LIVERMORE, Calif. — Although wind power has been promoted as kind to the environment, giant wind turbines that generate electricity are proving fatal to golden eagles and other birds.
As many as 567 eagles, hawks and other birds of prey were killed by turbine blades and electrical wires during the last two years in the Altamont Pass area near Livermore, the California Energy Commission said.
With 7,000 turbines, the 80-acre area has the world's highest concentration of electricity-generating windmills.
A commission study recommends several measures, including painting the turbine blades to make them more visible, installing noise-producing devices to warn birds away, and reducing the number of rodents and other small animals the birds eat.
The third option will prove the most effective way to keep the birds away from the turbines, but cattle ranchers--on whose land the turbines stand--won't like it, said Alameda County planner Darryl Gray.