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Bald Eagle Management

bald eagle

On April 20th, 2017, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved revisions to the state’s bald eagle rule (68A-16.002, F.A.C.). The approved rule revisions became effective in June, 2017, and eliminate the need for applicants to obtain both a state and federal permit for activities with the potential to take or disturb bald eagles or their nests. Under the approved revisions, only a federal permit is required. For permitting guidance, please see FWC’s eagle permit webpage.

The bald eagle, our national bird and a symbol of the United States, is a conservation success story. Today, Florida, has one of the densest concentrations of nesting bald eagles in the lower 48 states. While no longer listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act or the Florida Endangered and Threatened Species rules, bald eagles remain protected by both the state eagle rule (68A-16.002, F.A.C.) and federal law. 

In November, 2017, FWC staff completed the Species Action Plan for the Bald Eagle. This plan replaces the 2008 Bald Eagle Management Plan. A non-regulatory conservation plan, the Species Action Plan outlines actions necessary to continue to maintain a stable or increasing population of bald eagles in Florida. The Species Action Plan will be reviewed at 7 year intervals, and progress towards actions will be updated on the FWC eagle webpages and through annual reports.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife removed the bald eagle from the federal endangered and threatened species list in 2007. The USFWS continues to manage eagles under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. To learn more, visit the USFWS eagle website.

Report Nests

Report a new or previously undocumented bald eagle nest location to the Audubon EagleWatch Program. To learn more about the EagleWatch Program, visit their website

Viewing Eagles

For the safest and least intrusive viewing experience, please follow Eagle Watching Etiquette when observing or photographing eagles.

Report Dead or Injured Eagles

If you find a dead or injured bald eagle, contact the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 or a local wildlife rehabilitator for assistance.

FWC Historical Bald Eagle Nesting Areas

Explore Historical Bald Eagle Nesting Areas documented by FWC from 1998 through 2017. Interactive map includes address search, export and print functions, and other tools.

Troubleshooting: Have an ArcGIS online account? Please log out of your account before accessing the map link.

Additional Resources

National Bald Eagle Management Guidelines: Guidelines developed by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service to advise landowners, land managers and others who share public and private lands with bald eagles about when and under what circumstances the protective provisions of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act may apply to their activities.

FWC Eagle Nest Monitoring Reports: FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute surveys bald eagle nesting territories in Florida. Data collected are used to determine the statewide breeding population size and trends.  The data is available in annual reports and in an FWRI published paper, Status of the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) breeding population in Florida, 2009-2014.

There are other resources about bald eagles on FWC's Volunteer Partnerships webpage. There you can learn more about Audubon's EagleWatch program and resources, including a map with current nest information and opportunities to volunteer.