Bald Eagle Federal Laws

I have copied here the two sections of the Federal Register, Bald Eagle Act, administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, that cover the problem of interference at a Bald Eagle nest. Please use the information below to guide you in your decisions about how to approach any intrusion problem at a Bald Eagle nest.

Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, current as of May 2020
“The bald eagle is protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act even though it has been delisted under the Endangered Species Act. This law, originally passed in 1940, provides for the protection of the bald eagle and the golden eagle (as amended in 1962) by prohibiting the take, possession, sale, purchase, barter, offer to sell, purchase or barter, transport, export or import, of any bald or golden eagle, alive or dead, including any part, nest, or egg, unless allowed by permit(16 U.S.C. 668(a); 50 CFR 22). “Take” includes pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb (16 U.S.C. 668c; 50 CFR 22.3). The 1972 amendments increased civil penalties for violating provisions of the Act to a maximum fine of $5,000 or one year imprisonment with $10,000 or not more than two years in prison for a second conviction. Felony convictions carry a maximum fine of $250,000 or two years of imprisonment. The fine doubles for an organization. Rewards are provided for information leading to arrest and conviction for violation of the Act.”https://www.fws.gov/midwest/eagle/history/protections.html if further investigation is needed

link to entire guidelines ishttps://www.fws.gov/northflorida/BaldEagles/Documents/2007-BE-Monitoring-Guidelines-without-figures.htm

Monitoring Bald Eagles

[The restrictions that apply to a “monitor” also apply to the general public, i.e. 660ft is the closest distance any person is allowed to approach an active bald eagle nest. Doc Ellen]

“B. Monitoring Requirements The Monitor is defined as personnel formally educated in the biological sciences, well experienced in recognizing specific patterns and changes of eagle behavior and capable of recording those observations in a scientific manner, and is contracted by the landowner, company or entity (Responsible Party) responsible for having the activity monitored. Continuity of monitoring, data collection and reporting is best maintained if one person conducts all monitoring for a specific project site. Close coordination is essential if more than one monitor is required. Monitoring should be conducted from a location that provides a clear vantage point of the nest and the surroundings (including the referenced activities), yet far enough from the nest (e.g., > 660 feet where possible) to ensure monitoring does not cause disturbance to the eagles. Monitoring from closer locations could cause disturbance and should be avoided. Conducting the monitoring from inside a parked vehicle or from a portable blind can further minimize observer disturbance. Monitoring should be conducted using both binoculars and a high-powered spotting scope during periods when referenced activity is occurring during the nesting season (generally October 1 – May 15 [in NC December 1 – June 15]) and within 660 feet of the nest tree, or as specified otherwise, by Service or FWC technical assistance.The purpose of monitoring is to detect any abnormal behavior of the adult eagles or their chicks that may be elicited in response to human activities occurring within 660 feet of the nest tree and that potentially could result in disturbance as defined under 50 CFR 22, abandonment of the nest (and/or territory), or death of the eggs or eaglets. In cases where the Responsible Party is relying upon conditions/recommendations specified in a Biological Opinion or agency document, procedures should be established between the Monitor and the Responsible Party for suspension of work and immediate notification to the Service and FWC upon observation of such abnormal behavior of nesting eagles (see Section D for details). Once an applicant agrees to monitor in accordance with these Monitoring Guidelines, they are held to all requirements of these Monitoring Guidelines.Monitoring should begin no later than October 1 [December 1 in NC] and continue through fledging, if activity is anticipated or planned to occur within 660 feet of the nest tree during the nesting season. Fledging is considered to have occurred at that age when young of the year have achieved the ability to sustain flight (see Section C.7 for details).”

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  1. Interesting and useful specific information——so glad you sent it out, Ellen !

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