US windfarms kill 10-20 times more than previously thought

Red kite with broken wing awaiting slow death under wind turbine – courtesy of GURELUR
Red kite with broken wing, waiting for a slow death under a wind turbine – courtesy of GURELUR*.

APRIL 2014

America’s wind farms are actually slaughtering millions of birds and bats annually

By Mark Duchamp

Originally published by The ECO Report

The Obama administration is issuing 30-year permits for “taking” (killing) bald and golden eagles. The great birds will be legally slaughtered “unintentionally” by lethal wind turbines installed in their breeding territories, and in “dispersion areas” where their young congregate (e.g. Altamont Pass).

By chance (if you believe in coincidences), a timely government study claims wind farms will kill “only” 1.4 million birds yearly by 2030 (1). This new report is just one of many, financed with taxpayers’ money, aimed at convincing the public that additional mortality caused by wind plants is sustainable. – It is not.

Dr. Shawn Smallwood’s 2004 study, spanning four years, estimated that California’s Altamont Pass wind “farm” killed an average of 116 Golden Eagles annually (2). This adds up to 2,900 dead “goldies” since it was built 25 years ago. Altamont is the biggest sinkhole for the species, but not the only one, and industry-financed research claiming that California’s GE population is stable is but a white-wash.


Golden eagle remains, Altamont Pass windfarm, California – courtesy of Darryl Mueller

Eagles are not the only victims. Smallwood also estimated that Altamont killed an average of 300 red-tailed hawks, 333 American kestrels and 380 burrowing owls annually – plus even more non-raptors, including 2,526 rock doves and 2,557 western meadowlarks.

In 2012, breaking the European omerta on wind farm mortality, the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO/Birdlife) reviewed actual carcass counts from 136 monitoring studies. They concluded that Spain’s 18,000 wind turbines are killing 6-18 million birds and bats yearly (3).

Extrapolating that and similar (little publicized) German and Swedish studies, 39,000 U.S. wind turbines would not be killing “only” 440,000 birds (USFWS, 2009) or “just” 573,000 birds and 888,000 bats (Smallwood, 2013) (4), but 13-39 million birds and bats every year!

However, this carnage is being covered up by self-serving and/or politically motivated government agencies, wind industry lobbyists, environmental groups and ornithologists, under a pile of misleading studies paid for with more taxpayer money.

Wildlife expert Jim Wiegand has documented how areas searched under wind turbines are still confined to 200-foot radiuses, even though modern monster turbines catapult 90% of bird and bat carcasses much further. Windfarm owners, operating under voluntary(!) USFWS guidelines, commission studies that search much-too-small areas, look only once every 30-90 days, ensuring that scavengers remove most carcasses, and ignore wounded birds that happen to be found within search perimeters (5).

These research protocols are designed to guarantee extremely low mortality statistics, hiding the true death tolls – and the USFWS seems inclined to let the deception continue. In addition, bird mortality data are now considered to be the property of windfarm owners, which means the public no longer has a right to know.

Nevertheless, news has leaked that eagles are being hacked to death all across America. This is hardly surprising, as raptors are attracted to wind turbines. They perch on them to rest or scan for prey. They come because turbines are often built in habitats that have abundant food (live or carrion) and good winds for gliding (6).

Save the Eagles International (STEI) has posted photographs of raptors perched on nacelles or nonmoving blades, and ospreys building a nest on a decommissioned turbine. Moving blades don’t deter them either: videos show a turkey vulture perched on the hub of a spinning turbine, and a griffon vulture being struck (6). Birds perceive areas traveled by spinning blades as open space, unaware that blade tips are moving at up to 180 mph. Many are focused on prey. These factors make wind turbines “ecological death trapswherever they are located.


Courtesy of Jefferson’s Leaning Left blog

By 2030, the United States plans to produce 20% of its electricity from wind. That’s nearly six times as much as today, from three or four times as many turbines, striking more flying creatures due to their bigger size (even the mendacious study predicting 1.4 million bird kills recognizes this). Using the higher but still underestimated level of mortality published by Smallwood in 2013, by 2030 our wind turbines would be killing over 3 million birds and 5 million bats annually.

But this is shy of reality by a factor of ten, because 90% of casualties land outside the search perimeter and are not counted. We are thus really talking about an unsustainable death toll of 30 million birds and 50 million bats a year – and more still if we factor in other hide-the-mortality tricks documented by STEI.

This carnage includes protected species that cars and cats rarely kill: eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, condors, whooping cranes, geese, bats and many others. The raptor slaughter will cause rodent populations to soar. Butchery of bats (7), already being decimated by White Nose Syndrome (8), will hammer agriculture.


Griffon vultures killed by wind turbine, Spain – courtesy of GURELUR*

The U.S. Geological Survey says the value of pest-control services to US agriculture provided by bats ranges from $3.7 billion to as much as $53 billion yearly (9). These chiropters also control forest pests and serve as pollinators. Swedish studies have documented their attraction from nine miles away to insects that swarm around wind turbines (10). Hence the slaughter.

Wind lobbyists claim they need “regulatory certainty.” However, eagle “take” permits will also ensure extinction certainty – and ecological, agricultural, economic and social disasters that America cannot afford.

* GURELUR is an association of ecologists based in Pamplona, Navarre, Spain.

Mark Duchamp is President of Save the Eagles International, and Chairman of the World Council for Nature


(1) –

(2) – Mortality at Altamont Pass wind farm: Chapter 3, Page 73, Table 3-11: Species/Taxonomic group: Golden eagle – Mortality per year:
adjusted for search detection: 75.6
adjusted for search detection and scavenging: 116.5
scroll down that last column to find the mortality for other species
Developing Methods to Reduce Bird Mortality in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area – Shawn Smallwood & Carl Thelander (2004) – for the California Energy Commission.
Full report page:

(3) – Spanish Ornithological Society: Spain’s wind turbines kill 6 to 18 million birds and bats yearly:

(4) – 573,000 birds and 888,000 bats killed by wind turbines in the US annually (Smallwood, 2013):

(5)- Over 90% of mortality not accounted for – wildlife expert Jim Wiegand:
– search areas are too small:
– they miss 90% of the carcasses:

(6) – Pictures and videos of raptors attracted to wind farms:

(7) – “Official” estimate: University of Colorado study: wind farms kill 600,000 to 900,000 bats yearly:
Real mortality, however, is likely to be at least 20 times higher.

