What We Do

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works to conserve and manage both bald eagle and golden eagle populations to assure both species continue to thrive.

Management and Conservation

Along with our internal work to conserve and manage eagles, the USFWS also works with partners on multiple eagle-focused working groups.

Eastern Golden Eagle Working Group

California and Nevada Golden Eagle Working Group

Our Services

Guidance

The Service provides information and recommendations on living around eagles and working around eagles to help protect eagles and facilitate compliance with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

More about Living and working Near Eagles

Eagle Permits

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to the conservation of eagles throughout the United States. We understand that certain activities and endeavors that people undertake that are otherwise legal and abide by other laws may result in unintentional (also called non-purposeful or incidental) harm to eagles. This harm can be in the form of disturbance to eagles, encroachment on eagle nests, and loss of individual eagles, and is often called "take."

The term "take" under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act "means pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest, or disturb" an eagle (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).

Take of eagles in any form, even if unintended, is a violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

However, there are regulations that allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to permit take of bald eagles or golden eagles (50 CFR 22) to allow for compliance with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act when specific criteria and conditions are met. The take permitting system under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act provides an effective means for the Service to work proactively with public and private entities to reduce this unintentional harm to eagles and, when necessary, assure it is offset. It also provides a mechanism to gain critical data to track mortality rates and causes. In return for working with the Service to reduce harm to eagles, a permittee is provided a guarantee that they will not be prosecuted for the loss or disturbance of an estimated number of eagles.

Eagle Permit Types Available:

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. Please find below the list of available eagle permit types. To apply for an eagle permit of any type, please visit ePermits.

Permit Types (Apply Online)

Application Forms

FAQs

Instructions

Report Forms

Regulations

Eagle Aviary3-200-783-200-78 FAQs3-200-78 Instructions3-202-1450 CFR § 22.60
Eagle Depredation3-200-163-200-16 FAQs3-200-16 Instructions3-202-1150 CFR § 22.100
Eagle Exhibition - Live and Dead3-200-143-200-14 FAQs3-200-14 Instructions3-202-1350 CFR § 22.50
Eagle Incidental Take - Wind Energy - Specific Permit / General Permit 3-200-713-200-71 FAQs3-200-71 Instructions3-202-1550 CFR § 22.250
Eagle Incidental Take - Power Lines - Specific Permit / General Permit3-200-713-200-71 FAQs3-200-71 Instructions3-202-1550 CFR § 22.260
Eagle Disturbance Take - Specific Permit / (General Permit - Available in July)3-200-913-200-91 FAQs3-200-91 Instructions3-202-1550 CFR § 22.280
Eagle Nest Take - Specific Permit / (General Permit - Available in July)3-200-723-200-72 FAQs3-200-72 Instructions3-202-1650 CFR § 22.300

Eagle Parts for Native American Religious Purposes 

(NOTE: This permit type is now administered by the National Eagle Repository)

50 CFR § 22.60
Eagle Scientific Collecting3-200-73-200-7 FAQs3-200-7 Instructions3-202-150 CFR § 22.50
Eagle Take of Golden Eagle Nests During Resource Development or Recovery3-200-183-200-18 FAQs3-200-18 Instructions50 CFR § 22.325
Eagle Transport INTO the United States for Scientific or Exhibition Purposes3-200-823-200-82 FAQs3-200-82 Instructions50 CFR § 22.50
Native American Tribal Eagle Retention3-15523-1552 FAQsNone Available3-1591 (Acquisition Form)50 CFR § 22.60

For more information about eagle incidental take, disturbance take, and nest take permits, please check out the links below:

Eagle Incidental Take Permits for Wind Energy

Eagle Incidental Take Permits for Power Lines

Eagle Disturbance Take and Nest Take Permits

Eagle Feathers and Parts for Native Americans

Native Americans can request and possess eagle feathers and parts for religious and cultural purposes from our National Eagle Repository.

National Eagle Repository

Crimes Against Eagles

Our National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab examines, identifies, and compares evidence using a wide range of scientific procedures and instruments, in the attempt to link suspect, victim, and crime scene with physical evidence.

National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab

Need Assistance with Bird Concerns other than Eagles?

Some other services the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides is assistance with migratory bird permitting.

Migratory Bird Permits

Our Projects and Research

A Bald Eagle in flight with wings fully stretched out gliding through the air
Population Status

Understanding the populations of both bald eagles and golden eagles is the biological basis for the Service's regulatory management framework.

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act explicitly identifies incidental take of eagles as a prohibited act, and the...

Golden eagle head
 OverviewJump to a section:

Distribution & Movement  |  Management & Mitigation  |  Ecoregional Strategies  |  Risk Analysis Tools

 Western Golden Eagle Conservation

...

Head shot of Golden Eagle, raptor with brown feathers, yellow beak, brown eye

The conservation of migratory birds requires identifying how events across their annual cycle (often occurring across vast areas) influence their survival and reproduction. It is thought that most golden eagles in Alaska are migratory and move south during autumn to over-winter in the western...

Our Laws and Regulations

Both bald eagles and golden eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act) and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act also has regulations for permitting take, possession, and transportation of bald eagles or golden eagles (50 CFR 22). These regulations allow for permitting of "the taking, possession, and transportation within the United States of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) and their parts, nests, and eggs for scientific, educational, and depredation control purposes; for the religious purposes of American Indian tribes; and to protect other interests in a particular locality" as well as governing "the transportation into or out of the United States of bald and golden eagle parts for scientific, educational, and Indian religious purposes."

50 CFR 22 Eagle Permits

Eagle Incidental Take Permit Regulations Revisions

On September 30th, 2022, the Service published in the Federal Register a proposed rule and draft environmental assessment with approaches to improve eagle incidental take permitting.  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

Laws

The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668d), enacted in 1940, and amended several times since, prohibits anyone, without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior, from "taking" bald or golden eagles, including their parts (including feathers), nests, or eggs....

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (16 U.S.C. 703-712) implements four international conservation treaties that the U.S. entered into with Canada in 1916, Mexico in 1936, Japan in 1972, and Russia in 1976. It is intended to ensure the sustainability of populations of all protected migratory...