Ecological Services
Southeast Region


Bald Eagle Management Guidelines & Conservation Measures

Measures to Avoid Disturbing Nesting Bald Eagles During Recreational Activities

None of these activities will disturb eagles if conducted during the non-nesting season. In the Southeast (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) the nesting season is generally from late September through late May and the non-nesting season is from June through mid-August. The following measures only pertain to the nesting season.

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 walk, bike, canoe, camp, fish, or hunt 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.

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)

If you use off-road vehicles (and this includes snowmobiles) 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 near an eagle nest during the breeding season, to avoid disturbing the eagles and their young:

(1) Do not operate jet skis (personal watercraft) or airboats within 330 feet (100 meters) of the nest,  

(2) Avoid concentrations of noisy vessels (e.g. commercial fishing boats and tour boats) within 330 feet (100 meters) of the nest, except where eagles have demonstrated tolerance for such activity, and

(3) 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.


Last updated: June 28, 2007

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