A Little Respect

San Diego County’s majestic natives aren’t feeling the love. Golden eagles require large territories and more than a little privacy to thrive. When not nesting on a preferred cliff, they are usually resting high on treetops or hunting in chaparral, grassland, and safe scrub communities — land increasingly taken over by development.

Unfortunately, this native bird species is highly sensitive to human disturbances. Golden eagles have been known to abandon nest sites too close to hiking/biking trails or near rock climbing areas. These birds tend to nest near where they were born. Therefore, if a nesting pair leaves due to the presence of humans, lost is the potential for offspring to return and nest in the same spot. Recreational activities are not the only threat impacting golden eagles. Power lines regularly electrocute these birds; and with many miles of new power lines springing up in San Diego County, this hazard increases the chance of golden eagle mortality.

What can you do? We encourage you to continue exploring nature. However, please respect closures for sensitive nesting areas and be aware of the golden eagle’s habitat and nesting season (February-June). You can find out more information and donate to the Respect the Eagle campaign at



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