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By Miriam Raftery

Photo and video by Jim Pelley

February 15, 2013 (Ocotillo) – A turkey vulture narrowly escaped death as it soared between moving blades at a wind turbine at the Ocotillo Express Wind Facility on February 12.  ECM photographer Jim Pelley documented the close call on video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vo7fLJ9uSew

Pattern Energy has installed an avian radar system that it has claimed would be activated to shut off turbines when large birds fly through.  The system is part of its golden eagle protection plan, however even another wind industry representative, Stu Webster from Iberdrola,  previously told ECM that bird radar has not been proven effective for individual large raptors, as reported in a prior ECM investigation that raised serious doubts about the effectiveness of avian radar systems, particularly for raptors:  http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/9424 .  

Manufacturers and wind farm operators at that time had failed to produce videos demonstration the system actually working to stop bird deaths, though others had documented pelican deaths at a wind facility with an avian radar system.

Pattern Energy has not responded to an email requested details on the make and model of its avian radar system, nor to explain why it was not activated when the vulture soared through the blades.

The system is reliant on a single spotter for the entire 12,400 acre site on public land.

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How Ironic

How ironic that the public places we used to "get away" from the city to refresh our spirit and connect with nature now destroys it.   The poor residents of Ocotillo are being held captive to witness the destruction they never wanted in the first place.             

Hard to imagine why anyone would actually come out to tour and admire wind farms that kill birds.   We avoid them for that very reason.  

Jim - please keep taking photos to show the truth!