Ornithologists: money for nothing and birds for free

Manipulating eagles and other birds is kind of fun, exciting for sure

manipulating eagles - radio transmitters

Picture: bald eagle fitted with radio transmitter and harness. Feathers, ruffled by transmitter & harness, will lose their insulation quality.

Quotes from an article in East County Magazine: http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/14638

“Several witnesses reported a mortality rate of 90% for birds mounted with Bittner’s transmitters during one nine-month period. Yet Bittner reported only a 20% mortality rate during that nine month period in 2011.”

manipulating eagles - ruffled feathers

Picture: immature bald eagle fitted with a radio transmitter. The white feathers ruffled by the transmitter are evident.

It’s a no brainer that something attached on a bird’s back for over a year will cause feather damage, exposing the bare skin to rain.

Even 20% collateral damage is unacceptable, so what to think of 90%? Many ornithologists get paid for playing with radio trackers, their new toys. They trap eagles, fit them with a transmitter, release them, then map the birds’ displacements. It’s fun, and they get paid for it. Their tracking reports get filed away and are useless most of the time. For instance: their maps should be used first and foremost to keep subsidized speculators from putting up wind turbines in migration corridors. But other ornithologists – sometimes the same ones – will be well-paid to write reports helping these unscrupulous businessmen overcome any objections to their placing “cuisinarts of the air” where migrating birds fly.

Radio tracking ornithologists are sometimes contracted to “prove”, after massaging the collected data, that eagles won’t fly into a wind farm planned to be built on their territory. An article in English on the Spanish website Iberica 2000 relates the death of two golden eagles fitted with radio transmitters at Bein Ghlas, a site where one of these save-the-planet-crooks wanted to plant his wind contraptions. This information is nowhere to be found in Scotland, where the omerta on this subject is as thick as a double hamburger. http://www.iberica2000.org/es/Articulo.asp?Id=3744

These soul-of-Scotland creatures died shortly after their capture and radio-fitting. The turbines were built shortly after, where they used to fly, and have been killing more eagles as some happen to investigate the now-empty breeding territory. It’s prime eagle habitat, so young wandering eagles are attracted by the vast empty nests and the rich hunting grounds. And they get chopped up by the blades. 

These bird “scientists” make money both ways: getting paid for tracking the eagles, and for writing favourable “environmental impact” reports. They help rich people get richer on the back of taxpayers (stuffing themselves with bloated subsidies paid for wind energy), and litterally on the back of the eagles as well. These are killed by the transmitters, or sliced down by the turbines. All on account of greedy ornithologists.

Some ornithologists are honest, real scientists, but we don’t hear from them. Why are they covering up these crimes? Peer pressure? This is a lousy excuse: what about retired ones? Anyway, when members of a profession cover up the crimes of  their colleagues, they are just as guilty as the criminals. This leads me to wonder if ornithologists love birds, or if they just make a living from them, like parasites that kill their hosts.

The rest of the article on Bittner is well worth reading: http://eastcountymagazine.org/node/14638

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