State Sanctioned Slaughter: Wind Industry Killing Thousands Of Bald Eagles With Complete Impunity

Cars, cats and skyscrapers don’t kill Eagles – like the critically endangered Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle, but 60m wind turbine blades with their tips travelling at 350Kph routinely smash them out of existence.

The current crop of well-fed and poorly educated teens raging against the evil patriarchy and its grand conspiracy to cook the planet and demanding immediate ‘climate action’ – code for carpeting the planet in windmills and solar panels – either have no idea about the carnage caused by these things, or they couldn’t care less.

Millions of tonnes of beneficial bugs get splattered annually, along with millions of birds and bats, some of them being among the last of their kind.

All, as we’re constantly berated, in the name of ‘saving’ Mother Earth. [Note to Ed: with friends like that, who needs enemies?]

Denial, obfuscation and outright lies are the stock in trade the wind industry and those that parrot for it in the mainstream press, cyberspace and elsewhere.

But, as the carcass count mounts, it gets harder to ignore the wind industry’s bloody and unnecessary slaughter.

Bald eagle killed by wind turbine at Wood County site
The Blade
Matt Markey
1 May 2020

BOWLING GREEN – As they labored trying to start a broken down truck near the north end of the Wood County Landfill, Ken Vollmar, superintendent of the facility, and one of his employees felt the bite of the winter chill. Their cold hands had their attention as one of the four wind turbines located at the site spun nearby.

But then they heard a loud thump and turned to witness a large bird tumbling to the frozen ground. What they soon learned was the severed wing of the bird floated in its slower descent and landed about 50 feet away.

“We looked around as soon as we heard the turbine hit something, but at first we couldn’t tell exactly what it was,” Mr. Vollmar said. He immediately called his superiors downtown and then reported the incident to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Reid Van Cleve, a veteran officer with the Division of Wildlife assigned to Ottawa County, who was also covering Wood County that January day, responded to the site in about an hour. The report he filed on the kill indicated the dead bird was an adult bald eagle, a species safeguarded under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

“The wing was ripped off,” Officer Van Cleve said last week. “It was definitely a turbine strike.”

Following protocol with incidents involving federally protected species, he took the dead eagle to an evidence storage facility and contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and one of their investigators picked up the carcass.

Amy Weller, who lives near the Bowling Green wind farm, said she had been concerned since the first two turbines went up in 2003 that their large blades would claim many birds, bats, hawks, or even bald eagles. Two more of the 1.8-megawatt turbines were added the following year. Bowling Green owns about a 50-percent share in the facility and the wind farm provides just 1.5 percent of the electrical needs for the city, according to Daryl Stockburger with the Bowling Green Utilities Department.

“I was opposed to those windmills from the start because of the impact they could have on wildlife,” Ms. Weller said. “I had been out to California about 20 years ago and saw the carcasses on the ground under the wind turbines. From an environmental standpoint, I can’t believe they would want to do that here, with all of the migration we have in this area and the bald eagles.”

The situation at the landfill became more critical when a pair of adult bald eagles built a large nest in one of the tall trees just east of the site. John Hageman, a retired biologist who lives a few miles from the site and travels past the landfill area often, was likely the first to report that active bald eagle nest earlier this spring when he photographed two mature bald eagles on the rim of the nest. Out of concern over the safety of the eagles nesting so close to the turbines, Mr. Hageman called USFWS and ODNR and learned an eagle had been killed at the site back in January.

“The USFWS representative took the location information and mentioned that since there were so many nests in Ohio, they probably could operate [the turbines] as they pleased,” Mr. Hageman said.

Mr. Vollmar said he is not sure how long the nest has been there and that it “seemed to come out of nowhere.”

“We’ve been seeing bald eagles here and there for years, but that nest is huge, and they seemed to have built it pretty quickly,” he said. “The ODNR told us not to be driving close to it while they’re nesting, so we’ve stayed away.”

