Golden Eagles almost certain to perish in Ontario wind farm

Golden Eagle

Government’s timing of document release suspicious; community to report to the Ombudsman of Ontario

July 7, 2014

A Prince Edward County citizens’ group, the County Coalition for Safe Appropriate Green Energy (a Not For Profit organization) or CCSAGE, has documented the failure of a wind power developer and the Ontario government to disclose the truth about the impact of a proposed wind power project on migrating Golden Eagles. The Golden Eagle has been designated a “species at risk” in Ontario.

According to the CCSAGE document, prepared by Anne Dumbrille, although only six nesting pairs have been identified in Eastern Ontario, the fact is the majority of Golden Eagles migrating throughout Eastern North America, pass through the narrow area in Prince Edward County.

But: ” wpd [the power developer] surveys reported an average of four Golden Eagles a day on each of the three days they surveyed,” says Dumbrille, “and most were flying at the wind turbine blade height. We know from information in the Species At Risk report and from the Ministry of Natural Resources website, that most, if not all, the Eastern North American population of Golden Eagles will pass through the turbine zone, if they are permitted on the south shore of Prince Edward County.

“It will be a killing zone,” Dumbrille adds.

CCSAGE contends these facts were not made available to the public during the comment period on the project and that, despite a requirement to respond to Freedom of Information requests within 30 days, CCSAGE did not receive the information it requested on the developer’s Species At Risk report until the first business day after the comment period had closed.

“Environment Canada has a guidance document (Wind Turbines and Birds) that lists 11 criteria for a site where turbines should not be sited,” says Dumbrille.  “All those criteria are met in the south shore of Prince Edward County.”

CCSAGE says its findings call into question the so-called technical review conducted by both the ministries of Natural Resources and the Environment.

Wind Concerns Ontario will be submitting the CCSAGE report with the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario today, as part of an ongoing complaint process related to fairness and transparency of the wind power project approval system in the province.

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Contact CCSAGE at

Read the CCSAGE report here: Golden Eagles Funnel Through Turbine Zone in Prince Edward County



Pat Cusack

Blinded by greed, those who insist on putting up wind turbines will get what they deserve sooner or later.

Robby Breadner

I think it is terrific that WCO has taken up the cause of the Golden Eagle. This threatened predator are illegally shot, trapped, electrocuted by power lines and are harmed by the chemicals ingested via prey.

Each of the above mentioned threats far outnumber these beautiful animals coming in contact with wind turbines. How long has the Golden Eagle been a cause of WCO ? What efforts has this group made to reduce those threats on behalf of the Golden Eagle?

Patti Kellar

WCO is a grassroots organization that’s focus has been to bring together other grassroots organizations re: IWT’s. Many of the smaller groups have worked very hard to identify and support endangered species and species at risk. MLWAG has hosted a rally regarding the Golden and Bald Eagle species in Kerwood to raise awareness of the dangers of IWT’s and a number of articles have been written by a variety of groups in Ontario. Good to hear you think it is ‘terrific’ that WCO has an article on the cause of the Golden Eagle. Because it is.


Just read about the overabundance of Canada geese in urban areas creating havoc on roads, lawns and parks. It noted it is illegal to kill or harm these birds. Ironic isn’t it that it is ok to do so to endangered species, only in Ontario.

Robby Breadner

So what you are saying is WCO is not directly involved in any Golden Eagle conservation beyond the halting of IWTs. Therefore it’s safe to assume WCO has not posted any articles to ban harmful pesticides in the local farming community, to impose stiffer penalties in the illegal hunt or regarding moving Golden Eagle nests away from existing powerline corridors. The efforts of conservation certainly have merit, but one hopes those efforts are consistent, because the Golden Eagle have been falling victim for many years to many things.

In this case the WCO organization is seen to be focusing on threats to the Golden Eagle which are predicted and have not yet materialized, while not tackling the threats that already exist today.

Unfortunately, no power generation has been discovered which is completely harmless to all species. However the clean power wind turbines provide beats the harm done by the methods of fossil fuel extraction, burning and waste storage.

Perhaps a the CCSAGE would make a compromise and store nuclear waste the Bruce (Kincardine) is looking to find a home for instead of IWTs. Nuclear waste storage is relatively harmless to Golden Eagles.


Nuclear waste is also harmless to people when stored correctly.

Wind Concerns Ontario

The Ministry of the Environment is now invoking the term “overall benefit” by which they mean, wind power is “important public infrastructure” and its overall benefits outweigh any negative effects. In this case however, they are NOT going to be able to say “so a few [birds] die,”* as the effect on the North American population will be serious and possibly irreversible.
*Direct quote from the MoE lawyer Sylvia Davis

Robby Breadner

No one wants eagles threatened. But all one needs to do is see what mountaintop removal for coal does to indigenous species… or what the destruction of hundreds of sq kms of wilderness for the tar sands… or the flooding of thousands of hectares for hydro electric projects… or fracking… to discover how many species die from existing power generation.

… or the thousands of people (no to mention, animails) who have died and the $100 billion+ price tag from the two dozen nuclear incidents that have happened in my lifetime…

harnessing wind does have an overall benefit that is better for flora and fauna and people, than just about every other power generation source being utilized. solutions such as relocating one species of threatened birds can be considered.

as i type this, almost one million homes (6%+) in Ontario are being powered by clean electricity from wind turbines. that’s 1200 mega watts which avoids 1000 TONNES of CO2 this hour, alone.

so if WCO is really about saving animal species (and not saving property values) then efforts to stop fossil fuels is time better spent, for the plants and animals and people in our beautiful country.

Wind Concerns Ontario

This is NOT an “either or” situation; there are many more options for power generation (oh wait, Ontario doesn’t NEED any more power) than either wind OR coal. The coal plants are closed; it may interest you to know, however, that wind power, because it is produced out-of-phase with demand, requires backup power generation and in Ontario, that means natural gas. The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers estimates that we will have MORE CO2 production because of wind power, not less.
We dispute the number of homes being powered by wind power generation; the efficiency rate for wind is less than 30%. If Ontario’s population is 13.5 million it is not possible that 1 MM homes are being powered by wind.

Robby Breadner

i totally agree. it isn’t either or. wind goes well with hydro, solar, gas and nuclear. although the less we use of the latter 2, the better. phasing out coal happened in part because of renewables. as the list of renewable projects come online, gas will be used less, and every MW nuclear doesn’t generate is less waste.

feel free to dispute the numbers for power generated by wind. it varies. (you not acknowledging data doesn’t make those #s inaccurate). i’ve seen it at 9% for the province. i’ve seen it at 1%. check for yourself:

at this moment today, wind is generating 4% of the province’s needs. that % will increase as more projects come online. and as technology evolves for efficiency and power storage (thanks to thousands of the greatest young, university minds working hard at this very moment), more improvements will happen. (once upon a time, blacksmiths laughed at horseless carriages.)

it really comes down to this:
older folk who lack vision and prefer to live out their years, comfortable with traditional power generation infrastructure and consistent property values VS young people who are inheriting a poisoned planet, dependence on a massively profitable fossil fuel industry, with a new perspective to solve our energy needs which is more sustainable, cleaner and more responsible.


Even if wind turbines are as great as Robby Breadner says they are, and they’re definitely not for the many reasons stated here and elsewhere, the bottom line is this:

Wind turbines should never have been installed close to peoples homes, cottages, retirement homes, farms, on good agricultural land, in prime tourist areas or in sensitive ecosystems.

As a side note, it must be totally coincidence that no IWTs can be found installed anywhere near the properties of Liberal politicians, wind turbine company executives or proponents.

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