Financial Support Needed For Wind Project Eagle Surveys

Golden Eagle at Franklin Mt. photo by Curt Morgan

Golden Eagle at Franklin Mt. photo by Curt Morgan

DOAS is a supporter of environmentally-sound wind power but believes wind projects should be sited and designed to minimize impacts on birds. Most recently we have taken an active role in assessing the potential impacts on eagles from the proposed Bluestone Wind Project near Deposit.  Surveys funded through the  state’s environmental review process, and conducted by Franklin Mountain hawk counters, found high densities of eagles in an area slated to have a concentration of turbines.

304 eagle sightings were recorded during 14 days of surveys last March. Migrants included 42 Bald Eagles and 22 Golden Eagles. Observers tallied 218 non-migrant Bald Eagle, and 20 non-migrant Golden Eagle sightings. 

While high numbers of migrants are expected in this area, the numbers of non-migrants were surprising. In fact, the frequency and numbers of winter resident Golden Eagles found at the site are unprecedented in New York.

We do not know why these birds were so concentrated at the site. With 8 turbines proposed near the survey site, it is important to conduct more surveys to determine if the birds use the area every winter. We are grateful for the funding provided by the Department of Public Service. However, we need another source of funding to conduct surveys in 2019.

These surveys cost DOAS $160 a day. We are urging our members to consider a donation to support these efforts. Donations of any amount are appreciated. Send them to the DOAS Golden Eagle Research Fund, PO Box 544, Oneonta, NY 13820.

More information on the project can be found here.