(8) – White Nose Syndrome:

(9) – USGS: value of bats to agriculture:

(10) – Two Swedish studies:
- “We recorded 11 species (of bats) … flying over the ocean up to 14 km from the shore (to an offshore windfarm).” And: “… our data showing that at least 10 species, both migratory and resident, regularly forage far out at sea are novel.”

- “The bats did not avoid the turbines. On the contrary they stayed for shorter or longer periods hunting close to the windmills because of the accumulation of flying insects…. Bats also used wind turbines for resting.”

120 Responses to “US windfarms kill 10-20 times more than previously thought”

  • Barry:

    Studies of turbines in USA states NJ and Delaware show each turbine killing 80 birds/bats per year. In PA they document that each turbine kills 25 bats per year…they don’t sum up the number of birds. It is a travesty! The only way they are getting away with it….is they hide the information. If you try to get fact on the number of kills in states like Mass. They don’t purposely don’t publish or study bird and bat kills as they want the money to flow to the politically connected! This will shame environmentalist groups for the a long time….that they are aiding and abetting one of the greatest slaughter of wild life since the mid-1800’s!

    • Jokey:

      and who takes care of the billions of flies smashed on my car’s windscreen!!! Stop the windmills now – and let the power come out of the plugs- it’s that easy!!!

      • What...Really?:

        “let the power come out of the plugs- it’s that easy!!!”??? WtF? Do you really think your outlets (which I assume you mean, but call them “plugs”) supply you magical power? Just to inform you, that magical power comes from the burning of coal, nuclear and in much smaller supplies of wind/solar. I may have missed a couple supplies but it doesn’t matter in making my point. I think my small windows on my house kill more birds each year. I’ve discovered that they really don’t have much for brains and will fly into anything. I’ll take the fresh air for me over them any day!!! Let’s roll with solar and wind power!!!!!

        • Bill Chaffee:

          A major sorce of power that you missed is natural gas, which basically comes in two forms. There is the combined cycle plant and the peaker plant. Combined cycle plants can be up to 60% efficient and are more expensive and take longer to build than peaker plants. Peaker plants are similar to jet engines. They can be started up very quickly and there power level can also be adjusted very quickly however the down side is that they are only a little over half as efficient as combined cycle plants. If natural gas stayed cheap (which it won’t) and if carbon dioxide emissions weren’t a problem (I think that they probably are) then peaker plant wouldn’t be a problem. More wind power makes more peaker plants necessary because of the erratic power output of wind turbines. The amount of power available from wind is a function of the wind speed cubed.

      • Bruce Stewart:

        Check with ERCOT. In Texas there is over 14,000MW of installed wind energy capacity, guess what was being generated at noon today, 600MW. The wind companies say “We have enough capacity to power 100,000 homes”. Nope, on a good day they can actually power 20,00 homes for a short time before gas and coal has to take over. These towers aren’t put up to generate electricity or to help the environment, they are put up to save very large corporations taxes. Even Warren Buffet, a major buyer of energy tax credits, says they don’t make sense except for the tax credits. Why do we want wind turbines? To save the environment? Then they are a complete failure. Look at the whole picture. The roads built, the steel smelted, the trucking of parts and cranes, the manufacture of millions of tons of concrete and re-bar, the land cleared of trees for transmission lines. Are we putting them up to save wildlife? We are killing wildlife. Are we trying to lower the amount of CO2? The lowering will be immeasurable. Land is heated behind the blades from the turbulence. Are they causing global warming??? Land values of neighboring properties are destroyed.

        These were started by Ken Lay and George H W Bush for tax write offs. Not by some tree hugging liberal.

        • Rob:

          I call bs on the last part. If this were not caused by a tree hugging lib then their would be so much outrage they would no longer be putting them up. Are you f-ing serious. This is green energy just as the libs want it.

    • Let the wind turbine companies pay the fine for the killed eagles without jail time.

      • House cats don’t kill eagles, cranes, geese, hawks, falcons, California condors, etc. plus bats by the million.


        • Diana:

          This whole thing sounds like a bunch of liberal BS! I find it hard to believe that ANY bats die from the slow moving blades of these generators! Anyone who studies bats can tell you they can turn in a split second. If you watch bats at night catching mosquitos and had even half a brain you could figure this one out. I find it hard to believe there are any more birds killed from these turbines than there are from car windshields, so let’s quit driving. Makes as much sense. The highly inflated numbers these liberals are trying to get us to believe is from jet turbines perhaps, which are totally different. Therefore, let us quit traveling by jets also. With BS like this going around, we can’t believe ANYTHING that comes from stupid and ignorant people who just mimic other stupid and ignorant people out of Washington DC.

          • Wind turbine blades appear to turn slowly, but at their tips, they reach speeds of 100 to 300 kmh (62 – 186 mph).
            Calculate yourself: average 2 MW wind turbine –> blade length 50 m x 2 = diameter of 100 m x 3,14 = circumference of 314 m x 16 revolutions per minute = 5024 m x 60 minutes = 301,440 m –> 301 kmh

            Birds and bats are surprised by the blades: they too thought they were turning slowly.

            Cars don’t kill many eagles. Wind turbines do.

