Wind Energy Industry Eagle Detection and Deterrents: Research Gaps and Solutions Workshop Summary Report

Karin Sinclair, Elise DeGeorge

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) prohibits the 'take' of these birds. The act defines take as to 'pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest or disturb.' The 2009 Eagle Permit Rule (74 FR 46836) authorizes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to issue nonpurposeful (i.e., incidental) take permits, and the USFWS 2013 Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance provides a voluntary framework for issuing programmatic take permits to wind facilities that incorporate scientifically supportable advanced conservation practices (ACPs). Under these rules, the Service can issue permits that authorize individual instances of take of bald and golden eagles when the take is associated with, but not the purpose of, an otherwise lawful activity, and cannot practicably be avoided. To date, the USFWS has not approved any ACPs, citing the lack of evidence for 'scientifically supportable measures.' The Eagle Detection and Deterrents Research Gaps and Solutions Workshop was convened at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in December 2015 with a goal to comprehensively assess the current state of technologies to detect and deter eagles from wind energy sites and the key gaps concerning reducing eagle fatalities and facilitating permitting under the BGEPA. During the workshop, presentations and discussions focused primarily on existing knowledge (and limitations) about the biology of eagles as well as technologies and emerging or novel ideas, including innovative applications of tools developed for use in other sectors, such as the U.S. Department of Defense and aviation. The main activity of the workshop was the breakout sessions, which focused on the current state of detection and deterrent technologies and novel concepts/applications for detecting and minimizing eagle collisions with wind turbines. Following the breakout sessions, participants were asked about their individual impressions of the relative priority of each of the existing and novel ideas.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages49
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-65735


  • bald eagles
  • detection
  • deterrent
  • eagles
  • golden eagles
  • NREL
  • preventative
  • workshop


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