Raptors attracted to wind farms

May 28, 2013
World Council for Nature (WCFN)

nestingeWind turbines offer great perching opportunities for birds of prey. From up there, they have commanding views of open spaces colonized by graminae, which attract prey such as mice, voles, rabbits, partridges, grouse etc.

 

 

 

 

First, they perch on still blades

nesting2Altamont Pass: red-tailed hawk perched on top blade.

Better resolution picture here:
http://iberica2000.org/documents/eolica/photos/blade_perching.jpg

 

Then they perch on nacelles or other parts:

Good resolution picture here:
http://iberica2000.org/documents/eolica/photos/red_tailed_hawk_perched_on_nacelle.jpg

Then they try to build a nest:

nestinge

Osprey nest on wind turbine

In this case, a pair of ospreys succeeded because this turbine at Cape Vincent, NY, was mothballed.

For better resolution picture, ask save.the.eagles@gmail.com

Then they perch when the blades are moving:

See this video of a turkey vulture:

http://epaw.org/multimedia.php?article=b3

This perilous perching often ends up in loss of life.

But they also get struck while looking for prey or carrion below the turbines:

See this VIDEO of a griffon vulture on Crete island: http://epaw.org/multimedia.php?article=b2

CONCLUSION: ornithologists hired by wind farm developers are misrepresenting the facts when they say that raptors “avoid” wind farms, or “are displaced” by them. The simple truth is that they are ATTRACTED, then KILLED by wind turbines. California’s very large Altamont Pass windfarm, for instance, kills about 1300 raptors a year, of which 116 golden eagles on average. – Source: “Developing Methods to Reduce Bird Mortality In the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area” (pages 73 & 74, see last column: “adjusted for search detection and scavenging”) – Dr. S.Smallwood et al. (2004).

Would so many be killed if they “avoided” or “were displaced” by wind turbines?

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