          • Dr. D.:

            Exactly Diana. I drive my truck past so many wind turbines in the Mid-west and most time they don’t even look like they’re turning. How can a bird with ‘eagle eyes’ not be able to see and avoid the blades. No one has ever give me a good answer for that, even though I’m sure many will try. They’ll try to tell me they turn faster than a B-24 Liberator prop and I’m suppose to agree with them and not my own eyes. Give me a break And they are keep harping on eagles, as if one who supports the Wind Energy, and since Wind turbines supposedly kill so many eagles, then to support wind energy equals being unpatriotic. If there were studies showing they were killing crows or disease carrying pigeons nobody would care so they keep bringing up eagles. Well sorry for the eagles…but seriously, how they can spot mice from two miles away but can’t seem to see a wind turbine blade? What gives? Then they like to claim that Wind turbines are the major bird killers. Hell, I’ve pulled no fewer than four hen pheasants out of the front grill of my tractor trailer since June and countless sparrows and red-winged blackbirds over the summer and I’m real sorry about it but I have to make a living. But if it happens to me, it probably happening to thousands of other truckers and still nobody ever tried to shut down the trucking industry. I just came here by accident and I’ll likely not be back so please don’t anyone write to argue my points or sway my thinking cause I won’t be writing back. I’m just using some common sense and calling it the way I see it.

          • Dr.D. wrote: I drive my truck past so many wind turbines in the Mid-west and most time they don’t even look like they’re turning.

            – Right. It’s an intermittent energy depending upon the wind. In the absence of storage capacity for the electricity they produce, in fact mostly at night (when not needed), their production is useless. It is exported at a loss, or dumped into the ground, or the turbines are stopped and the owners receive a financial compensation from the government.

            Dr.D: How can a bird with ‘eagle eyes’ not be able to see and avoid the blades. No one has ever give me a good answer for that.

            – People too have eyes, yet they have numerous car accidents. How come? Can’t they see the other cars? Your reasoning is similar to this.

            Dr.D: They’ll try to tell me they turn faster than a B-24 Liberator prop and I’m suppose to agree with them and not my own eyes.

            – At the tip of the blades, speed often reaches over 160 mph: take the diameter of the rotor (300-380 feet depending on the model), multiply by 3.14, multiply by the highest number of revolutions per minute (18 – 24 depending on the model), multiply by 60 (minutes in one hour), that’ll give you the distance the tip of the blade covers in one hour when the wind is blowing at optimum speed.

            Dr.D: it probably happening to thousands of other truckers and still nobody ever tried to shut down the trucking industry

            – the trucking industry is vital to the economy, whereas wind turbines are not. In fact, they are useless. They are a scam. See:

          • PeteE:

            The bats are drawn to the windmills because insects are drawn in to them. The bats are not killed by striking the blades but by internal hemorrhaging caused by the drop in atmospheric pressure near the windmills. Bat lungs are constructed differently than common birds and the pressure drops collapse their lungs killing them.

        • James Bean:

          Just as a point of clarification… this article, and this whole controversy requires you to have no sense of scale, and not pay attention. Yes, cats kill about 500,0000,000 birds, annually. While wind turbines kill somewhere between 1.4 million and 40 million, depending on whose numbers you look at.

          But, that’s not really the issue. The claim was further made that cats don’t kill the eagles. Well, that may be true, but, high tension lines do. As many as 174 million birds are killed every single year by high tension lines. By colliding with them, not by being fried by them. And this most certainly includes eagles, who use the high tension lines exactly the same way they use turbines. And, since many high tension lines have clearings beneath them, they create fantastic hunting grounds for raptors, who an often collide with the lines, fixated on the prey running beneath them.

          I haven’t heard a single right winger demanding that coal, gas and nuclear be held responsible or the massive bird kill. But, they’re freaking out over just 10% of those numbers maybe being attributed to wind turbines, and trying to claim they don’t work? Last I checked, they do, in fact work.

          Solar and wind are not perfect. Not competitive with coal and natural gas, yet. But they keep getting better. And they HAVE to get better, or we’re all screwed. BTW, the kill off of birds due to climate change, habitat destruction from coal mining, or fracking, etc., has not been estimated or factored in.

          Right wingers have latched onto this as a way to attack alternative energy, and promote “drill baby drill,” which doesn’t solve any existing problem, except how to put more billions into a very few rich guy’s pockets. In fact, Trump even used this stupidity to justify reversing Obama on the stupid pipeline from Canada.

  • […] year, Duchamp says, they also butcher millions of other birds and millions of bats that are attracted to turbines by abundant insects – or simply fail to see the turbine blades, […]

  • Mjc capozzi:

    What can be done to stop this senseless killing

    • You asked: what can be done to stop this senseless killing?

      .Well, you can become a member of Save the Eagles International. It’s free of charge. Then,you can tell all your contacts about us, and spread our articles around.
      Unless people don’t know what’s really happening, nothing will change.

  • filiberto bonaventura:

    Remedy: the wind turbines could produce their own sound, an ultrasound that would scare all birds in the
    vicinity….any other question? i am also a scientist and a “spatial poet”and have an answer for just about any
    scientific or practical problem…..cheers

    • Valerie Reagor:

      Not a scientist here. New to topic. Ultrasound sounds like possibly a good idea. Also wondering if painting something like a life sized eagle or something else on the ends of the blades could allow the birds some perspective of how fast the blades are actually turning, if that would help them get out of the way before a death blow.

    • Jerilyn Bell:

      From what I understand eagles and other birds of prey have eyes that are specialized to focus on their prey under them and not so much on the upward flight after they have captured something in their talons. This could explain why there are so many running into the blades.

