Olga Booker wrote:It is true that cats are bird killers, they usually kill small birds, same for windows. Turbines kill large birds, mostly protected, endangered species like the American golden eagle for example. As more and more turbines will be built, more and more large birds will disappear.
Original turbines had higher bird fatality because A) They were new and birds didn't know diddly about them. B - and even more importantly) They were trestle framed. Many, many, many birds, especially predatory birds, built their nests in the trestles. This left them more open to injury and death.
Current windmills are constantly being improved for efficiency, profit and environmental impact. Now no turbines are made with trestles and fatalities of predatory birds cratered. There's also a LOT more research put into locations of wind farms. Bird migration routes are taken into account as well as species, as different species travel at different altitudes.
There is a theory that turbulence caused by the turbines are what effect the birds and cause them to crash. If you're around windfarms now a days though, you may notice a marked difference in their formation. Older farms tend to be row after row after row of turbines. Newer set ups tend to be clusters spread around a larger area, not in rows. This helps diffuse air disruption which doesn't just help birds, but also makes the turbines more effective. Also, the height of many turbine models are higher than most predatory birds fly when hunting. Therefore they're not going to be above a turbine and accidentally glide into an air pocket causing them to crash. Not to mention, many birds of prey generally rely heavily on their ability to glide and hover. Any bit of air disturbance will make this harder and thus, they aren't going to prefer to hunt in such an area. So a wind farm with no trestles to perch on to nest or scan for prey and bad air to glide in to hunt make them less than ideal areas for raptors to hang out. I live on the edge of a wind farm and there are plenty of birds of prey around. But to be fair, I don't walk into the fields and pastures with the turbines to see if there are large amounts of dead hawks and eagles there. I highly doubt it though.
There is concern regarding bats being unable to predict the rotation of the blades leaving them at a severe disadvantage. However, again, sites are researched and most try hard not to build in locations putting large bat populations at risk. But there are other management techniques as well. Some areas that have shown serious fatalities may shut the turbines off at night so they aren't a risk to bats. This method is also used in other areas with other birds.
Turbines are constantly works in progress, as with all things. They've come leaps and bounds in the last few decades. Any concerns with them are generally fairly miniscule, as I think this thread has highlighted out. It's usually more a case of rumour and insinuation vs actual problems.