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How do we reduce eagle deaths from wind turbines?

Feb 11, 2015

Late in 2015, PBS NewsHour shared a fascinating story about the threats wind turbines pose to wildlife — specifically golden eagles. The story, which focused on the Altamont Pass in Northern California, begins:

“The Altamont Pass, east of San Francisco, is home to hundreds of bird species. They hunt and play in the midst of 3,000 wind turbines, which can be deadly, especially to golden eagles … thousands of birds are killed each year when they run into turbines or are hit by their blades.”

In the video above you can see what’s being done to alleviate the problem. We also asked California Raptor Center Director Michelle Hawkins about the dangers of wind turbines how the Raptor Center is helping work toward a solution.

“We’ve partnered with several renewable energy companies and field biologists to help birds in the wind farm territories,” she said. “We work to increase awareness of newer turbines that minimize these traumas through our public education programs like our Open House events.”

The California Raptor Center also collaborates with East Bay Regional Parks to help them perform golden eagle population monitoring.

“We have teams of volunteers that go into the field and obtain population data for adult, juvenile and nestling golden eagles to help understand changes in populations, if any in these areas,” said Hawkins. 

- Justin Cox