ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Wind energy facilities have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years.
Walt Crawford with the World Bird Sanctuary initially thought moving away from petroleum-based products was a panacea.
“But what has happened now is, in order to make these turbines work the way they need them to work to produce the power, they have to be placed along flyways and migratory routes,” he explained.
Like people, birds take the easy way and fly with the wind so the placement of turbines along migratory routes makes for dangerous flying.
“You’re not going to keep the birds away from them because it is like if they put something on Interstate 55 which you couldn’t see but if you ran into you got killed,” Crawford explained. “That’s what’s happening here. These birds are used to flying down these highways of air and having no problem.”
There are a total of 24 wind farms in Missouri and Illinois with others in the planning stage.
Crawford says the effect of wind turbines on eagle populations “remains under the radar” but constitutes a serious concern. Since turbine companies report eagle deaths on a voluntary basis, the World Bird Sanctuary believes the number of deaths could be much higher than reported.
“If you ever get a chance to go watch these things and view some of the videos that have been taken, it’s pretty alarming,” Crawford added.