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Tracked sea eagle dies in fatal collision with wind turbine

A sea eagle that was tagged in De Biesbosch in Zuid-Holland did not survive a collision with the rotor of a wind turbine in Germany. In 2019, the bird, together with ten others, was given a tag to track their behavior and learn more about the areas where sea eagles go and how they survive. The dead sea eagle is the first death in this group, nature website Nature Today reports on Sunday.

According to a report on sea eagles in Flevoland, 20 percent of the time, the birds fly in the “height zone” of average windmill turbines. The rest of the time, they fly above or below.

The Dutch breeding population of sea eagles is still small but is increasing. With an increase in both the number of wind turbines and the number of sea eagles in Germany and the Netherlands, more and more sea eagles will be killed by wind turbines, according to Nature Today.

In Germany, a total of 158 dead sea eagles were found between 2002 and 2019 as victims of a collision with a wind turbine. More “turbine casualties” were also reported in other countries in Northern and Eastern Europe. According to Nature Today, two cases have been known so far in the Netherlands, in Flevoland.

The sea eagle wearing the transmitter from De Biesbosch flew above Bremerhaven in the morning of February 24 and ended up in a wind farm when it started to descend. She managed to get between two windmills, but the third was fatal.