  • […] US windfarms kill 10-20 times more than previously thought | Save the Eagles International […]

  • C. Earl Jantzi:

    Check out this article about how solar concentrator farms simply fry or vaporize birds. All this wildlife killed for the hoax that is global warming. Google “crisy ducks, should find it. I have the address on a desktop, not this portable.
    • IPCC official, Ottmar Edenhofer, speaking in November 2010: “But one must say clearly that we redistribute, de facto, the world’s wealth by climate policy. … one has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute, de facto, the world’s wealth…” “This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy, anymore.” http://www.nzzDOTch/aktuell/startseite/klimapolitik-verteilt-das-weltvermoegen-neu-1.8373227

    22Jan2015”At a news conference [22Jan2015] in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity, but to destroy capitalism. “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said. Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”
    Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors DOTcom/ibd-editorials/021015-738779-climate-change-scare-tool-to-destroy-capitalism.htm#ixzz3RXh5Tujn

    • Richard:

      ” … to destroy capitalism..”
      What rot. Considering almost all systems are installed by PRIVATE BUSINESSES that would be very self defeating.

  • michelle madsen:

    People need to post links to this site everywhere. I have seen a new design for a verticle turbine which is enclosed in a type of cage. It looks like a cylinder. The apparatus inside which are the turbines rotate horizontally, but have spokes that stand upright. These turbines can be stacked within the cylinder. they have the technology to harvest wind without these impacts.

  • Brenda Shumate:

    It is hard for me to swallow, how horrible the killing of so many wonderful birds, our Eagles and other creatures who are majestic. What is wrong with people? They will do horrible things just to prove a point? And their point was lost by their being loony anyway.

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  • Tricia Dixon:

    This is disgusting I can’t believe they are doing this

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  • Griselda Hunt:

    Thank you for this vitally important article. Will try to send it all over.

  • Kevin:

    So you delete my post that goes against your 100% GOP agenda. Thanks for letting me know who is running this BS organization. Do you really think your oil and coal buddies are going to “SAVE” the Eagles? I love Eagles and will do anything possible to save them…especially fighting you!

    • I delete comments when they are offensive, contain bad language, and are stupid as well. I made an exception for yours this time around. But don’t push your luck.

  • gfsa:

    There’s no please you fucks….no oil or coal power now no wind power…shut up and make up your minds. If a bird is not smart enough to flow around a big ass turbine….well….survival of the fittest or smartest birds.

    • Are children stupid as well, in your mind?
      So, why do mothers tell them to be careful when crossing the street?
      There is no “mother” to warn birds entering killing fields full of giant blades swirling at 180 mph at the tip.

    • W.B.:

      gfsa:wrote: “There’s no please you f–ks….no oil or coal power now no wind power…shut up and make up your minds. If a bird is not smart enough to flow around a big ass turbine….well….survival of the fittest or smartest birds.”

      That comment is further proof that wind power advocates are as crass as anyone in the oil/gas/coal business, especially those on the ground who do the actual felling of trees, road grading, truck driving, crane operations and so on. That “survival of the fittest” comment is extremely arrogant, as you know that birds aren’t going to learn very much, and bats even less so at night. Evolving to avoid those blades could take centuries if it ever happened. Many so-called sportsmen brag of Man as the apex predator and could care less if they decimate other species.

      Wind industry workers are your standard paycheck-chasers for the most part. Destroy the scenery of an entire valley and reduce its wildlife count? “No problem! I got my paycheck and I’m gonna buy some beer this weekend. Maybe I’ll shoot up some coyotes or prairie dogs near the wind towers. Ain’t nuthin’ better to do out here.” You could easily pull a rigger off a fracking job and stick them on a wind “farm.” The main difference would be the greater heights, not any ethical concerns.

  • Curt Widlund:

    If one party is killed die even eggs and chicks.

  • Tc:

    Replace them with the new single vertical blade technology.

  • […] Shouldn’t you also care as deeply  that birds and bats, including endangered species, are being killed, mortally wounded, and permanently disabled by wind farms? (America’s wind farms slaughter millions of bats and birds per year.)… […]

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  • Dean Harris:

    Re the birds and bats that are being killed. Build the wind turbines with within heavy duty chicken wire cages. Big versions of domestic fans. What’s the problem? 25 years and no one has done it yet? Wake up you clever people.


    Could something be added to these wind turbines to emit a high pitched noise to keep the birds away? Some kind of signal that would keep birds away.

  • reta hare:

    Something has to be done to stop the killing of these golden eagles and bats. The golden eagles will become extinct if this continues and these bats. The bats are very necessary for insect control in the US. This can not be allowed to continue.

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  • Too bad Cecil the Lion cant fly…..
    If he had flown into a windmill and got chopped to pieces these stupid windmills would be shut down.
    Windmills are centuries old technology and will never make much difference in our electricity needs.
    Nuclear works great, but environmentalist fanatics are afraid of atoms and stuff. I guess they don’t mind piles of dead Eagles all over the place.
    If you want clean power and live birds then go nuclear.

    • STEI is not keen on nuclear, to say the least. If it can be avoided, all the better. But can it be replaced by intermittent energy, like wind or solar?
      This is the question that must be asked.

      The answer is no. Not until we find a way to store electricity at the scale required to fuel a whole country during, say, one month (to cover a long anticyclon with no wind). And so far, it has proven to be an impossible task.

      Germany, for instance, has failed to replace nuclear by wind and solar. They had to build dozens of coal-fired power plants: to replace nuclear power, to provide energy in the absence of wind and/or sunshine, and to regulate erratic wind and solar power so that it may be used.

      France has built 16 natural gas power stations between 2005 and 2011, to ensure the reliability of French electricity generation, which was threatened by the coming online of erratic windpower. A double investment (wind + gas) for the same total output, forcing the government to invent a new tax (the “CSPE”) to be slammed on power bills. There is talk now of extending the CSPE to gazoline and gas bills, for windpower generation itself must be heavily subsidised. The problem is now double : how to stop fuel poverty from skyrocketting, and how to stop French industry from becoming even more un-competitive.

      Latest news from Japan: 20 nuclear reactors will be put back in service, the first one this month.
      Obviously, wind and solar can’t do the job they were doing.

      I wish I could, like many, daydream that renewable energy can replace coal, gas and nuclear energy. But we have to deal with realities, unfortunately.

