Frequently Asked Questions

Are bald eagles still endangered?

In August 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the bald eagle from the list of federally endangered and threatened species. This action was the result of the population having met or exceeded recovery goals. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission removed the bald eagle from the state list of threatened species on April 9, 2008. Monitoring surveys indicate that the population of bald eagles continues to do well, both nationally and in Florida. 

Since the bald eagle is no longer an imperiled species, is it still protected? If so, what are the state and federal laws protecting the bald eagle?

Yes, the eagle is still protected by both the FWC and the USFWS. The state eagle rule (68A-16.002, F.A.C.), and two federal laws protecting eagles, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) External Website and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA or Eagle Act) External Website. For more information about the federal laws, please visit the USFWS bald eagle web site External Website or the Code of Federal Register – Eagle Permits External Website.

 Who should I contact to report a potential violation of bald eagle regulations?

If you suspect a violation of the regulations protecting bald eagles, report it to FWC’s Wildlife Alert Program. Potential violations can be reported by calling 888-404-3922 or by submitting information online.

 What has contributed to the recovery of the Florida bald eagle population?

The Florida bald eagle population and eagle nests have been protected through science-based land management, regulation, public education and law enforcement. Following the ban of the pesticide Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane (DDT) in 1972, Florida's eagle population increased more than 300 percent over 24 years (or three generations of bald eagles). 

 I found a bald eagle nest and want to know if FWC is aware of the location. Where is that information?

To determine if a nest has been documented by the FWC, visit the eagle nest locator  where you can search the nesting database. If a nest is new or undocumented, follow the directions on the web site to report the location. If you are unsure if the nest is documented by FWC, e-mail BaldEagle@MyFWC.com with the following information: the county the nest is located in, the global positioning system (GPS) location or nearest address, direction, and distance to the nest and your complete contact information.

Who do I contact about installing a camera on an eagle nest, or observing a nest with a UAV (drone)?

The USFWS has developed guidelines for use of cameras at eagle nests External Website. These guidelines should be followed to avoid disturbing nesting eagles, and cameras should not be installed at nests without first obtaining permission from the landowner. UAVs, or drones, should not be flown within 1,000 feet of a bald eagle nest during the nesting season in order to avoid injury to eagles or disturbance to nesting pairs.

 I have a project and I am not sure if it will affect bald eagles. What should I do now?

The recommended buffer distance from an eagle nest is 660 feet. Before starting any project that has the potential to impact a bald eagle nest (e.g. land clearing, construction, timber harvest, etc.), you may check the FWC online eagle nest database for documented eagle nests in the area. The database is not comprehensive, and does not take the place of an on–the-ground survey, but it is an excellent place to start. The USFWS Southeast Region website External Website also features a technical assistance page, a list of activity types that may disturb nesting bald eagles and links to federal permitting contacts.

I may need an eagle permit. What do I do now?

Please consult the USFWS bald eagle web site External Website for eagle permit applications, or contact the regional USFWS Migratory Bird Office directly at (404) 679-7070 or permitsR4MB@fws.gov.

 



FWC Facts:
The oystercatcher is one of the largest and heaviest of Florida's shorebirds. It is striking in appearance: dark brown, black and white, with a bright red bill.

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