View Full Version : Windmills killing birds?
05-05-2001, 04:46 PM
I checked the Urban Legends site before posting, but didn't get a single hit on a search for the word "windmill", so I thought I'd ask here...
Is it true that those huge windmills that generate electrical power have been banned in some locations because some activist group claimed that birds would be killed by flying into them? :confused:
05-06-2001, 03:25 AM
The story is partially correct. While there is quite a bit of bird mortality -primarily raptors - associated with some wind generators, there is no ban per se. And I wouldn't be too quick to pounce on them "activists".
The published data shows that it is a problem only in certain locations, and even then only certain models of windmill; so some small corrections can resolve the problem, at not much expense. Typically, the problem sites are in a N-S flyway, and the designs involved basically offer a perch just behind the fan blades. Hawk perches, sees prey, takes off and Whap ! In wind-sites not in flyways, no problem, really. In flyways, the models with smooth surfaces (think something that looks like the front of a prop plane), no problem. But just mounting blades on an antenna tower causes the problem, so it would be prudent to cover/remove/block the available perches in harm's way.
Something similar was happening with power lines, and the fix involved some 2x4's to create a perch higher than the one the eagles were using when they spread their wings and shorted out the lines.
05-10-2001, 05:53 PM
Jorge, thanks for the response. Sorry I didn't reply sooner. It's good to know that there is no orchestrated attempt to shut down the windmills. It's even better to know that there are folks who are taking action in a sensible manner to protect the raptors. Win-win.
05-11-2001, 12:19 AM
I first heard about this while goofing off on the portal of evil when I was supposed to be doing research. This link:
Explains that the whole thing was quoted from a less than reliable source and gives the Sierra Club's & Audobon Society's correct position. Aparently this is the usual misrepresentation, exaggeration, political rhetoric.
05-11-2001, 04:21 PM
Intriguing site. I had never heard of the Cato Institute before looking at the article. "Cuisinarts of the air...", indeed. Thanks for posting.
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