Birds of prey are all around us but largely go unnoticed as do the threats killing them.
Birds of prey, besides being beautiful, are like lions on the ground. They are key predators of the sky. They are at the top of the food chain. Without them rodents and carrion would not be kept in check.
Over the years we’ve learned there is one old and one new way threatening these raptors of the skies… myths and wind turbines.
2 Ways we’re killing our birds of prey
For eons myths have prevailed. Two myths are especially deadly for raptors.
One: When you see or hear an owl someone is going to die.
This myth amongst local tribes in Africa have caused many owls to be killed and their nests destroyed. Belinda a young local falconer works hard to dispelled this myth during daily flight shows for adults and students. “Look at me. I’m alive. I work with these birds for eight years now.”
Two: Sniffing vulture brains makes a person clairvoyant.
Many vultures have been killed and their brains dried. Locals believe vulture brains can help them win the lottery. Again Belinda dispels this myth as audiences watch vultures feed at the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary. They learn how important these birds are as the clean up brigade to keep diseases and the spreading of bacteria under control.
Alternative energy, what a great way to go. Or is it? For one, wind turbines are proving to be deadly for birds, especially birds of prey.
According to Save the Eagles International… “Contrary to what we’ve been told wind farms will cause the extinction of many bird and bat species.” In fact, wind farms are killing 10-20 more birds than originally thought. Literally hundreds of birds are killed each year by wind turbines.
Why are they such a threat to birds of prey?
Generally these wind turbines are located in areas where raptors live. They are built where raptors soar on the wind thermals. Also raptors like to roost on them surveying the scene for prey and carrion. According to Shannon Hoffman of the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary if wind turbines are built in the Drankensberg mountains it will be deadly for the last surviving Bearded Vultures.
Like other raptors, vultures like to roost on the wind turbines as seen in the video clip provided by Shannon.
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