Elizabeth Wick lives on Green Road where her family’s property butts up against the landfill, and she recalled seeing a group of bald eagles – two adults and two eaglets – in a nearby field a couple of years ago, and she assumed at the time the birds were just passing through the area.

“I was really excited to hear that they were nesting here at the landfill. I just love seeing them,” she said. “I still whip out my cellphone every time and try to get a picture. It is just really cool to have them around.”

Besides their striking appearance – a deep, dark brown body that appears almost black, with a bright white head and tail – bald eagles also stand out for their size. Adults have a wingspan of about 6 1/2 feet, making them one of the largest raptors in North America.

More than three months after the bald eagle was killed at the landfill, the USFWS has released no pictures or written reports on the incident, and has given out very little basic information.

“Our investigation is currently ongoing,” said Tina Shaw, public affairs specialist with the USFWS office in Bloomington, Minn., where the case is being handled.

This past week, Holly Karg, the director of media relations and communications with American Municipal Power, Inc., which operates the wind turbines at the Bowling Green site, said AMP had not received a report of the eagle being killed by the turbine, so an investigation was started in response to The Blade’s inquiry.

“The investigation provided no evidence of the claim,” Ms. Karg later stated in a Thursday afternoon email.

The lack of information being disseminated about the incident does not surprise Mr. Hageman, who serves on the conservation committee for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory. What makes this incident so significant is it has provided a habeas corpus moment.

“We have these discussions all of the time about how the turbine operators are being so secretive about the number of bird and bat kills that take place at these sites. They are absolutely petrified about the general public knowing how many eagles and bats are killed by wind turbines,” he said.

A recent report by Audubon indicated wind turbines in North America kill up to 328,000 birds each year, “making it the most threatening form of green energy,” Audubon said. Many experts believe the actual death toll from wind turbines is much higher due to random sampling protocols and the proliferation of turbines across the landscape. The Audubon report also cited the rapid expansion of wind energy in the United States and added “the wind industry has the incentive to stop the slaughter” by giving serious consideration to the potential impact on birds and wildlife when determining where wind farms are developed.

“Especially with bald eagles, are we going to fight so hard to save something that was almost extinct, and then say it’s OK to kill them?” Mr. Hageman said, referencing the fact bald eagles, revered since they were designated as the national symbol of the United States in 1782, teetered on the verge of extirpation a few decades ago.

Bald eagle numbers were decimated during the middle of the 20th century by the loss of habitat, the use of pesticides that ruined the shells of their eggs, and illegal hunting.

By 1979, there were only four nesting pairs left in Ohio, and none of those nests were producing any young.

A ban on the use of DDT and better protection of the eagles and their habitat with the Endangered Species Act allowed the bald eagle to start a steady recovery. By 2007, bald eagle numbers had recovered to the point that the USFWS removed them from the endangered species list. A recent survey by the ODNR indicated there are 707 bald eagle nests in the state and bald eagles are nesting in 85 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Bald eagles have been a dominant factor in the debate over a half dozen proposed massive wind farms in Seneca, Huron, Erie, Sandusky, and Crawford counties. The Republic Wind, Seneca Wind, Emerson Creek Wind, Honey Creek Wind, Buck Springs Wind, and Emerson West Wind projects could add hundreds of wind turbines to a part of Ohio that is used by many migratory birds, and is now home to many bald eagle nests.

Chris Aichholz is an activist with Seneca Anti-Wind Union, a grassroots group that has been battling with the large power brokers seeking to add these new wind farms across northwest Ohio’s agricultural midsection, and in the middle of what has become very active bald eagle nesting grounds. An ODNR study earlier this spring revealed Seneca County ranks fifth in Ohio with at least 24 active bald eagle nests.

Mr. Aichholz, who lives in rural Seneca County, said he now regularly sees adult bald eagles soaring and hunting across the farm fields and woodlots near his home. His concern for the fate of the bald eagles spiked when he learned that the Seneca Wind project, now in a state of limbo, would have included 27 wind turbines twice the height of those at the Bowling Green wind farm within two miles of his home.

