NREL - National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Using GPS Transmitters to Explore Movement Ecology and to Assess Risk of the Wind Energy Industry for Swainson's Hawks

Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2017
InstitutionOffice of Science and Technology
KeywordsSwainson's hawk

Swainson’s hawks (Buteo swainsoni) are a long-distance migratory species that breed in western North America and winter in Argentina. As a grassland species, they can also be found in agricultural settings, such as croplands and pastures. Wind energy is expanding rapidly across the breeding range of the population we chose to study, and we suspect the industry is also expanding in their wintering range and across the migratory pathway. Wind turbines pose a threat to birds, and migratory species may be especially susceptible to turbine-related mortality when these structures are placed in important migratory pathways. The purposes of this longterm study were to examine potential threats that wind energy might pose to Swainson’s hawks on the breeding range, wintering range, and during migration, add to the body of ecological knowledge on migration and wintering habits, and describe breeding habits in a portion of their range that is relatively understudied.

Full TextFull text available from publisher
TagsNorth America; Land-Based Wind; Hawks; 2017; Report