Sea eagles enjoy protected status in the Netherlands, Source: Depositphotos

Dutch wind farm to save eagles’ lives with smart cameras on turbines

Dutch wind farm to save eagles’ lives with smart cameras on turbines

The device will detect incoming objects from a distance and if it identifies them as the birds of prey, it will stop the blades

One of the biggest criticisms of the wind farm proliferation in Europe has been the harm that the blades of the turbines cause to the local birdlife. Now it seems that there is a solution being tried out by a wind farm in Zeewolde (Netherlands), which involves the installation of smart cameras on the wind turbines, which will be able to detect sea eagles in flight.

The essence of the project is to have the cameras stop the rotation of the blades automatically if they identify the incoming object as an eagle, thus preventing a collision and injury or death to the animal.

Why only eagles, though?

The smart device will be able to detect an object from a distance of 1,100 metres and then if the object closes in, at 300 metres the camera will identify it as an eagle and automatically stop the blades for a few minutes.

Dirk van Straalen of the Sea Eagle Working Group Netherlands has welcomed the wind farm’s plans. “This is an important step in the protection of sea eagles in this region and sets a good example for other wind farms,” he said, as quoted by Dutch News.

Here you might wonder why the camera is only trained to recognize eagles. Apart from the fact that they are rare and protected animals, being apex predators, their attention is usually focused on the ground below in search of prey.

Thus, they might not even notice that there is an object ahead of them. In fact, in February 2022, according to Nature Today, three eagles were killed due to a collision with a wind turbine blade.

The Zeewolde wind farm has 83 giant turbines, and the smart system will become fully operational in mid-2024.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU