And yes, before we go any further: the article does in fact think that golden eagles are just over 34 feet tall*. Which would be absolutely awesome - you could, like, ride one and it wouldn’t matter how fast the bird was, because you’d have a bird of prey for your riding mount and so you wouldn’t care what people were saying because, you know, if they were as cool as you they’d be riding a golden eagle… where was I?
Oh, yes. Wind turbines. Pure death on birds, as everybody knows and nobody wants to say (unless you’re trying to keep them out of sight of the Kennedy compound) – and it turns out that golden eagles are not exactly blessed with brains, so they have incredible difficulty getting out of the way of giant stationary rotating blades of DOOM:
The death count along the ridgelines of the Bay Area’s Altamount Pass Wind Resource Area has averaged 67 a year for three decades.
The 200ft high turbines[**], which have been operating since the 1980s, lie in the heart of the grassy canyons that are home to one of the highest densities of nesting golden eagles in the US.
‘It would take 167 pairs of local nesting golden eagles to produce enough young to compensate for their mortality rate related to wind energy production,’ field biologist Doug Bell, manager of East Bay Regional Park District’s wildlife programme, told the Los Angeles Times. ‘We only have 60 pairs,’ he added.
Not for much longer, it seems. (more…)