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Bald Eagle

The bald eagle, our national bird, has a range that includes Alaska, all of the contiguous United States, Canada, and northern Mexico. The only eagle unique to North America, it prefers habitats near seacoasts, lakes, rivers, and other large bodies of open water with an abundance of fish and old-growth trees for nesting. Bald eagles may live up to thirty years in the wild and frequently use the same nests year after year.

The bald eagles recovery is an American success story. Once listed as a Federally Endangered species, its population is now healthy and growing. The bald eagle though is protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

At Avista, we are committed to protecting bald eagles that nest near our hydroelectric developments. As part of the Spokane River Project License, we have prepared a Bald Eagle Management Plan, the primary elements of which include:

  • Annual monitoring during the bald eagle nesting season (generally February 1 to July 31) of known nests associated with the Spokane River Project.  
  • Annual surveys to identify new nests near the Spokane River Project. 
  • Monitoring over consecutive nesting seasons to identify bald eagle nesting territories including primary use areas, home ranges and key use sites (nest stands, perch sites, and roost sites).
  • Site-specific management plans for individual nesting territories that include measures to reduce bald eagle/human conflicts that may occur on Avista's Spokane River Project lands.

Because of the long-term nature of our Bald Eagle Management Plan, we are using an adaptive management approach, which allows us to adapt our programs as we learn more from our monitoring efforts.

You can help protect the bald eagle by staying away from occupied nests during the nesting season. For more information on how to avoid disturbing nesting bald eagles during your recreational activities, please use the following link:

Bald Eagle Work Plans and Reports

2014 Bald Eagle Monitoring Report

2013 Bald Eagle Monitoring Report

2012 Bald Eagle Monitoring Report

Bald Eagle Management Plan (filed on May 7, 2010)

As part of our Bald Eagle Management Plan, we hold annual meetings with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  During the meetings we discuss the results of the previous season’s monitoring effort and make adjustments to the next year’s monitoring, surveying, and investigation methods if needed.

For more information about Avista's Bald Eagle Management Program, please contact:

David Armes
Terrestrial Resource Specialist
1411 E. Mission Ave., MSC-1
Spokane, WA 99220-3727
Office: (509) 495-2796