  • […] (aka: Bird Blenders) kill countless (because totals are no longer kept) endangered birds. US windfarms kill 10-20 times more than previously thought | Save the Eagles International Same with solar […]

  • […] and wildlife that is the grandeur of America, including the slaughter of our nation’s bald and golden eagles. This assault must be ended, and those who promote it removed from […]

  • R B:

    Math is not your strong subject….The record for the greatest migration of Golden Eagles was 4000. There are estimated to be 300-400 Golden Eagles at California’s Altamont wind farm with the peak in 1980 timeframe. If we have killed 2900 golden eagles as you assert then we killed all we had and imported 2500 more to kill.

    It simply does not add up. In fact, you should be ashamed that your web page has directly killed a Golden Eagle by the consumption of electricity that you and other have consumed in maintaining this web page of junk science. If you want to do something that matters to the Golden Eagles you need to stop using electricity.

    We would be more entertained if you told us about the last time you were abducted by Martians. Martians would even be more believable because you are really out there with your pseudo math….

    I think eagles of all kinds are magnificent birds and your junk science just clouds the real issues that are driving these magnificent birds to extinction.

    • W.B.:

      R B wrote: “I think eagles of all kinds are magnificent birds and your junk science just clouds the real issues that are driving these magnificent birds to extinction.”

      If giant machines that kill birds aren’t a serious part of your “real issues,” what exactly are you talking about? There may be no one cause, but this one is significant and additive. Few, if any eagles are being killed by house-cats (a wind zealot subject-changing favorite). Remember, wind power is predicated on massive growth in turbine numbers. Just as more cars & trucks kill more animals, you can’t look at today’s wind turbine death tolls and claim it’s a fixed quantity. There’s also the hypocrisy of any such deaths in a “green” context.

      Lethality aside, why do wind power defenders always change the subject to existing blight when it comes to this new form of landscape destruction? At least climate deniers are honest in their lack of respect for nature. The wind crowd just dodges all issues that don’t paint them green.

  • The figure of 2900 is calculated from Dr Shawn Smallwood’s 3-year study published in 2004 in which he estimated golden eagle mortality at Altamont to be 116 eagles a year. The wind farm is 25 year old +, so take a solar-powered calculator and get to work.

    I pass on your other comments.

  • […] wind turbines. While alternate energy sources are good, wind turbines are extremely controversial. Studies have shown they kill wildlife, including bald eagles. There are also reported noise and health problems with wind […]

  • dale Peterson:

    How can I help? This is horrible. I have noticed a dramatic decrease in Raptors in the area since these windmills went up in Washington State. Heart breaking.

  • WakeUpCall:

    You and all of the birds will all be dead when we continue to destroy the planet burning fossil fuels.

    • You don’t get it. Wind farms are intermittent. They need fossil fuel power plants to remain on stand-by to pick up the slack when the wind falters. Burning fuel for nothing, and doubling up the investment for the same electricity production, the end result is zero savings on fossil fuels. Wind farms are a scam, bilking taxpayers and consumers of hundreds of billions of dollars.

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  • Margaret Brown:

    What can be done? These turbines are welcomed because they do not pollute the air (Nonsense–manufacture involves pollution)
    Neither the USA not European countries are likely to demolish these monstrosities, bird life being of small concern to your average city dweller.
    The human race expects too much and once set on its present path is unlikely to regress. Finally, sometime in the future, we are likely to face a silent spring. What next?

  • I’m adding your site to blogs etc that I’m passing around a thought/idea about saving some of these birds…..
    It seems to me a (relatively) slow moving windmill might be made MUCH MORE “visible” by the addition of streamers which “should” make the blades look like a solid wheel to birds. I think MANY struck birds might also simply misjudge the speed of the passing blades. Heck, we humans are said to be a “more superior animal” and yet… We have been known to occasionally misjudge oncoming cars speed when crossing streets.
    I imagine some field testing would be needed to find the “Goldilocks”” ultimate method…. I.E. : What color ( something that reflects ultraviolet might be optimal as I believe most birds see in ultraviolet) or what widths of streamers, or fluttering modes versus not, and what material….. It’s possible that something tough/durable like even Kevlar MIGHT be needed, but..Maybe not. Hell, maybe PAINTING the blades with an ultraviolet glowing paint could help?

    Heck, for a few hundred dollars ( per multi THOUSANDS $$$ blades) one could even add some combination of smoke “puffers” and/OR lasers.
    BONUS: It might even be possible to have streamers that break up the air-vortexes that create the “whoosh-whoosh” noises which vex so many neighbors of windmills? OR… Some that make ultrasonic “noises” so as to include bats in this rescue. Gee, maybe birds like bats and cats, (but not windmill’s people neighbors) can hear that warning ultrasonic too?

    • Feel free to write to the wind industry about your ideas. But keep in mind that they have tried everything, over the past 30 years, in particular at Altamont Pass, and have found no deterrent that works.

  • Jay:

    People need energy, simple as that. Would you prefer we continue with Mountain Topping or Coal extraction? Those are much more harmful to the environment. Wind is much cleaner and more sustainable than most other methods. Everything has a downfall. I would think your efforts would be better spent looking into how wind and birds can co-exist or methods to limit the actual mortality caused by wind. You use energy…that’s why more energy is needed. You breed…that’s why more energy is needed. Don’t argue that FACT, just accept it and move on. Our population will continue to increase, therefore more energy will be required. So, best use of your time – convince people to breed less (goodluck), convince people to use less energy (I like this most), or come up with methods to minimize bird mortality due to wind…OR become a proponent to other, much more harmful methods to produce energy.

    On a side note, feral cats kill FAR more birds than all wind farms combined in the world. Feral cats kill A FREAKING LOT more birds than anything in North America actually. I would also suggest you spend energy here…It’s not socially acceptable to kill feral cats for some reason in this country, but that’s the answer…just need to get people to see that they are an enormous nuisance if left outdoors and abandoned.

