Osceola County Natural Resources Spotlight: Bald Eagles
Did you know that Florida has one of the densest concentrations of nesting bald eagles, with an estimated 1,500 nesting pairs? And Osceola County is home to a large proportion of these bald eagles!
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has monitored the population of nesting bald eagles in Florida since 1972. There is an impressive 211 documented nests in Osceola County alone. The Eagle Nest Locator allows you to see where nests are located by address, GPS coordinates, data field (county, township, etc.), public lands, or by drawing a custom polygon. The database is accurate for the 2016-2017 nesting season. Their locations are estimated to be accurate within 0.1 miles of the true nest location. The map below shows the documented nests in Osceola County.
The bald eagle was removed from the USFWS endangered species list in 2007 and the FWC imperiled species list in 2008. However, the bald eagle is still protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, along with the state bald eagle rule. If you encounter a bald eagle, remember to follow the FWC guidelines for eagle watching etiquette. These guidelines protect both you and the eagle.
FWC Eagle Watching Etiquette
- Use binoculars or a spotting scope to observe eagles closely. Photographers should use telephoto lenses.
- Do not stand directly under an eagle nest or in close view of the eagles. The recommended viewing distance is at least 330 feet.
- Once parked safely off the road, remain in or near your vehicle. Vehicles can serve as very effective “bird blinds”.
- Do not make loud or sudden noises. Avoid yelling, car door slamming, or horn honking.
- Move quickly and quietly to any designated observation areas.
- Never try to make eagles fly or stand up at the nest.
- Always ask permission before entering private property.
- Keep pets at home.
Check out the Eagle Nest Locator to see the nests near you, and learn more about Bald Eagle Management. To report a new or previously undocumented bald eagle nest, email the nest location and available photos of the nest to BaldEagle@MyFWC.com.