Wind Farms Are Deadly To Eagles, Study SaysBy: Chad Sweely - September 12, 2013
The alternative energy resource known as wind power is a great method to create electricity without the non-environmentally friendly utilization of fossil fuels. Acquiring power by the use of wind does not generate nor use any greenhouse gases, and it also does not require a large amount of acreage. Even though the byproduct of wind power is a great alternative to the way electricity is sourced today, wind power by turbine machines has not been all that friendly to the bird community.
According to a survey conducted by government biologists, wind farms in 10 states have cost the lives of approximately 85 eagles since 1997. Unfortunately, the greatest number of deaths of eagles has occurred in the last five years due to the increasing number of wind farms as the wind industry grows. The main type of eagle classified in this study was the Golden Eagle, attracted by the spinning blades of the turbines. One of the worst states with eagle-killing wind turbines is California, where approximately 60 eagles die per year due to wind-turbine-related causes. (Source: ABC News)
In reaction to the results of this study, the American Wind Energy Association stated that the figures relating to wind-turbine-related deaths of eagles are much lower than other eagle death causes. The American Wind Energy Association also stated that they are in cooperation with the government to help reduce the number of these aviary deaths. (Source: Associated Press via Yahoo News)
A recently published article on The Weather Channel’s website, also discussed this issue, pertaining to a wind farm in Wyoming that its wind farm has killed “more than four dozen golden eagles since 2009.” In the Weather Channel’s article, Tim Eicher, a former United States Fish and Wildlife Service Enforcement Agent, stated “”What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces, that is OK.” With this in mind, is it really the fault of the company? The main purpose of the wind turbines is to create alternative energy, not to solely exterminate wildlife.
An argument with this premise can also be made concerning the killing of the geese as the cause of the US Airways Flight 1549 incident.
Additionally, various Twitter users have also reacted to the analysis of this study by government biologists.[Image source: Wikimedia Commons]