Short wait times will help tribal citizens gain access to eagle parts and whole eagles. EBCI Natural Resources is also working to build our own eagle aviary at Hall Mountain.
From the National Eagle Repository:
Notice: Short wait times for Bald Eagles.
Summary: The National Eagle Repository is currently receiving more quality condition bald eagles than are being requested by applicants, especially adult bald eagles. This is drastically different than past trends. Due to this increase in bald eagles, the wait time for whole and parts of bald eagles is less than four months from the receipt of a completed application to our office. First Time and Re-order Applicants are encouraged to apply for whole bald eagles as well as wing and tail sets from bald eagles.
Background: Between 2010 and 2019, there was a 31% increase in bald eagle applications (whole, wing & tail sets, wing sets, tails) increasing from 458 to 601 requests annually. During the same period, the Repository experienced a 55% increase in incoming bald eagles from 1651 to 2562 eagles annually. According to the American Eagle Foundation, nesting pairs of bald eagles have increased in the United States by 4,000-5,000 from 2007 to 2014, which has most likely contributed to our metrics. This dramatic increase in incoming eagles has resulted in the ability to reduce wait times for both bald and immature bald eagles while also increasing the quality of the orders being filled.
The Repository continues to build strong relationships with eagle rehabilitation facilities, State and Federal agencies. Enhanced communication and outreach within this network allows us to protect eagle populations and provide quality service to the Native American communities we serve. To place an order eagle parts and feathers please visit our website: https://www.fws.gov/eaglerepository/FAQs/Eagle%20Q&A.pdf
Bald eagle populations crashed during the 20th century due to the widespread use of the pesticide DDT, which accumulates in the fish that eagles eat. The banning of DDT combined with legal protection of bald and golden eagles has helped rebuild their populations, and both can be seen in western North Carolina. Bald eagles breed locally, while golden eagles are uncommon visitors (one was spotted on the Qualla Boundary this winter for the first time in several years).
In the wake of eagle protections, the National Eagle Repository was created in the early 1970s to provide continued access to eagle feathers, parts, and whole eagles for cultural use by tribal citizens. Several tribes also have their own eagle aviaries. The EBCI is working to become one of them, with plans underway to build an aviary at Hall Mountain, our community forest property overlooking Cowee Mound. This facility would house bald and golden eagles that can’t live in the wild, providing a safe and dignified home for the rest of their lives. Feathers collected from these birds would be available for citizens of the EBCI and other tribes in the region.