Migratory Bird Program Regional Office Atlanta, GA
Conserving the Nature of America - Southeast Region
Map of the Southeast


Motorized and Non-motorized Activities that includes Hiking, Camping, ATV use, and Boating

Step by Step Guidelines & Conservation Measures

Step 2. Measures to Avoid Disturbing Nesting Bald Eagles During Recreational Activities


None of these activities are likely to disturb eagles if conducted during the non-nesting season. In the southeast the nesting season is generally Oct 1- May 15. The following measures only pertain to the non-nesting season when eagles are not at the nest.

See the Bald Eagle Natural History and Sensitivity to Human Activity document for additional information.

Non-motorized recreation and human entry (including hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, canoeing)

If you repeatedly walk, bike, canoe, camp, fish, or hunt (e.g. commercial operations) near an eagle nest during the breeding season and your activity will be visible or can be heard from the nest stay at least 330 feet (100 meters) from the nest, unless the eagles have demonstrated tolerance for similar activities.
None of these activities near a nest would disturb the eagles if the activity cannot be seen or heard from the nest.

Off-road vehicle use (including snowmobiles, ATVs, etc.)

If you use off-road vehicles near a bald eagle nest during the nesting season stay at least 330 feet (100 meters) from the nest. In open areas, where there is increased visibility and exposure to noise, stay at least 660 feet (200 meters) from the nest.

Motorized watercraft use (including jet skis/personal watercraft)

If you use motorized boats or jet skis repeatedly near an eagle nest during the breeding season, to avoid disturbing the eagles and their young:

  • 1.Avoid concentrations and repeated visits of noisy vessels (e.g., personal watercraft, airboats, commercial fishing boats and tour boats) within 330 feet (100 meters) of the nest, unless eagles have demonstrated tolerance for such activity, and

  • 2.For all motorized boat traffic within 330 feet (100 meters) of the nest, minimize trips and avoid stopping in the area, particularly where eagles are unaccustomed to boat traffic.  


  • Yes  - I can meet these guidelines. I don't think my project will disturb eagles and I do not wish to apply for a permit at this time.

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Last Updated: March 12, 2015