Eagle lawsuit ruffles wind industry feathers

Many consider wind power to be among the most environmentally friendly forms of generating electricity. So it might surprise them to learn that growing numbers of wind farm projects are being opposed precisely because of their detrimental environmental impact – particularly on our feathered friends. No where is this opposition more intense than in California, where the recent deaths of at least six golden eagles has sparked the first ever lawsuit against a wind farm project for its violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty. Conservationists claim that efforts to meet Los Angeles’ 35 percent renewable energy goal is likely increasing the bird death count – and thus say wind farm construction must be discontinued.

Editor’s Note: We are aware, as some have pointed out in the comments, that the bird in the video is a California Condor, not an eagle. This Just the Facts show was originally broadcast on the radio and of course did not have the video at that time. When posting it here, we added the video as a general example of a wind turbine striking a bird, an occurrence which is rarely captured on video. We did not mean to imply that the bird in the video was a golden eagle. Also, please note that we did not take the video, so we cannot say for sure what happened to the bird afterward. We have been provided information, however, that indicates the condor in this particular case was in fact rescued and treated for a broken wing.

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About the Author: Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DavidGray606 David Gray

    But Obama doesn’t care about eagles, so the lock-step followers don’t either. Such concerns might derail his green energy boondoggle.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.rieser Nancy Rieser

      …this problem has nothing to do with your political impression of Obama or the people who voted him into office. Entrenched thinking is the problem as it stifles creativity. There are think-outside-the-box solutions staring us right in the face.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Mosley/100000427622231 Mike Mosley

        it has everything to do with the political climate. this president keeps pushing green energy. well, look at the results of “green energy”. and your right, there are blade designs that are supposed to be “wild life friendly”. but are the efficient? this “green energy” is expensive as it is, now it cost a bunch of wildlife their lives.
        is it because it a bird that makes it less important? people bitched and moaned about how the caribou wont be able to migrate cause of the oil pipe lines. these birds are DYING cause of these machines!!!!
        so your anti oil agenda is null and void cause its worse!!

  • Wayne deJel

    That wasn’t and Eagle in the video it was a California Condor.

    • http://www.facebook.com/justin.wright.1485 Justin Wright

      which is even more depressing seeing as how there is only around 100 in the wild left. so sad to see.

  • sockrayblue

    People knew about this long ago. The wind turbine idea went ahead simply because it was another tax dodge offered by Congress.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.rieser Nancy Rieser

    What confuses me is why folks seem to be stuck keeping the blade configuration. There are alternate designs to the blade system: the units are tall, cylindrical and sort of look like a furled flag. So visually, they are even less intrusice. Swap out the blades, tweak the turbine system if you have to, and get on with it. Put on your big boy pants, I say, and change wind power to even be better. Sheese!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.rieser Nancy Rieser

    This is what confuses me: why folks are stuck keeping the blade
    configuration when there are alternate designs to the blade system and wildlife friendly? The
    units are tall, cylindrical and sort of look like a furled flag. Added benefit:
    visually, they are even less intrusive. I say the industry needs to put on its Big Boy Pants, swap out the blades, tweak the
    turbine system if one has to, and then get on with it. Make a change for the better. Sheese!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/common.sence.75 Cameron Warring

    I am confused,,, now I love eagles and all our feathered friends. while there are other vain forms that will produce power at a lower rating that may be more bird friendly, it’s not the apparatus that is to blame. it’s a learning curve in nature to avoid things that hurt. You won’t find a bird sitting next to a cat. lets face it the bird learned that the cat hurts

    • Hamilton Dunwoody

      It’s the birds fault! Good thinking.

  • Eckenhuijsen Smit

    Earth’s CLIMATE is for ±95% decided by our sun’s activity and cosmic rays and consequently is not influenced by whatever quantity of CO2 there might be in our
    atmosphere.
    CO2 ‒natural and manmade (only 0,001152%)‒ is an inert, colourless, tasteless, innocuous, very beneficial and indispensable “GREEN” gas, necessary for all life on earth to keep nature functioning as it did during eons, so there can never be “too much”
    CO2 in the atmosphere!
    Exhausts and chimneys should even spew more CO2 unhampered!
    Politicians with some knowledge and/or insight might even understand this!
    Immediately stop wasting trillions $/€ on the worldwide construction of all those totally inefficient windmills!
    Build as many as possible ‒graphite covered uranium‒ pebbles-fed nuclear reactors to safely deliver the electric energy needed to develop all human communities on our globe!

  • Biologist

    Time for another Editor’s note.

    This bird was not a golden eagle, nor was it a California condor.

    The source of this video isn’t even in the United States, so it looks like we’ll have to stretch a little further away from reality and put on a larger aluminum foil had to insist that Obama is at fault for this bird being struck.

    Please check your sources before posting such nonsense.

    http://www.epaw.org/multimedia.php?article=b2

    For the record, there are zero records of California condors being struck by wind turbines in California, Arizona, the United States or even Greece.