ENERGY: Will Fundy Wind Farms really kill huge numbers of birds? I wondered …

I shared this great Facebook “poster” on my site today and it drew a lot of attention including the declaration that these things kill a lot of birds. Like everyone, I’ve been hearing that over and over … but really I didn’t know if that was true or not. What I did know was that cars, windows and our beautiful old lighthouses kill plenty or birds, not to mention feral and domestic cats, wild predators and activities like aerial spraying, clearcutting and so on.

Anyway, I decided to do a little research and came up with some really interesting stats. If it is true, it seems that wind turbines are the least of our worry.

Man-made structure/technology Associated bird deaths per year (U.S.)
Feral and domestic cats Hundreds of millions [source: AWEA]
Power lines 130 million — 174 million [source: AWEA]
Windows (residential and commercial) 100 million — 1 billion [source: TreeHugger]
Pesticides 70 million [source: AWEA]
Automobiles 60 million — 80 million [source: AWEA]
Lighted communication towers 40 million — 50 million [source: AWEA]
Wind turbines 10,000 — 40,000 [source: ABC]

Collisions with wind turbines account for about one-tenth of a percent of all “unnatural” bird deaths in the United States each year. And of all bird deaths, 30 percent are due to natural causes, like baby birds falling from nests [source: AWEA]. So why the widespread misconception that labels wind turbines “bird-o-matics”? I­t all starts with California, raptors and the thousands of old turbines that make up the Altamont Pass wind farm.

In this article, we’ll find out where the statistics went wrong, how thousands of birds do end up flying into wind turbines each year and what’s being done to reduce the number of bird-turbine collisions.

You check yourself. Here’s the links:

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Comments

ENERGY: Will Fundy Wind Farms really kill huge numbers of birds? I wondered … — 1 Comment

  1. There are better stats for cats out there, other than what AWEA has. Feral and domestic cats are said to kill 900 million to a billion birds in N Am EACH YEAR. One will find these stats if one looks a little further. I will try to find the source and re-post.

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