Two White-Tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) Collide with Wind Generators in Northern Germany

Journal Article

Title: Two White-Tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) Collide with Wind Generators in Northern Germany
Publication Date:
March 01, 2003
Journal: Journal of Raptor Research
Volume: 37
Issue: 2
Pages: 174-176
Publisher: ResearchGate
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Document Access

Website: External Link
Attachment: Access File
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Citation

Krone, O.; Scharnweber, C. (2003). Two White-Tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) Collide with Wind Generators in Northern Germany. Journal of Raptor Research, 37(2), 174-176.
Abstract: 

A White-tailed Sea Eagle was found dead in a wind power plant in northeastern Germany in the federal state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania on 26 January 2002. The park consisted of two rows with 20 single turbine towers, each 65 m tall with a rotor of 41 m in diameter (maximum height = 85 m) and is located north of the town of Wolgast in the coastal area of the Baltic Sea (Fig. 1). Prior to the collision, it was very windy, with mean wind speeds between 30 and 40 km/hr and maximum speeds of 90 km/hr. Necropsy at the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW), Berlin, revealed a displacement of the thoracic vertebral column with fractures of two vertebrae and several broken ribs on both sides. The adult female eagle was in very good body condition and no signs of a disease were identified. The accident may have been caused by a squall, which took the eagle into the propeller while it was hunting.

 

Another White-tailed Sea Eagle was directly observed when hit by a propeller of a wind generator in a plant consisting of seven generators of the same type mentioned above and located in one row in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania near the town of Anklam, also in the coastal area of the Baltic Sea on 1 April 2002 (Fig. 1). Residents walked near this wind power plant in sunny weather (17–18°C) when they heard a dull noise at 0920 H CET; they turned and saw the eagle falling to the ground. No behavior to avoid the strike by the rotor was observed, because the event was first recognized when the sound of the collision was heard. The eagle was a subadult 4-yr-old male and it was brought injured to a veterinarian who diagnosed a multiple fracture of the right radius and ulna. The veterinarian attempted to align the bones, but was unsuccessful. Subsequently, the bird was euthanatized due to the development of the severe osteomyelitis in the right ulna and radius. The eagle was ringed in June 1998 in an eyrie on the island of Usedom ca. 25 km northeast of the location where the bird collided with the wind turbine. This is the first report of White-tailed Sea Eagles being killed by wind turbines.

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