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Birds & Wind Farms

Category: Renewable Energy, Wind Power
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Birds & Wind Farms

Below is a brief article written by an American friend of Dorset Energized – we have published it as it addresses issues and concerns relevant to the UK and of course Dorset.


There has been a considerable amount of publicity recently about wind farms killing birds. While it is important that new industries do everything possible to keep their footprints small wind farm impact should be considered in comparison to other human impacts. The paragraph below gives some numbers.

Estimates (of wind farm kills) range as high as 880,000, Hutchins said. The number of deaths related to wind farms might seem insignificant when compared with U.S. Fish and Wildlife estimates of other sources of bird mortality. Collisions with buildings might kill 97 million to 976 million birds annually, and collisions with vehicles 60 million, according to the federal agency. As many as 72 million birds might die of pesticide and other poisoning annually, and cats are fierce predators of songbirds, killing an estimated 39 million birds annually in Wisconsin alone, according to one study.

Here’s an article about a new lawsuit against wind farms.

Habitat destruction is also a major concern for birds was well as other animals. Here’s an article from Cornell U. about the threat to 3 billion birds due to development of North America’s boreal forests.

The lawsuit in the first article is being filed because the birds named are golden eagles, an iconic species. But other birds are just as deserving of consideration. I see no lawsuits about finding some way to protect birds from flying into buildings or from well fed fat domestic cats allowed to roam free by thoughtless owners, etc. It is important to hold new industries to strong standards but it would also be nice to see this amount of attention being paid to the many ways we kill far more birds.

John W. Olver

2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "The elephant in the room is the effect of Climate Change. Whilst human activity such as wind turbines, oil spills, cat ownership or the use of pesticides all pose direct threats to birds and wind turbines are minor offenders compared with the above examples and many others we could cite, migratory birds are extremely endangered by Climate Change as they depend on not just the climate of one environment remaining steady but on two or more sometimes thousands of miles apart. Furthermore the timings of their migrations are finely tuned to the climate dependent emergence of seasonal food sources such as caterpillars. If you fly all the way from Africa to Britain to find that the caterpillars you depend on to feed your chicks have all either been eaten by winter residents or have turned into butterflies you’re a bit stuffed. Whilst most of the other direct threats to birds either have no effect on Climate Change or make it worse like the use of oil, wind turbines are part of the solution to Climate Change and so save lots of bird lives. "
    May 23, 2014 a 11:25 am

  • Anna comments:
    "Something that put my mind at rest about this issue is that the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) actually support wind power and have invested in it at their own HQ, and surely no one cares more about birds than they do? Read my post on it here for more info: "
    May 15, 2014 a 3:12 pm

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