    • The trouble is, you NEED fossil fuel plants (FFPs) to balance the irregular production of wind turbines. And in this back-up funcion, the FFPs burn roughly twice as much fuel – just like a car in city traffic as opposed to the highway. So, what the wind turbines save is burnt by the FFPs. In addition, for the same overall production of electricity, you need to build two facilities instead of one: wind farms + FFPs. And their construction causes much fuel to be burnt. At the end of the day, more fossil fuels are burnt with wind turbines than without.

      • As for the cat-kill-more-birds argument:
        – cats don’t kill eagles, cranes, geese, swans, pelicans, falcons, hawks, condors, vultures, owls, bats. Wind turbines do.
        – two wrongs don’t make a right.
        – there is no solution for cats. There is one for wind turbines: stop subsidizing them. They are useless anyway (see my previous comment).

  • Charlie Abell:

    No big opinion on wind turbines but I am curorious as to how a slow moving propellor kills thousands of birds. Some cruise slow but if they get close a man made object they steer clear. I just can’t see a bird getting hit by the prop. What am I missing?

    • Re slow moving blades….

      Looks are often deceiving. Ever see a plane WAY up there at 25,000 feet or so? It seem to be CRAWLING along, but many commercial planes can actually cruise at over 400 MPH !
      Because of the “Merry-go-round effect” the outside of a spinning object spins much faster than the inside circumference. If it didn’t…, because of the inner circumference’s shorter travel distance than what the outer circle HAS TO travel (faster) as it stays in-line or it would all rip apart if it didn’t.
      The same happens with windmills. Though they LOOK to be spinning slowly, ( at 9 to 14 revolutions per minute in most ) incredibly….. Though the near-inner circumference may be lazily spinning at 10 mph, the tips of most windmills are speeding along at 100 to 180 Miles Per Hour !
      P.S. : Don’t go by videos of windmills. At some object speeds, the frame speed of motion pictures can even make spokes on a tire to look as if they are going backwards.
      If a bird tries to travel through near the tip… an oncoming blade at 180 MPH t’s hard to judge when the “safe window” really is.
      If the bird tries to fly between the blades nearer to the hub, the shaft there is spinning MUCH slower BUT… Of course the “safe-window” is a narrower one between the blades, so his/her judgement is just as precarious.

      Imagine this… Your at ground level and the massive HEAVY blades are swooping along 10 feet in front of you. Granted, while you can’t run as fast as a bird flies, you have the advantage of standing still and patiently gauging the approaching tips for that “Safe-window”, ( oncoming a 180 MPH ). Knowing a misjudgment would have you smashed to smithereens, would you chance your life on a bet? It’s like being at the INDY 500 and trying to cross the lanes between 2 oncoming cars that are 15 to 25 feet apart speeding at you at 180MPH NO WAY ! Incidentally, LOL, .. Except from certain camera angles, THEY don’t seem near 200 MPH either do they?
      Heck, I know from experience I CAN’T properly judge and hit a 95 MPH baseball pitched at me. I ain’t never going to try a windmill !

  • […] real danger to society. Indeed, if they achieve their 100-percent renewable energy, say goodbye to birds and bats and hello to unreliable, expensive energy that will make you freeze to […]

  • […] according to a 2013 peer-reviewed study published in Wildlife Society Bulletin. Wind farms are projected to kill 1.4 million birds annually by 2030. A single solar power plant in California killed an estimated 3,500 birds in just the plant’s […]

  • Clay Beach:

    Why not install spikes at the top of the nacelles and in addition to that.. install LED Lights on the turbines as well as whistles or something of the like to deter the birds and give them some kind of a frame of reference to alert them of the presence of a moving object?

    • Spikes on nacelles? This would prevent maintenance workers from doing their job.
      The wind industry tried just about anything to deter the birds, but they haven’t found anything that actually works.

  • alex tworkowski:

    Take the damn things down and go to nuclear. Stop the bullshit. We need to go nuclear anyway. Do it.

  • […] the dying birds are called “streamers,” because they emit smoke as they fall from the sky. One report estimates that over 100 golden eagles and 300 red-tailed hawks are killed yearly by wind turbines […]

  • […] a 538-foot (164-meter) diameter. Those enormous blades create powerful pulsating infrasound and exact a toll on many species of marine birds, and even on bats that are attracted to the turbines as far as 9 […]

  • I am helping my friend Qenut Amen (the land-owner) deal with her land’s situation as now situated within 250 meters from 2.25 MW scale turbines (her home has such vibrations that she and her partner have had to leave their home). Neighbors are witnessing the amphibians and reptiles on the move out. Costa Rica, through the efforts of my friend, is about to HAVE to establish proper location regulations, in particular to establish appropriate buffer zone requirements, especially for the larger turbines. There is an extremely well-organized ground-swell underway, with the latest press release yesterday. I will try to forward that to your info site now.

    If you, or anyone in your organization, has contacts to Central American, please connect them to this issue as this is truly jungle roots and we need all the help we can get.

  • I have no Central American connections but…In general, severe vibrations from blades of any rotating device usually indicates something is out of balance in one or more of the blades. A “minor” weight difference can seriously throw things off. ( As in your vehicle NEEDING lead weights to adjust a “minor” weight imbalance or you actually FEEL the wheel wobbling.)
    A technician with this expertise should be consulted.
    Another thought is… “Sound Noise”. In some cases certain frequencies of vibration can be “Subdued” by a match with a noise-cancelling device, as in music headphones. Basically the contraption echoes back the same frequency to dullen it down. Perhaps there might be some budding young sound engineer down there who could be hired “cheap.”?

