The more wind turbines that are put up the more deadly collisions between turbines and birds and bats.

In Wyoming, PacifiCorp is studying the idea of painting a single wind turbine blade in black on 36 different turbines to reduce collision risks to birds flying near the wind turbines.

Across Mountain West state owls, turkey vultures, and golden eagles – are consistently colliding with turbine blades at an alarming rate.

“This is an extraordinary partnership of scientists, federal regulators, wildlife managers, a nongovernmental organization, academia, developers and utility companies working together to find solutions to reduce the impacts of critical electric infrastructure on birds,” said Travis Brown, director of compliance and permitting for PacifiCorp.


Wyoming is a critical habitat and migration area for many species like the golden eagles.

The state is also a huge migration corridor between Alaska and Mexico.

The golden eagle population is not endangered, but more collisions with ever-increasing numbers of wind turbines could quickly put them on the endangered list.

Kills are estimated due to wind turbines in the hundreds of thousands of birds and bats a year.

One wind company had to pay more than $8 million in fines in 2020 after killing at least 150 eagles over a decade. (WPM).

The Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute is now working with PacifiCorp, the U.S. Geological Survey, and others near Glenrock.

36 turbines have been painted.

Now they wait and count to see if this strategy kills fewer birds.

The government-subsidized boom in wind turbine construction first began during the Obama administration.

The first wind farm fined for killing a golden eagle was just outside of Casper, Wyoming.

After that event, the Obama administration quickly wrote a rule that lets wind energy companies kill a certain number of birds for 30 years — even if it means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.

Fines are much steeper if a bird is killed near an oil or gas well, which is a rare event.

The Tate Geological Museum Casper Wyoming

The Tate Geological Museum was founded in 1980 through a gift from Marion and Inez Tate. It was originally designated as the Tate Earth Science Center and Mineralogical Museum. Because ‘geological’ encompasses earth science, mineralogy, and paleontology, the name was changed to the Tate Geological Museum in 2001.

Located on the Casper College campus, the museum is a great resource for the community. Many local schools and groups come to the museum to add to their student's learning experience.

Tate houses a collection of over 6000 fossil and mineral specimens.

Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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Gallery Credit: Glenn Woods

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