Bald Eagle

bald eagleAbout

The Bald Eagle is the national emblem of the Unites States and has long been a spiritual symbol for Native Americans. Its name is derived from the white feathered head that contrasts with its brown body and wings. The adult white head and tail plumage does not fully emerge until about 5 years of age. Juveniles have mostly brown heads and tails along with brown body and wings that may also be mottled with white.

The Bald Eagle can often be identified by its size alone as it dwarfs many of the other birds of prey found in our County. They have a heavy body, large head and hooked bill. In flight, they typically hold their broad wings very flat, and you will most often find these regal raptors soaring, hunting, or scavenging along the St. Johns River or Intracoastal Waterway. Bald Eagle and Management FAQs.

Nesting & Habitat Management

Bald Eagle nesting season is officially from October 1st through May 15th in the Southeastern United States each year. These dates may vary depending on nesting activities at specific nest sites. There are around 35 active known nests in St. Johns County, with most located along the St. Johns River and Intracoastal Waterway. The areas where eagles tend to nest can range from the middle of public conservation lands where there is little to no human activities to right in the middle of existing residential subdivisions. Quick Reference to Protecting Nesting Areas and Management Guidelines.

Rules & Guidelines

The County has developed specific regulations to protect and enhance bald eagle habitat, and the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service encourages the continued use of such tools that benefit bald eagles. The County has rules for the protection of the Bald Eagle, establishing a 750-foot Primary Zone and 1500-foot Secondary Zone, out from the Nest Tree. These zones may differ, depending on certain site conditions and proposed development plans. Learn More About Rules and Guidelines.

More Information

For more information about St. Johns County requirements regarding Bald Eagles, contact Ryan Mauch at (904) 209-0621 or

Gopher Tortoise. Photo from Wikipedia Creative Commons. Author: Craig ONeal