Oct 06 2014

Locate And Protect Eagle Roosts

Published by at 7:15 am under Birds of Prey

Bald eagle adult and two juveniles, Crooked Creek (photo by Steve Gosser)

In the winter, bald eagles are more social than your typical bird of prey.  Most raptors are paired or alone in the non-breeding season but bald eagles congregate in large numbers where food is plentiful.  Visit Conowingo Dam in November and you'll find hundreds of eagles every day.

Eagles have to sleep somewhere so when night falls they roost together.  Sometimes a few choose a temporary location.  Often a large group roosts in the same place every year.

Roosts are so important to bald eagles' lives that they're protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act which prohibits disturbing eagles in any way that "substantially interferes with their normal breeding, feeding, or sheltering behavior."  On paper this protects their roost trees from being cut down even when the eagles aren't there.

But the Act can't protect a place no one knows about.  Where are the roosts?

To answer this question the Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) has been mapping bald eagle roosts in North America using their own and others' eagle tracking data. (CCB and others have fitted eagles with satellite backpacks.)  So far they've located more than 1,000 roosts.  Now it's our turn to help.

Last month CCB launched an online Eagle Roost Registry.  Click here to see a map of the 1,000 roosts.

Do you know of a roost that's not on the map?  Contact Libby Mojica at the Center for Conservation Biology (ekmojica@wm.edu, 757- 221-1680) or visit the online registry to sign up.

Click here for more information at the Center for Conservation Biology.

 

(photo of bald eagles at Crooked Creek by Steve Gosser)

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Locate And Protect Eagle Roosts”

  1. rmpbklynon 06 Oct 2014 at 8:19 pm

    videos:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3tSW-DDIdnY
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RtgBWNKwBkE
    eagle hit http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8NAAzBArYdw
    —–
    Wind farms are clusters of turbines as tall as 30-story buildings, with spinning rotors as wide as a passenger jet’s wingspan. Though the blades appear to move slowly, they can reach speeds of up to 170 mph at the tips, creating tornado-like vortexes. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/12/house-panel-subpoenas-white-house-on-wind-power-eagle-deaths/

    Bob Sallinger with the Audubon Society of Portland said wind farms across the country have killed more than 80 eagles over the last decade.

    “If you have dozens and dozens of them on the landscape it is basically a giant Cuisinart for birds,” said Sallinger. “Bald eagles took decades to recover … we almost lost them because of DDT. Golden eagles are a species biologists are concerned about because they appear to be declining.” http://www.kgw.com/news/Official-Wind–257599781.html

    A recent study by federal and state scientists found that U.S. wind turbines could kill up to 1.4 million birds of all species per year by 2030 as the wind energy industry continues to expand. http://www.ibtimes.com/should-wind-turbines-be-allowed-kill-eagles-debate-ratchets-bird-group-lawsuit-1607240

    http://silverford.com/blog//wp-content/uploads/2012/02/wind-speeds-on-site1.jpg

    Kay Armstrong, who lives near a wind farm in Ontario, Canada, has reported that her home is now “virtually uninhabitable” due to the infrasound from the turbines disturbing her sleep and making her feel dizzy. She also says that local deer are agitated and awake all night, that birds are flying around all day rather than going to roost, and that seals in the area are suffering miscarriages. http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/06/13/More-Deaths-Linked-to-Wind-Turbines-near-Danish-Mink-Farm —non raptor issues too two people die from explosion at wind turbine: http://www.nieuws.nl/algemeen/20131030/Brand-windmolen-Verlies-collegas-hartverscheurend airplane safety concerns http://blackburnnews.com/chatham/chatham-news/2014/07/06/wind-turbines-near-airport-ordered-removed/ —-ca

    There are currently more than 4,000 turbines by the Altamont Pass. http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2014/05/23/new-design-may-reduce-bird-deaths-in-wind-turbines-on-altamont-pass-livermore-interstate-580-golden-eagle-animals-environment-renewable-energy/

