Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Texas
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Texas Project

OA 87: Interactions of Juvenile Swainson's Hawks with Wind Energy Facilities During Dispersal and Migration

February 2018 - September 2019


Participating Agencies

  • Department of Energy, Pantex Site

Swainson’s hawks, a large raptor that breeds in the prairies and steppes of North America, both areas of high wind energy development, then migrate to the grasslands of Argentina (an area experiencing rapid wind energy development) in the Southern Hemisphere. Wind energy facilities have been demonstrated to pose threats to avian species through direct mortality and habitat loss. Wind energy development is increasing at a rapid pace throughout much of the developed world. Of avian species experiencing mortality due to collision with wind turbines, raptors appear to be the most vulnerable and may experience proportionally greater population level influences through direct mortality or habitat loss associated with wind energy development. This project is being funded by DOE Pantex. Our study will provide survival estimates, movement data, and habitat use data for juvenile Swainson’s hawks throughout their migrations from Texas to Argentina and back. This will provide important data with which to understand and evaluate hemispheric level risks to the species and other similar long-distance migrant birds.