Birds and Clean Energy

Responsibly sited and operated clean energy will help protect birds from climate change.

Transitioning to clean energy reduces pollution, slows the rise in global temperatures, and provides the pathway to a more sustainable future. This is crucial for frontline communities and the hundreds of bird species that face devastating range loss and extinction due to climate change. That’s why Audubon supports utility-scale clean energy and transmission development.

Projects must be sited and operated with birds and people in mind. Thankfully, there are well-tested solutions informed by science that can be implemented to alleviate risks. Audubon works with clean energy developers, local communities, federal and state agencies, conservation partners, and other stakeholders to ensure the least impact on bird habitat and migration routes. 

The climate threat facing birds is urgent. To achieve a future where both people and wildlife thrive, we need to rapidly build out photovoltaic (PV) solar and onshore and offshore wind infrastructure – as well as transmission lines to bring that power to the people who need it. By advocating for responsible and community-centered planning, we can protect birds from the worst impacts of climate change while preserving the places we all need.  

Gigawatts of renewable energy generation and transmission responsibly sited by 2028
Million homes powered by 100 GW
Million people provided with power from 100 GW
Did You Know?
  • Audubon Washington helped lead state efforts to identify utility-scale PV solar siting locations that present the least conflict to wildlife and communities. 
  • An ultraviolet light-based system for transmission lines installed at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary has dramatically reduced Sandhill Crane collisions.  
  • Audubon has worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on permits under the Endangered Species Act that avoid harm to California Condors at wind projects. 

What We're Doing

Engaging on the responsible expansion of renewable energy.
Staff advocate for policies, planning, and projects that effectively avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts on birds.
Calling for the rapid deployment of well-sited transmission.
To power a clean energy future, we need to scale up transmission capacity while implementing bird-friendly solutions outlined in our Birds and Transmission report.
Weighing in on enforcement of federal laws and permitting policies for bird species protected by them.
Improvements to clean energy permitting would strengthen bird protections under the Endangered Species Act, Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Remember that Audubon depends on your support to do the conservation work that we do.
An eagle flying in front of the sun.
How New Incidental Take Permits Can Protect Bald and Golden Eagles at Wind Energy Sites
February 08, 2024 — The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has an improved permitting process that benefits eagles.
A bald eagle flies over a blue sky.
New U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Permit Expands Coverage for Wind Energy and Conservation of Eagles
February 08, 2024 — Audubon worked with partners to ensure that the permitting benefits Bald and Golden Eagle conservation.
A New Plan for Offshore Wind Research Will Help Prioritize Seabirds and Other Wildlife
January 25, 2024 — The RWSC science plan will guide offshore wind and wildlife studies along the East Coast.