As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Wind turbines a risk to birds living as far as 100 miles away

"The golden eagle fatalities at this one site have demonstrated consequences that extend across much of the range of the species across North America," said researcher J. Andrew DeWoody.

By Brooks Hays   |   Sept. 29, 2016 at 2:03 PM

ALTAMONT PASS, Calif., Sept. 29 (UPI) -- New research proves wind turbines aren't just a risk to local birds. Birds from as far as 100 miles away are getting caught in their blades.

Large birds like golden eagles are especially prone to collisions with wind turbines. Recently, scientists with Purdue University and the U.S. Geological Survey monitored the effects of turbines at Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in northern California on nearby golden eagle populations.

With 5,000 turbines, APWRA is one of the largest wind farms in the world. It's also one of the oldest. The reason the turbines were placed along Altamont Pass is the same reason why eagles congregate there.

"Eagles tend to use that habitat around the turbines. It's windy there, so they can save energy and soar, and their preferred prey, California ground squirrels, is abundant there," J. Andrew DeWoody, a Purdue professor of genetics, explained in a news release. "As they soar, these eagles are often looking straight down, and they fail to see the rapidly moving turbine blades. They get hit by the blades, and carcasses are found on the ground under the turbines."

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