a regulatory requirement for a mitigation ratio of 1.2:1.

Resource Equivalency Analysis

We developed Resource Equivalency Analysis tools to calculate the compensatory mitigation needed to offset permitted eagle take.

The Service developed Resource Equivalency Analysis tools to calculate the compensatory mitigation needed to offset permitted eagle take via direct mortality, disturbance, or territory loss using power pole retrofits. Electrocution of eagles by power pole elements is a significant cause of...
Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Compensatory Mitigation Programs

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has authorized two programs, the Bald Eagle And Golden Eagle Electrocution Prevention In-lieu Fee Program and the Eagle Protection and Offset Program, to sell compensatory mitigation credits for bald and golden eagle take.  These two third-party mitigation banking options are specific to eagles and authorized by USFWS to offset incidental eagle take.  (Note: USFWS authorization of these programs does not constitute blanket endorsement of either company, or a parent company, operating these programs)

Bald Eagle And Golden Eagle Electrocution Prevention In-lieu Fee Program

Eagle Protection and Offset Program

 

Bald Eagles vs. Golden Eagles

Understanding eagle characteristics is key to properly identifying them, which is very important in determining the need for a permit and what kind of permit may be needed. Learn more by selecting an eagle type.

Bald Eagle Fact Sheet

Golden Eagle Fact Sheet

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...

FWS Focus

Do I Need an Eagle Take Permit?

Are you planning an activity around an active, or in-use nest, or alternate, or inactive, bald eagle nest? Wondering if you need a permit? An incidental take permit can be issued for taking eagles when the take is associated with, but not the purpose of, an activity and cannot practicably be...

Eagle Permit Types Available:

This permit authorizes the disturbance or other incidental take of eagles where the take results from, but is not the purpose of, an otherwise lawful activity. Permits are available to individuals, agencies, businesses, and other organizations. This permit does not authorize possession of any...

A Federal eagle nest take permit authorizes the take of eagle nests in limited circumstances. Permits are available to individuals, agencies, businesses, and other organizations. This permit does not authorize possession of any eagle, eagle parts, or eagle nests.

This permit may be...

This Federal permit to take Golden Eagle nests is available only to parties engaged in a resource development or recovery operation and only when nests are inactive. An inactive nest is one that is not currently used by Golden Eagles as determined by the absence of any adult, egg, or dependent...

A Federal Eagle Depredation permit authorizes you to haze or trap bald eagles and/or golden eagles that are depredating or pose a risk to human or eagle health and safety. Depredation includes agricultural damage, private property damage, threats to human or eagle health and safety, and threats...

The Migratory Bird Collecting permit can authorize you to collect, transport, or possess migratory birds, their parts, nests, or eggs for scientific research or educational purposes. The Eagle Scientific Collecting permit can authorize you to collect, transport...

A Federal Native American Eagle Take permit is required in order to take Bald Eagles or Golden Eagles from the wild for Native American religious purposes.

Who Needs It

This permit is only for Tribes conducting a demonstrable historic religious ceremony that requires take of live...

A Tribal Eagle Aviary permit authorizes a tribal entity engaged in Indian religious activities to possess lawfully acquired Bald Eagles and/or Golden Eagles for their tribe’s religious use. This permit authorizes the long-term possession of live, non-releasable eagles to be used in religious...

Eagle Feathers and Parts for Native Americans

Find information on permits for Native Americans to obtain and possess eagle feathers and parts for religious and cultural purposes from our National Eagle Repository.

The Eagle Repository is a one of a kind facility, operated and managed by the Office of Law Enforcement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The main purpose is to receive, evaluate, store and distribute dead golden and bald eagles, parts and feathers to Native Americans and Alaska Natives who are...