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License to kill  

Credit:  By: Herald Staff | Boston Herald | December 11, 2013 | bostonherald.com ~~

Wind farms can now apply to be bird-killing zones. Turbine owners can seek permits to accidentally kill birds – including eagles – without penalties.

Here’s how unfriendly the skies have become for birds:

Turbine toll:

  • Wind farms killed about 573,000 birds of all species in the United States last year.
  • More than 67 bald and golden eagles have been killed by wind turbines in the United States since 2008.
  • The new rule allows wind farms to bypass the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 and extends bird-killing permits from five to 30 years.

Eagle facts:

  • There are about 10,000 eagles in the lower 48 states.
  • There were 108 bald eagles in Massachusetts in 2012.
  • Bald and golden eagles are federally protected, but no longer on the endangered species list.
  • Eagles in flight don’t look up as they scan for food below, missing turbine blades until it’s too late.

Wind 
turbine facts:

  • Turbines can be 30 stories high.
  • The blades are as long as the wingspan on a passenger jet.
  • The blades can reach speeds of up to 170 mph, creating a tornado-like vortex.

SOURCES: U.S. Fish and Wildlife; National Audubon Society; Wildlife Society; Associated Press

Source:  By: Herald Staff | Boston Herald | December 11, 2013 | bostonherald.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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