Eagles have been revered throughout American history and culture, but when it comes to protecting them against wind turbines, there is minimal protection for these esteemed avians. Wind turbines have been responsible for the deaths of 85 eagles since 1997, according to a new study investigating wind farms in 10 states. One of the eagles was electrocuted by the wind turbine in the study, as Fox News reports. These are concerning findings to say the least, but what about the thousands of other birds who are killed by wind turbines? They deserve to be recognized as well.
The statistics of birds killed and injured by wind turbines are astounding. Shawn Smallwood, author of the study that was published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, comments, "I estimated 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities) at 51,630 megawatt (MW) of installed wind-energy capacity in the United States in 2012," as Daily Callerreports.
In the U.S., birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and eagles actually have their own law — the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, "which Congress passed in 1940 to protect bald eagles and expanded in 1962 to cover goldens." The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have not yet given consideration to the harmful impact wind turbines are having on eagles. However, they are open to experimental procedures to improve fatality monitoring methods.