February 17, 2012

Golden Eagles found dead at wind farm

www.kget.com 16 February 2012

Over the weekend, two more federally protected Golden Eagles were found dead at the Pine Tree wind farm in the Tehachapi mountains.

It’s a tough dilemma, green energy and thousands of jobs, or protecting the great raptors of the sky.

Giant wind farms litter the hills of the Tehachapi mountains. Some call them an eyesore, some see them as job creation, and others think they add something unique to the skyline for the small mountain community.

But, bird lovers say they kill too many flying creatures like bats and Golden Eagles hunting in the area.

“They are looking at the ground animals. That’s their food source, and that’s what they concentrate on, that animal. They are chasing it and the wind tower can be right in there, but they are not seeing it because they are looking at this prey and they hit the blades.” said Harry Love from the Kern Audubon Society.

Since the Golden Eagle is a protected bird, it is illegal to kill them, but nothing is happening, according to Love. “Federal agencies are not prosecuting because the one that has the most kills is owned by the City of Los Angeles.”

We talked to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and they told us they are taking active steps to help save birds and bats.

“Since last summer, LADWP has been performing raptor activity surveys and avian and bat mortality monitoring as part of the development of an avian and bat protection plan for submittal to the resource management agencies. Our studies and the completed avian and bat protection plan will be used to obtain a permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife, which will include measures for mitigating risks to Golden Eagles as we go forward.”

Love does not want to stop wind power in its tracks, but he hopes it will make changes to help save more birds.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/02/17/golden-eagles-found-dead-at-wind-farm/