A wind power project near Toledo, Ohio has been delayed due to concerns about the impact the project would have on migrating birds in the area.
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The wind turbine was scheduled to be built at Camp Perry, a National Guard training facility on the shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio.
The American Bird Conservancy and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory threatened to sue the Ohio National Guard if the project proceeded, which they claimed would violate federal laws protecting bald eagles and other birds that migrate through the area.
The wind project, one of about two dozen wind energy projects planned for sites along Lake Erie in Ohio, was scheduled to begin construction in a few months.
Camp Perry is in a key corridor for birds migrating from Central and South America to northern Canada.
“It’s probably one of the top five migration corridors in the U.S.,” Robert Johns, a spokesman for the American Bird Conservancy, told the Associated Press.
Federal officials said last week that they had decided to delay construction of the proposed wind power facility after two organizations threatened to take legal action.
There are about 60 bald eagle nests within 10 miles of the wind turbine, she said.
An impact assessment commissioned by the Ohio Air National Guard had concluded that the wind project at Camp Perry would not have significantly harmed birds.
As wind power projects have expanded in the United States in recent years, bird enthusiasts have expressed serious concerns about the impact on birds. Millions of birds are killed annually in the United States as a result of collisions with manmade structures, primarily glass windows, power lines, communication towers and wind turbines.
While wind turbines can certainly have a harmful impact on local and migrating bird populations, the magnitude of this impact seems trivial compared to the adverse impact other manmade structures appear to have on birds.
For example, an estimated 300 million to one billion birds die from collisions with glass on buildings annually, according to the American Bird Conservancy. By contrast, an estimated 573,000 birds die annually from collisions with wind turbines.