It’s difficult to know for sure because the occurrence is so common that it doesn’t often get recorded, and therefore statistics are difficult to come by. One estimate I read is that electrocutions from transformers and power lines may kill as many as 175,000,000 birds a year. Add to that the 50 million killed from communication towers and 40,000 from wind power turbines, especially in California, and you’re talking about a lot of dead birds. There are studies underway to try to mitigate the effects of communications and power infrastructure on bird populations. The problem is that there are so many ways birds can be killed, from simply landing on lines to striking transformers to getting sucked into turbine engines, and the potential fixes involve costly redesigns that may not be judged worth it in the long term. This is an ongoing problem and I’m not aware of any specific solution that has caught fire yet, but I’m sure we’ll hear more about this issue in years to come.
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