Environmental Review Toolkit
Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife

Summary of National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines (Activity Specific)

Note: This table was developed from information in the National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines. The Guidelines clearly state that until a permit process is in place it is not possible to completely absolve individuals, companies and agencies from liability, even if they follow the Guidelines. Therefore, following this table should not be looked upon as providing complete immunity from prosecution under the BGEPA for any takes of bald eagles.

Permitted Activities Specific Considerations Nest Site Visible Nest Site Not Visible Timing of Restriction
  1. Buildings ( ½ acre or less)
  2. Linear Construction (roads, utilities, trails)
  3. Alteration of Wetlands
  4. Water impoundment
No existing Similar activity within 1 mile660 ft
Buffers recommended
330 ft or as close as existing tolerated activity of similar scope
Between 330 and 660 ft*
*clearing external construction and landscaping outside breeding season
Existing similar activity closer than 1 mile660 ft
Or as close as existing tolerated activity of similar scope
330 ft or as close as existing tolerated activity of similar scope.
Within 660 feet*
* clearing external construction and landscaping outside breeding season
  1. Construction of 3+story building
  2. Project footprint greater than ½ acre
  3. Marina (6 or more boats)
No existing similar activity within 1 mile660 ft
Buffers recommended
660 ft 
Existing similar activity within 1 mile660 ft
Or as close as existing tolerated activity of similar scope
330 ft or as close as existing tolerated activity of similar scope.
Within 660 feet*
* clearing external construction and landscaping outside breeding season
Motorized Water Craft 330ft330 ftDuring breeding season avoid concentrations and attempt to minimize trips except where eagles have demonstrated tolerance to such activities
Non-motorized recreation use (hiking, camping, trail use) 330ft
( or far enough not to be audible)
(far enough not to be audible)Breeding particularly where eagles are unaccustomed to such activities
Helicopter or AircraftExcept for biologist trained in survey techniques1000ft1000ftDuring breeding season except where eagles have demonstrated tolerance to such activities
Blasting or other loud intermittent noises ½ mile½ mileAway from active nest unless greater tolerance to the activity (similar) has been demonstrated by eagles in that nesting area

Questions and feedback should be directed to Dan Buford (Daniel.Buford@dot.gov, 202-366-8168).

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