Friday, December 20, 2013

It is official

You might have figured it out in comments below but it is official: because the Feds are allowing a three- decade exemption for wind farms to kill as many eagles as they "need" to, and because they exert no pressure on tribal use (right and understandable for religious practice, but ignoring the profitable if clandestine traffic in feathers for dance costumes), falconers will no longer be allowed to catch "up to six" eagles for falconry in areas of proven depredation, exactly reversing the win- win scenario Cat details below.

Nobody ever took six a year, an infinitesimal part of the breeding surplus; ranchers had proven predators removed; falconers got the companionship of one of the world's formidable predators, often for decades, and the chance to participate in one of if not THE oldest falconry tradition on earth, at least six thousand years old.

Presumably if we do not fight this it means "for three decades?" Or forever?

And why in hell not allow trapping in wind farms?
No more of this!


Anonymous said...

And why in hell not allow (SOME, scientifically based ?) trapping in wind farms?, and avoid some bird strikes?

Seems logical to me


Federico said...

I have not really looked into the wind farms vs eagles issue (and not just goldens btw), but I'd like to offer this though:

1) what eagle mortality can we attribute to wind farms (I presume it would be different in different places, so we need to have reasonably fine grained data)

2) what other sources of mortality affect eagles (ideally we' have the same resolution as for the data above).

As things stand, wind farms might be killing (a) a lot of eagles, (b) some eagles, (c) very few eagles, and frankly I would not know which answer is correct. Similarly for other sources of mortality.

I say this because unless we know the numbers it's all a pile of bollox. Broadly speaking wind farms kill birds, and broadly speaking cats kill many orders of magnitude more birds -- hence the reasonable bird protection measure is to get rid of cats, not windfarms. How this applies to eagles and to their mortality factors I would not know (and I'd be grateful if someone could point me to some serious study that looked into it, if it exists). Unless we have the numbers I just cannot muster any strong emotion on the issue.

Steve Bodio said...

Thanks, John and Federico. My objection is that the decision to ban falconry use is purely emotional and political. As I have said elsewhere, the data suggests eagles can absorb a fair amount of population loss.The current administration seems to see the SIX falconry birds as a cheap gift sacrifice to environmentalists aggrieved by the wind turbine decision-- it makes no difference to the eagle population. Pure cynicism.

Federico said...

Steve, I agree that removing eagles from wind farm sites makes sense, the issue is making the case that these animals, or some of them, should not just be 'relocated', but kept for falconry purposes.

While this is an utter pain in the ass, falconers should try to make lemonade out of this lemon and use it as a spur to work to give falconry a strong positive public image, so that eagles could be removed from wind farm locations for both relocation and falconry. I do understand that 'it sucks' but unfortunately falconers now have to raise to the challenge and be the reasonable adults in the situation, whether it is fair or not.

Moro Rogers said...

If we could just train housecats to kill eagles, all our problems would be solved...I think? Maybe I missed something here...

Jamaica said...

I read the new rule allowing 30 year "incidental take" of eagles associated with otherwise legal activities, but I am unable to locate a change to the rule which allows trapping for the purposes of falconry. Do you happen to have a link to that change? Thank you!

Steve Bodio said...

Jamaica, I got my info from Brian Kellog's remarks, the first comment on the Wildlife Services post below-- he should know what he is talking about.

Steve Bodio said...

Jamaica, I got my info from Brian Kellog's remarks, the first comment on the Wildlife Services post below-- he should know what he is talking about.

Jamaica said...

Thanks, Steve!

Federico said...

@Moro, as I said, I have put 0 effort following the issue of fast moving turbine blades vs eagles, but I understand that

1) wind farms kill an unspecified number of eagles
2) people are upset by (1)
3) (1) will be allowed to keep happening for a number of reasons

hence, to placate people in (2) a number of things have been decided. As I said, I have put 0 effort in looking up the numbers, but unless we have them it is impossible to decide how upset the people at (2) should be (full disclosure, I actually approve of wind farms). Unfortunately for falconers one of the things decided to placate the people at (2) is to stop the trapping of eagles etc.

TL;DR without the numbers we cannot tell how many eagles wind farms kill, and whether stopping the trapping of eagles is a good idea or not.

Anonymous said...

Well, if that's the way it's gonna be regarding falconry with eagles, the NEW rule SHOULD BE that Native Americanos can ONLY acquire dead eagles for ceremonial use from Wind Farms from now on! And don't jump my arse for being politically incorrect here--after all, I'm 1/64th Comanche! I'm sure there ARE plenty of Native Americans that are APALLED at the consumerism disrespect shown brother eagle by their tribesmen, as I know I am.....L.B.

Russ London said...

A more detailed explanation of the new regulations as to take of eagles is online at