  • […] a 538-foot (164-meter) diameter. Those enormous blades create powerful pulsating infrasound and exact a toll on many species of marine birds, and even on bats that are attracted to the turbines as far as 9 […]

  • […] a 538-foot (164-meter) diameter. Those enormous blades create powerful pulsating infrasound and exact a toll on many species of marine birds, and even on bats that are attracted to the turbines as far as 9 […]

  • […] a 538-foot (164-meter) diameter. Those enormous blades create powerful pulsating infrasound and exact a toll on many species of marine birds, and even on bats that are attracted to the turbines as far as 9 […]

  • […] a 538-foot (164-meter) diameter. Those enormous blades create powerful pulsating infrasound and exact a toll on many species of marine birds, and even on bats that are attracted to the turbines as far as 9 […]

  • […] a 538-foot (164-meter) diameter. Those enormous blades create powerful pulsating infrasound and exact a toll on many species of marine birds, and even on bats that are attracted to the turbines as far as 9 […]

  • […] But as an economist, I’m always teaching students about trade-offs. There is no energy source that is costless, either financially or in terms of environmental degradation. Wind energy, for example, requires metals that have to be mined, access roads and transmission lines that must be extended into remote areas, and backup generators on standby—which are burning fossil fuels. Oh, and wind turbines swat birds out of the sky. […]

  • […] a 538-foot (164-meter) diameter. Those enormous blades create powerful pulsating infrasound and exact a toll on many species of marine birds, and even on bats that are attracted to the turbines as far as 9 […]

  • Dr. Dave Stein:

    The slaughter of birds by wind turbines is preventable without complex technology Simply paint the tips of the blades with UV paint and the birds will be able to see the blades from far away and avoid collision
    I know this works because hunters use UV paint to attract birds Simple. Ironic
    Dave Stein
    Springfield MA

  • […] The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates there are about 143,000 bald eagles in the United States, and 40,000 golden eagles. Which means a potential of 183,000 murders. According to Save the Eagles International: […]

  • Linda:

    Where is the Facebook icon and Twiiter so this can be shared on-line?

  • […] to birds, and yet after reviewing “actual carcass counts from 136 monitoring studies,” the Spanish Ornithological Society (SEO/Birdlife) “concluded that Spain’s 18,000 wind turbines are killing 6-18 million birds and […]

  • Animalaura:

    The problem is…. the deaths of these eagles will indeed be the demise of the species — because killing the parents of baby birds (and or eggs) in the nest leaves the baby eagles to starve to death. So, in essence … they killings will wipe out entire families — horribly.

  • W.B.:

    A piece of irony I found online just now. It was apparently a quaint, school-type event, typical of wind industry propaganda. This is from Oregon in 2010:

    Title: “Wind power celebrated at OMSI: Find out why this Portland-based company brought a show with everything – including a golden eagle – to help folks learn more about how electricity can be generated from the blowing wind…”

    Article quote: “While holding a golden eagle, [name deleted for privacy] revealed that they are working in partnership with the energy company. “When wind turbines are built where wildlife lives, we work together to try to protect wildlife [from the spinning blades] as much as possible.”

    Was she bought by the wind industry or just naive? I find the whole thing very troubling. The green mythology needs to stop, if not for birds and bats, for the landscape itself.

    • Art:

      I’ve said this earlier but……..
      I believe the problem could be minimized a LOT by either UV reflecting paint ( many birds see UV ) or with at least painting STRIPES on them to make them more noticeable, OR perhaps having Kevlar ( for durability) ribbons attached to the blades to give the illusion of a solid wheel as they spin.

      • W.B.:

        Stripes would make wind turbines even more garish on the landscape. Even if those methods worked to some degree for birds, they wouldn’t solve the deadly nighttime effects on bats. I wonder if some people don’t care much for bats and won’t admit it?

        The core problem is that there are too many of these machines and the industry is predicated on building several million of them, eventually. It has become a runaway subsidy magnet with “the environment” as a loophole at best. We need to question the entire existence of wind turbines instead of vainly trying to make a pit bulls into dachshunds.

        I can’t trust the environmental credentials of people who make endless rationalizations for the blight, noise, shadow flicker and lethality. This is a technology that begs the moral question of WHY vs. CAN. I would even compare them to nuclear weapons in that context, which were originally built to make us “safer.” Faustian bargains are often popular at the outset.

        • Art:

          I apologize… I was not trying to make a case pro-windmills, merely trying to mitigate the damage if we HAVE TO end up with them no matter what we do.
          As per the bats, I happen to be in the minority that think they are kinda cute, and…. They in fact are VERY helpful in insect control. My brother even installed “bat-harbors” on his property, and lo and behold… A many years-long mosquito problem was nearly nil last year. PESTICIDE FREE method!
          I do think the streamer suggestion MIGHT help the bats too, as their echo-location would likely make them steer clear of that. (Using night-vision lenses, I’ve seen them Duck under very thin branches in the wild that my EYES wouldn’t likely pick up.

          • Hello Art,
            There may seem to be “solutions”, such as making the blades more visible one way or another. But in reality, the wind industry has tried just about everything. They are quite interested in reducing mortality, to get less opposition from bird lovers and conservationists. Yet none of the “solutions” worked, including noisy warning signals and radars.

            You have to imagine being a bird for a moment. You see the turning blades, but they don’t look dangerous to you: they turn so slowly! Avoiding them seems to be easy as pie. What the birds don’t know is that the blade tips travel at speeds between 90 and 200 mph, depending on the wind (most people don’t know that either). This is what fools the birds. They are like children next to the racing track during a Formula 1 event: they will think they have the time to cross to the other side, when in fact they don’t.

            On top of that, birds are distracted: raptors, for instance, focus on the ground hundreds of yards ahead of them looking for moles or rabbits. They don’t see blades approaching very fast from above their heads or from under them, blades they had noticed were out of the way seconds before. It doesn’t matter if you paint the blades red or if you put streamers on them: their speed is the problem. Besides, streamers would cause vibrations, something a wind turbine can’t tolerate.

