Vulnerable grassland birds abandon mating sites near wind turbines
Shifting to renewable energy sources has been widely touted as one of the best ways to fight climate change, but even renewable energy can have a downside, as in the case of wind turbines’ effects on bird populations. In a new paper in The Condor: Ornithological Applications, a group of researchers demonstrate the impact that one wind energy development in Kansas has had on Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) breeding in the area. Virginia Winder of Benedictine College, Andrew Gregory of Bowling Green State University, Lance McNew of Montana State University, and Brett Sandercock of Kansas State University monitored prairie-chicken leks, or mating sites, before and after turbine construction and found that leks within eight kilometers of turbines were more likely to be abandoned. (Source: Read more)

30,000 wind turbines located in critical bird habitats


Tens of thousands of wind turbines have been installed in areas that are considered critical to migratory and threatened birds and that number is set to more than double in the future.

An analysis by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) shows that more than 30,000 turbines overlap with federally protected bird habitat, including 24,000 in the migratory corridor of the whooping crane and 3,000 in breeding grounds of the endangered Greater Sage-Grouse.

More than 50,000 additional turbines are planned for construction, the group said.

“Wind turbines are among the fastest-growing threats to our nation’s birds,” said Dr. Michael Hutchins, Director of ABC’s Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign. “Attempts to manage the wind industry with voluntary as opposed to mandatory permitting guidelines are clearly not working. Wind developers are siting turbines in areas of vital importance to birds and other wildlife, and this new data shows that the current voluntary system needs to be replaced with a mandatory permitting system.”
(Source: Read more)

The Broken Promises of Wind Energy

Broken Wing: Birds, Blades and Broken Promises

The claim to lower CO2 emissions is a broken promise. — The electricity grid demands normalcy. Shadow capacity backs up wind turbines with coal, nuclear, and gas-fired plants. These emit CO2. More wind, more shadow, more emissions. It is a simple equation. Electricity demand drives the grid. The grid must be maintained at capacity. Intermittent electricity delivery does not maintain capacity. It must have back up. This is carbon intensive.

The claim to free energy is a broken promise. — Wind energy requires building large towers with incredibly expensive turbines. And since wind energy locations are generally far from the places needing energy, transmission costs are also high.

The claim to positive environmental impact is a broken promise. — Neodymium is the most important element of the permanent magnet sitting atop each of the massive wind towers you see on your way to work. These towers indirectly cause the death of thousands of Chinese in the rare earth mines each and every year.

The claim to an efficient energy source is a broken promise. — Turbines are inefficient. At best they convert 12-20% of the potential energy available into electricity.

The claim to more jobs is a broken promise. — Numerous studies, using economic analysis programs, performed in Spain, Italy, Denmark, England, etc., show for every job created in the renewable energy sector, about three jobs are destroyed in other sectors.

The claim to lower electricity costs is a broken promise. — Wind energy is still more expensive than gas or coal generated electricity. It wouldn’t even be viable without massive government subsidies.

The claim to positive health results is a broken promise. — Infrasound, sound below 20 MHz, sickens many who live near wind turbines. Wind turbine flicker makes others sleepless or ill.

The claim to a greener planet is a broken promise. — The wind is touted as free, non-polluting, efficient, a CO2 reduction technique, environmentally friendly, safe for humans, and effective against climate change. None of this is true. None of it.

The claim of no harm to birds and bats is a broken promise. — Millions of birds die in the spinning blades. Hawks, falcons, bats, osprey, owls, even songbirds die. Bird mortality due to large wind farms is exacerbated by inherent linkages between bird behavior and wind farm siting decisions. (Source: Read more)

Bird Mortality: Big wind on defense

The true intent of AWWI’s study is not about accurate mortality estimates. It’s about deflecting the problem. The fact is, many more birds (and bats) are dying at operating wind plants than we know. Now is not the time to relax our concern. Rather, we should be demanding that the industry be held accountable for bird mortality once and for all!

Nobody really knows how many birds are destroyed annually in wind turbine related collisions[1]. Wind proponents have long discounted the carnage by pointing at other sources of bird mortality including cats, windows, and communications towers[2], but the issue still haunts developers. (Source: Read more)

Videos hint at why tree bats may die at wind turbines

Wind turbines can be deadly for bats. Each year tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands are thought to fall victim to the tall, whirling turbines. Now, footage from heat-sensitive cameras suggests one reason why. Air currents at wind turbines appear to mimic the way air flows around tall trees. Tree bats in particular use these air flows to find food, other bats and a place to roost. Following similar air flows at wind turbines may lead more tree bats than non-tree bats to their deaths, scientists suggest September 29 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Source: Read more)

Bats are hit by a hard one-two punch: Deadly windmills and white-nose disease

tree bats the washington post
It’s not that researcher Paul Cryan set out to prove the old saying, “blind as a bat.” It just seems that way.

For two months, Cryan, a research scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey, led a team that watched the behaviors of migrating tree bats near wind turbines. They set up thermal video surveillance cameras to study them night after night in an attempt to discern why up to 900,000 bats are killed by windmills each year.

In the end, they came away with a simple conclusion. Migrating bats that are vision-challenged seem to think wind turbines are trees.
(Source: Read more)

Behavior of bats at wind turbines

This important paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines the unprecedented numbers of tree-roosting bat fatalities at operating wind turbine facilities and the behavior of the bats near the turbines.
Wind turbines are causing unprecedented numbers of bat fatalities. Many fatalities involve tree-roosting bats, but reasons for this higher susceptibility remain unknown. To better understand behaviors associated with risk, we monitored bats at three experimentally manipulated wind turbines in Indiana, United States, from July 29 to October 1, 2012, using thermal cameras and other methods. We observed bats on 993 occasions and saw many behaviors, including close approaches, flight loops and dives, hovering, and chases. (Source: Read more)