“What happened with the turbine blade killing that bald eagle over in Wood County – that just confirmed our worst fears,” he said. “That dead eagle is the reality of this issue, and it shows that this can happen right here in our backyard. It is awful, and you just hope you can find someone who is interested on the federal level and get them to take some kind of action.”

Mark Shieldcastle, a retired avian biologist from the ODNR who is widely recognized as the region’s preeminent expert on birds and bald eagles, said the flying and hunting patterns of bald eagles put them in a very precarious position when wind turbines sprout in their habitat.

“They do a lot of crepuscular movement, before dawn and after dark, and that would make it very difficult for them to see things such as the moving blades of a wind turbine,” he said. “I’m sure these wind companies don’t want to get the word out that a turbine killed an eagle, but these turbines might be directly between their feeding area and the nest, so I could see their style of flight being very problematic.”

Mr. Hageman, who retired in 2011 after a quarter of a century working for Ohio Sea Grant and Ohio State University’s Stone Laboratory, said any new wind projects should be heavily scrutinized for their potentially devastating impact on birds, bats, bald eagles, and hawks, while existing facilities such as the Bowling Green wind complex should modify the use of the turbines to give the resident bald eagles a chance to survive.

“I would like to see them turn the darned things off at least through the early part of the year when they are raising young and teaching them to fly,” he said. “That seems like a small sacrifice to keep these birds alive. Bald eagles are the most valuable player in the bird world, but I get the impression that some people look at them as expendable these days, since we have more around.”
The Blade

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Jim Wiegand - Wildlife Biologist says:

    Knowing your enemy is important and this enemy is killing this world. This information is from a recent post of mine…….
    Is this recent Ohio Department of Natural Resources bald eagle survey true? After all it was compiled by “Citizen Scientists”. Here is my expert honest opinion….. What a huge pile of S***.

    Remember fake research has enormous mitigation consequences. It saves the wind industry billions every year. It also keeps conservation groups happy because they get paid to keep their mouths shut.

    In the UK, the National eagle survey in Scotland pulled this same trick in order to hide a golden eagle population being rapidly killed off by wind energy. Except in Scotland, RSPB called their version of our citizen scientists, “volunteers” and “dedicated amateur field workers.”

    This nonscientific survey methodology works out very well for a wind industry wanting hide their carnage and having plans to stuff hundreds of eagle killing turbines on Lake Erie. With shills, citizen scientists, volunteers and dedicated amateurs counting the same eagle nests several times, it can appear that there are plenty of bald eagles and a green wind industry won’t be wiping them out .

    They claim there is a bald eagle nest in every 2 by 3 or 6 sq mile area of Ottawa County. This is a calculated fraud.

    New credible surveys, especially in Erie,Ottawa and Sandusky counties should be conducted by independent experts. In addition each active nest should be documented with a time stamped image showing occupancy. Without this verification everything you are told will be a lie.

    In these counties there is no better bald eagle habitat than on the nearby islands. Look close at Kelly’s Island and start counting. It won’t take long to expose all the ODNR fraudsters.

    In the survey three counties were not even verified. Most likely it’s the three counties with this highest fake numbers. But in reality none of these 88 Ohio counties have been verified by credible people.

    Wildlife agencies have been lying for decades to protect wind energy interests. They even produced a fake study from around Altamont that said 282 nesting pairs of eagles were located in an area when only 11 could be verified. I did research in this area and know what an incredible agency lie this is.

    For the sake of comparison I have included an area equal in size from California. This is an area with this state’s highest density of nesting bald eagles. I live here. This region has approximately 35 nesting pairs. In a three county region from the Ohio, with similar numbers of people, the ODNR survey is claiming over 5 times the eagle population with 172 active nesting pairs.

