At least 67 golden and bald eagles have been killed in the last five years by wind farms. That is according to a report published in the Journal of Raptor Research discussed by the AP at “Alarming’ number of eagles killed by wind farms, new study finds.
But that’s just for starters.
That death count is small potatoes because it does not include the casualty count from the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area.
I previously described Altamont in my post Unrestricted slaughter of golden eagles is perfectly okay…
The thirty year annual average of eagle deaths at Altamont is 67. Current estimates are either 70, 75, or 110. Take your pick.
Let’s call it 70.
That means slice-and-dice turbines kill about 70 eagles each year in Altamont and 67 over five years in slicer-dicer farms elsewhere in the country. Keep in mind that is primarily based on self-reported numbers.
Can we round that to 67 and 350 (70 x 5) for a five-year tally? For one year that would be 13 outside Altamont and 70 there.
That means at least 83 eagles are killed a year on wind farms. Around 417 in five years. Remember that is an at-least count.
I have not yet read of one prosecution for any of the killings. Remember federal law specifies a $250,000 fine and two years in the federal pokey for each of those birds.
Here’s one report from the article:
In one of the cases, a bald eagle was found with a missing wing and a leg in a corn field near a turbine at EDP Renewables North America LLC’s Pioneer Prairie facility in Iowa.
That’s why they are called slice-and-dice. Turbines cut off wings and legs and heads.
The article says EDPR will not be prosecuted.
WARNING: If you can handle that word picture of an eagle losing its wing, then you should be able to handle this video of a wind turbine harvesting a bird. If that word picture upsets you, might be better to skip this:
Update: Saw this after I wrote the above post. Carpe Diem covers the report with a far better headline: The federally approved bird slaughter on the altar of green energy with a political double-standard of no prosecution. Wish I could write headlines like that.