Does wind power development threaten birds?



  1. 0 Votes

    There is potential and certainly birds have died due to wind turbines in the past, but the threat can be reduced by carefully choosing wind turbine locations and the make of the turbine itself.  Ironically more than 60 million birds die every year via crashing into cars and windows as oppose to the 40,000 per year that die due to turbines.  The idea that turbines are major bird killers began with the California Altamont Pass turbines which are some of the first in America and not so ideally positioned in the middle of a migratory bird path (So the bird traffic was much more concentrated in this location than others).  The turbines were more dangerous to birds because their shape was ideal as a perch (thus attracting larger birds like eagles) and they were smaller and turned faster.   Today wind farms are more carefully places and the turbines are designed to be less attractive to birds and slower moving.  

  2. 0 Votes

    Wind turbines do pose a threat to birds, but like americalibre said, the threat is small compared other dangers. A New York Times article compared turbine deaths to deaths from cats and crashing into windows. Wind turbines, it claims, kill 440,000 per years (according to the American Bird Conservancy) while deaths from cats and windows account for hundreds of millions (according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

    A bigger concern according to the article is that facing bats. While bat populations are already declining due to white nose syndrome, wind farms pose an additional threat. Many more bats are killed by birds, partially because they are affected by more than just crashing into the turbines themselves. Barotrauma kills bats because as they fly into areas of low pressure created by turbines, their airways expand quickly, which causes internal bleeding.

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