  2. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  3. Jacqueline Rovensky says:

    We need to hope for even more days such as yesterday when at one point SA was producing 10MW from wind, Victoria -4MW, NSW 38MW, Tas 21.5MW and Qld a huge 168MW! (consisting of 158 from the Emerald project in the States far North, well away from the major metropolises where the most energy is required.
    Days such as this are days we should all be thankful for as they not only help reduce, to some degree, not only the suffering of birds, bats but all creatures ‘great and small’ including humans.
    Of course as they are still producing they will continue to harm the whole environment and ALL that lives within it.
    We need to keep pushing for a demolition of all of these things so the earth/world can begin to heel.
    “What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?” ― Frank Herbert

  4. Jim Wiegand - Wildlife Biologist says:

    From the article………….”Our investigation is currently ongoing,” said Tina Shaw, public affairs specialist with the USFWS office in Bloomington, Minn., where the case is being handled.”

    They will tell the public nothing and this investigation will go nowhere. The reason, part of a USFWS job description is that nothing can be revealed to the public without permission from the top. If you break that rule you can go to prison for 3 years. This became law in 1997. So every one of these agents when they speak will have to lie by omission. Also since they can’t tell the truth by law, none of statements or information coming from the USFWS or the Interior Department should ever be believed.

    The Denver Repository is getting thousands of eagles from wind farm freezers and their origin will never be revealed. This arrangement was set up with our agencies corrupted by wind energy interests, decades ago. In fact, with the increasing supply of eagle carcasses, the America’s eagle Repository is expanding again for a 2nd time to handle them. Most of these eagles are now Bald eagles

    A few years back I inquired about the Repository’s eagle carcasses and where they came from. I was trying to find out if what I had seen in images and heard from a wind farm employee had been reported to the USFWS. This wind Tech had told me (with images) about 5 eagles killed in one month. By law all dead eagles must be reported and from all the information given me by this agent, it was obvious they had not been reported. But the USFWS conveniently would not give immunity or any protections to this whistle-blower and this case died. A signed employee contract with nondisclosure agreements made this wind tech liable for nasty prosecutions.

    Below was part of the response given back to me from USFWS agent Jill Birchell. I will point out that this agent was not honest. This can be seen In the very first sentence because as part of her job and position, she is very aware about the secrecy and agency protocol when dealing with the highly sensitive subject of eagles being killed at wind farms. These strict USFWS nondisclosure guidelines have been in place since 1997,……..

    From: Jill Birchell [mailto:jill_birchell@fws.gov]
    Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 4:14 PM
    To: Jim wiegand
    Subject: Re:: dead eagles

    Hi Jim,
    I checked with our repository and learned that they don’t keep detailed records of where the eagles they receive come from; they are recorded by state from which received, not by the submitter. Keep in mind, the eagle repository does not perform law enforcement functions: its purpose is to collect and distribute eagles to qualifying Native Americans for religious purposes………..

    Nonetheless, I was told the repository does receive occasional shipments of eagles directly from the Altamont wind resource area. My office also receives notification from the Altamont of how many eagles were collected and submitted. It seems that since you are referring to eagles received at the repository from “a wind farm”, those must be the eagles you are referring to. Thus, to provide you the information you requested to the best of my ability, the Altamont eagle numbers are in the forwarded email below…………..

    This information is being provided as a good faith attempt to further our ability to receive information you may be aware of (and we may not be) about eagles being killed at wind facilities.

    • Jim Wiegand, knowing what you know about harm to eagles and seeing the incredible lack of public outcry must be so difficult! We’re up against an industry that doesn’t even care about the harm these turbines are doing to innocent men, women and children, much less eagles, other raptors and bats.
      I share the burden you must bear from trying to lurch people out of their complacency and lack of compassion.
      You deserve great credit for the work you’re doing to raise public awareness of this sad situation.
      I wish Jeff Gibbs and Michael Moore would have addressed these issues in their documentary, ‘Planet of the Humans’.

  5. Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: