Aim of this part of the study was to investigate the flight behaviour of white-tailed sea eagles in the vicinity of existing wind farms by means of visual observations to determine especially the collision risk. Attempts were made to observe adult birds flying near wind turbines and to determine flight paths. Despite long watching series no substantial results were achieved. At two breeding sites in Schleswig-Holstein no large-scale avoidance behaviour towards wind farms was observed. Generally, visual observations of untagged birds proved to be unsuitable. Due to the low number of direct behavioural observations (and especially possible avoidance behaviour) in the close-up area of wind turbines, the three known cases of directly observed collisions of white-tailed sea eagles with wind turbines in Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania (Krone and Scharnweber 2003) and Schleswig-Holstein (Projektgruppe Seeadlerschutz Schleswig-Holstein e.V.) are described. White-tailed sea eagles may be distracted by conflicts with crows or birds of prey and probably intraspecific competition preventing proper perception of the danger arising from the rotor. In inter- and intraspecific conflicts, the restricted view of birds described by Martin (2011) might well lead to an increased collision risk.
This is a chapter in the book Birds of Prey and Wind Farms