Wind turbines in 10 states have killed at least 67 eagles in the last five years and 85 since 1997, and government scientists say the number is probably much higher because reports are voluntary.
While the vice president of the American Bird Conservancy said the report was “an alarming and concerning finding,” the American Wind Energy Association, a trade group, said wind turbines weren’t the worse offenders, the AP said, and that it was looking for ways to reduce the casualties.
Numbers are probably much higher
Fatalities were probably much higher, the report said, because wind energy companies are not required to report them. Also, the study did not include a group of wind farms in northern California that kill more than 60 eagles per year, according to the AP.
Although the deaths are illegal under federal law, the AP said, the government has not fined or prosecuted anyone. The Fish and Wildlife Service says it is investigating 18 bird fatalities and referred seven of them to the Justice Department, the AP reported.
Bird kills are not a problem limited to the U.S. In Norway, a wind energy company is painting one turbine blade black in an experiment to see whether increasing the contrast of the blades will help reduce bird strikes. Other possible steps include increasing the visibility of the lower part of the turbine towers, and using UV light sources to alert birds, according to an article in Gizmag.