  • W.B.:

    I just came across an article that wasn’t surprising. Anti-environmental Republicans are trying to use the “rights” of wind turbine operators to weaken protections under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

    See: “Angry Birds: The GOP attacks a venerable bird protection law in the name of wind energy.” (NRDC 6/12/15)

    It was only a matter of time before the GOP (Greed Over Progress) party embraced the destructive nature of the wind industry to be consistent with their other anti-environmental rhetoric. Grunts on the ground who build them could easily come from oil, logging or mining industries (many trees are sacrificed for wind turbines). These landscape colossi have never seemed “liberal” to me. They exist in moral limbo between opposing ideologies but their sheer size renders them immoral.

    Wind power proponents have actually been behaving more like Republicans than Democrats (aka environmentalists) for decades. Some in the GOP do criticize wind turbines for their blight, but their general lack of respect for nature makes them hypocrites. You can’t force such large machines onto scenery, or into flight paths, and pretend the impacts are minor.

  • Art:

    You are 100% right about that deceiving blade speed. I was surprised the first time I read a study that showed the average speed of those “chugging along” blades was about 180 MPH. ( A CLOSING SPEED OF 264 feet per SECOND! …. Which means a blade can travel over 26 feet in a TENTH of a second. Not much time to get that travel-through spot perfect?) *

    It SEEMS counter to what one’s logical mind/eye senses, but if you think about it… When you watch a jet plane flying by, it almost seems to be barely moving, and yet many commercial carrier planes typically fly at over 500 MPH !
    * For the “Texting while driving” crowd, … At 70 MPH your traveling 102.7 feet per second. Take your eyes off the road for 5 seconds and you’ve gone over 500 feet without looking ahead for danger or “Idiots” cutting in front of you. 500 feet = WAY farther than average react/stop distance at 70 MPH, no matter how great a driver you are.

  • […] whose ox is being gored, but whose ox is committing the goring…or, to be more accurate, whose energy production facilities are rending the […]

  • Jim:

    Can’t they just build cages around the blades, much like a fan in your home? I realize that’s a huge expense, but do it once per fan, and never have a problem after. Take some of that tax payer money funding all these “Studies” and just fix the problem.

    • W.B.:

      Surely you jest about the crazy expense and additional ugliness cages would cause? They’d also (to be effective) block large amounts of wind. Why not just admit that industrial wind turbines are ANTI-environmental on too many levels to be made less harmful? They are a classic case of something being done because it can be vs. should be.

  • How did I find out about the killing of American Bald Eagles by windmills? Believe me I had no idea. Listening to
    Donald Trump a day or so ago at a rally!! I kid you not! I watch the Washington DC cam parents with Freedom and Liberty and fallen in love with these wonderful Eagles!! I googled and found you and so glad I did.

    I’m new at this and just now reading all that I can and my first surprise is how many have been killed along with other birds. I had no idea Obama gave the ok to kill for wind. Hummm. Is that why the eagle was removed from the endangered species list, besides the stated reason?

    Third: wind seems not to be such a good thing after all. How do I find the truth? Liberals will lie?.. Forgive me but so much lying out there….you don’t judge you learn! I just want to learn and help to stop it.

    • W.B.:

      Trump fought wind turbines off the coast of Scotland because they would spoil the view of his golf course (he lost that fight) but he’s not much of an environmentalist. The golf course itself spoiled the natural features of the area. His dislike of wind power seems mostly opportunistic.

      He is also taking the “drill, baby, drill” attitude toward energy (Peak Oil denial) and pretends AGW is a hoax. We don’t need allies like Trump to fight wind turbines because they fuel the impression of right-wing lies.

  • I have NO web site!

  • […] to Save the Eagles International, a global alliance of bird enthusiasts and ornithologists, wind turbines are killing an alarmingly […]

  • […] to Save the Eagles International, a global alliance of bird enthusiasts and ornithologists, wind turbines are killing an alarmingly […]

  • […] according to a 2013 peer-reviewed study published in Wildlife Society Bulletin. Wind farms are projected to kill 1.4 million birds annually by 2030. A single solar power plant in California killed an estimated 3,500 birds in just the plant’s […]

  • […] It didn’t matter to these arrogant politicians and bureaucrats that the turbines would be killing millions of birds and bats, many of them endangered species that are controlling the proliferation of pests. They went as far […]

  • […] It didn’t matter to these arrogant politicians and bureaucrats that the turbines would be killing millions of birds and bats, many of them endangered species that are controlling the proliferation of pests. They went as far […]

  • Lucy:

    What about all of the insects that are killed in the wind turbines as well? They drop like flies, literally! Better yet, let’s stop driving because it’s hard to go a mile in a highway without hitting a bug on my car.

    Unless you actually own one as a pet, I call BS on anyone who says theyactually care about the bats. Bats have evolved and are able to live uneffected by diseases such as HIV and ebola, so if you want to stay in a house with 100 for a week by all means do it.

    What about Darwin’s theory of evolution? Birds are not ignorant and can adapt.

    Nothing is good for libertarians anymore, green energy either needs to be 100% perfect or not used at all. Apparently major progress to save the earth’s resources is not acceptable.

    • Your argument would be (partly) valid if wind farms were useful in any way. But it produces energy intermittently, and this has no value in a modern world. It must be backed up by conventional power plants spinning in stand by, burning fuel for nothing. Besides, it has cost a fortune to subsidize them during 30 years, driving up the cost of utility bills and helping ruin some countries (Spain, italy, Greece, Portugal). German housholds pay now their electricity 5 times more than Americans, and this is hitting the poor badly.

  • […] ECO Report, wind farms in the United States kill between 13 and 39 million birds and bats per year.3 For humans wind farms are just an eyesore, but to birds and bats they’re death […]

  • […] fleeing, 2 – 4 jobs lost for every ‘green’ job created, destroyed habitats and countryside, birds and bats slaughtered, lost property values, health issues, utter civil discord, and increasing […]

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