Carey Conservation and Sportsmans Assn.


Minimizing Disturbance to Bald Eagle Nests
3/30/2018 Division of Wildlife

Have you seen an bald eagle nest in your area? These magnificent birds have made a tremendous comeback here in Ohio, but it is important to remember that they are still a protected species, and we must all use caution when observing nesting eagles.

Eagles are no longer listed as state or federally endangered or threatened, but they are still protected by the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Their nesting period is a critical time for eagle reproduction and every effort should be made to reduce interference. Always stay a good distance away (at least 330 feet) from a nest while a pair is nesting. Any type of disturbance around a nest could cause injury to the eagle, production loss, or nest abandonment. Use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe nesting activity instead of getting too close.

Learn more about the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

Minimizing Disturbance to Bald Eagle Nests:

It is illegal to kill or disturb (meaning agitate an eagle to the point of injury, a decrease in its productivity (eggs or eaglets), or nest abandonment.

USFWS recommends the following guidelines to minimize disturbance to eagle nests, especially during the nesting season (February July)

Any non-motorized recreation and activity (hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, canoeing) should stay at least 330 feet (100 meters) from the nest
Off-road vehicles should stay 330 feet (100 meters) from the nest. If near an open area, where vehicles can be heard and seen more easily, stay at least 660 feet (200 meters) from the nest
Other activities such as construction, logging, agriculture, etc. have additional guidelines and may require getting a permit from the USFWS.