    Wind turbines at Altamont Pass kill an estimated 880 to 1,300 birds of prey each year, including up to 116 golden eagles, 300 red-tailed hawks, 380 burrowing owls, and additional hundreds of other raptors including kestrels, falcons, vultures, and other owl species. The APWRA is an ecological sink for golden eagles and other raptor species and may be having significant impacts on populations of birds that are rare and reproduce infrequently. http://www.goldengateaudubon.org/conservation/birds-at-risk/avian-mortality-at-altamont-pass/

    “Last June, the Los Angeles Times reported that about 70 golden eagles are being killed per year by the wind turbines at Altamont Pass, about 20 miles east of Oakland, Calif. A 2008 study funded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency estimated that about 2,400 raptors, including burrowing owls, American kestrels, and red-tailed hawks—as well as about 7,500 other birds, nearly all of which are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—are being killed every year by the turbines at Altamont.”

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/wind-energy-under-attack-for-thousands-of-wildlife-deaths/

    —nj Near Atlantic City NJ 5 industrial wind turbines were erected which are killing an average of 76 birds and bats per year per turbine(not the 1-2 that AWEA and US Fish and Wildlife publicize). This has been documented by the local Audubon society. Though to make sure not too information is known…they only study for 2 years after installation then after that….It is a shameful secret! These killed a Peregrine Falcon of which there are only 25 breeding pair in the entire state, also numerous Osprey, a Green Heron, a Dunlin and many others….is not worth it for these highly variable power producers which require full CO2 emitting backup and power shadowing. Money would be much better spent on conservation and efficiency…which have been shown to be ten times more cost effective thereby doing more for our planet

    http://www.ceoe.udel.edu/lewesturbine/documents/acua_quarterlyreport_fall09.pdf

    http://www.njcleanenergy.com/files/file/Renewable_Programs/Wind/ACUA_Interim%20Report_Jan-Sep08_all.pdf

    —-mo

    The project proposed by Wind Capital Group of St. Louis would erect 94 wind turbines on 8,400 acres that the Osage Nation says contains key eagle-nesting habitat and migratory routes. http://bdnews24.com/environment/2013/06/15/native-americans-decry-eagle-deaths

    2007: NRC Report on Environmental Impact of Wind Farms

    “Collisions with buildings kill 97 to 976 million birds annually; collisions with high-tension lines kill at least 130 million birds, perhaps more than one billion; collisions with communications towers kill between 4 and 5 million based on “conservative estimates,” but could be as high as 50 million; cars may kill 80 million birds per year; and collisions with wind turbines killed an estimated at 20,000 to 37,000 birds per year in 2003, with all but 9,200 of those deaths occurring in California. Toxic chemicals, including pesticides, kill more than 72 million birds each year, while domestic cats are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of songbirds and other species each year. Erickson et al. (2005) estimate that total cumulative bird mortality in the United States “may easily approach 1 billion birds per year.” ” http://www.vawind.org/assets/nrc/nrc_wind_report_050307.pdf

    ———- In Spain, the Spanish Ornithological Society (TSOS) estimates that the country’s 18,000 wind turbines cause between six and eighteen million bird deaths a year. This works out at an average of 333 to 1,000 birds per turbine. http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/06/20/RSPB-Condemns-Plans-to-Build-Huge-Wind-Farm-Near-Rare-Bird-Breeding-Area

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/06/local/la-me-adv-wind-eagles-20110606
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1394945/The-green-killer-Scores-protected-golden-eagles-dying-colliding-wind-turbines.html

  2. Kate St. Johnon 07 Oct 2014 at 6:21 am

    rmpbklyn, It’s very educational that the 2007 NRC Report on Environmental Impact of Wind Farms (which you quote) lists how many birds are killed by each type of threat each year. Using that list: #1 threat is collisions with buildings (Join a BirdSafe group near you!). #2 threat is domestic cats (Keep your cat indoors!). #3 threat is high tension wires. #4 is cars hitting them. #5 threat is pesticides. #6 threat is communication towers (especially the tall ones). Last on the list, with only 0.003% of the deaths caused by collisions with buildings or cats, is wind turbine deaths and the vast majority of wind turbine deaths is in California at the notorious Altamont Wind Farm.

    Want to save birds? Which threat kills the most? see: http://www.birdsoutsidemywindow.org/2013/02/04/which-kills-more-birds/

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