Interior Releases New Rules for Disturbances to Bald and Golden Eagles

New rules will supposedly still protect eagles-

I also read the actual new regulations. One thing I didn’t know is that while bald eagle populations continue to grow, golden eagles might be in decline.

Interior Releases New Rules for Disturbances to Bald and Golden Eagles. By Allison Winter. New York Times.





  1. Cris Waller Avatar
    Cris Waller

    Golden eagles are definitely in decline in Southern California, where I ashamedly admit to living :>) CA regards the eagle as a species of special concern.

    Habitat destruction is, of course, the major factor. Fires and drought have destroyed nesting sites and weakened the prey base. A new wind turbine farm in the county has killed some eagles (they fly into the blades.) I also wonder if there is some competition between eagles and red-tailed hawks- the latter, which tolerate humanity much better, have become much more common locally. It has been years since I’ve seen an eagle.

  2. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I would be curious to see how far this goes. Bald eagles especially invoke a lot of emotion. Golden eagles do not seem to be in decline where I live in Wyoming, but with development it makes sense, for example, the Front Range Urban Corridor that has decimated its prairie dog populations and thus a food source for golden eagles.

  3. Devin Avatar

    Interesting read indeed. Its always exhilarating to see eagles in the wild.

    Are there really than many eagles near airports? With all of the news about bird strike, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything about eagles mentioned. Granted if there are lots of others birds in the area they will be there as well, but I hardly see 5 or 6 eagles are warranting any issues with the FAA. Maybe its for another reason.

    On the topic of utility poles, as I was driving to Jackson a few weeks ago I saw countless osprey and hawks atop the poles. Does anyone have any information as to whether or not bird of prey numbers tend to increase in areas where utility poles are established? My reasoning for wondering this is that it offers the birds an unnatural area to sit high above flat land and look for prey. I’ve been looking for any studies on this for a few weeks and haven’t found anything.

    Flat land with few trees + utility poles = increase in birds of prey populations?

  4. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Flat land with few trees + utility poles = increase in birds of prey populations?

    Devin, I am not positive but I think that red-tailed hawk populations have increased in areas of the plains where utility poles have gone. I also know of an area in Wyoming off Interstate 25 on the Natrona/Johnson county line where there is an extensive prairie dog colony living under a wooden snow fence. I have seen bald and golden eagles and hawks perched on there and it is otherwise an area with no perches available. So I would imagine a lot more birds of prey live there than would be without the fence.

  5. mikepost Avatar

    We have a Golden Eagle nest in a major electrical tower in Calif in a wilderness area that has been in continuous use for over 20 years. They love the site. The nest was built in the girder tier just below the power lines and there seems to be no mortality and they do not roost on the lines themselves.

    I another vein, Goldens are suseptable to road killing as they do scavenge road kill and have difficulty launching soon enough to avoid high speed highway traffic. I-70 in Colorado saw so much that miles of the highway are signed to create driver awareness.

  6. chris Avatar

    Overgrazing is likely the biggest threat to golden eagles as it reduces or eliminates their main prey of jackrabbits. They can certainly take other and larger prey, but the population of goldens has often mirrored the cycles of jackrabbit populations.

  7. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Mikepost, roadkill is a major problem. I came very close to having a golden eagle go through my windshield once.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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