15 thoughts on “Video & poll: Whacking birds by wind turbine”

  1. Sandy, oil companies don’t kill birds. Why? Because there are major penalties and fines associated with doing so. There are stories of pigeon autopsies being performed to determine cause of death for dead birds found on your land. The fines are $15,000 PER BIRD.

    Wind companies kill birds, including eagles and raptors. They do so with the blessing of the government. There was even talk of giving a permit limit for whooping cranes.

    The appeal to emotion is mostly a response to the hypocrisy and double standard.

  2. I’m as strong an environmentalist as there is, and an ornithologist, but I find this video and the question inappropriate and misleading. It is working on emotions instead of facts. Wind power has many advantages over fossil fuel use–and I’m sure many more birds are killed (and more slow and cruel deaths) by the habitat destruction and pollution from fossil fuel extraction than from wind farms. How about providing some data comparing the different kinds of energy and their effects, instead of showing one (big, charismatic) bird being killed? By carefully siting small arrays of windmills away from migration routes, much of the bird killing can be reduced. Solar and small-scale hydro need to be in the mix, too, but one thing is for sure–the WORST for all of us, including birds, is fossil fuel use. It’s just harder to show in a 30-second video.

  3. Birds are somewhat worrisome but they could be saved by a much simpler method, outlawing outside cats, which kill an estimated 450 Million birds a year in just the US (Some estimate as high as 1 billion)

    The bigger problem with turbines is their affect on bats. I don’t think that the effects on bats has been fully studied at this point, but the numbers are very high. Turbines kill birds when the birds are unlucky enough to be struck by the blade, but bats are different and only need to be near them. The pressure differential from the moving blades causes the bats lungs to rupture, killing them instantly. This is very unfortunate as bats are very important to the eco system and they reproduce slowly so killing them off in such large numbers will have a negative effect on insect populations.

    Bats also aren’t cute and cuddly and so don’t get much popular support

  4. Our energy crisis is difficult to get one’s arms around because of the multiplicity of issues trying to push sources of energy off center. Looking downstream from these sources is one common denominator. The energy sources must be converted into electrical energy to deliver the energy to its point of use. The electric power transmission infrastructure is a critical system in serious trouble. Deferred maintenance to save money, obstacles to building new capacity, and the science fiction of electric power health effects, will make any newly developed sources competing for energy delivery capacity that is not there. Planetary energy sources, like wind, tides, currents, and geothermal are free. You just have to build something to trap and harness it. People who oppose Planetary energy sources are very ill advised. It is free! Fossil fuels have well known environmental issues that are constantly being ironed flat. Hydro-electric sources are run by gravity, are free, but must disturb the environment to work. Nuclear energy has acquired a bad reputation because the classic water cooled design does not ultimately fail safe, a product of value engineering, regulatory blinders, and skewed risk analysis with a pile of very dangerous radioactive material.

    The bottom line is that special interests with no merit and some blatant mistakes, have been allowed to drive the energy balance in this country into the mud.

    We will all have the opportunity to ponder this by candle light, the world being what it is today.

  5. My problem with the wind turbines vs. birds is that the hypocritical tree huggers get all bent out of shape for a pipeline or an oil rig but say nothing about turbines or the miles of powerlines and right of way that would have to be cleared. Also if you have a business and by the actions of the business you kill endangered or threaten animals then you have to fill out all kinds of paperwork and you get fined for each one. BUUUUT not wind turbines.

  6. ogcone, is there any form of energy that can survive without subsidies or somehow does not “ruin the lives of people who live near” them?

    Wind – subsidized (don’t see how it ruins people’s lives, but ok)
    Solar – subsidized (creation of solar panels in china produces a ton of hazardous waste)
    Oil – subsidized (pollution)
    Coal – subsidized (pollution)
    Hydro – subsidized (alters ecology of rivers; see Northern California and the devastation of the fish trade)
    Nuclear – subsidized (critical failures are a danger to local communities)
    Tidal – don’t know enough about it, but not useable in most locations
    Geo-thermal – don’t know enough about it, but not useable in most locations

    What other forms of energy are there?

  7. It’s the selective prosecution of those held responsible for bird deaths that bothers me. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act was enacted either during or shortly after World War I, yet it has been judicially and regulatorily interpreted to apply to military training. Really? You think that a country that just lost a lot of young people to a war thought birds more important than well-trained servicemen. As for wind power–if it can survive without subsidies or ruining the lives of people who live near the turbines, I’m okay with it. But I am not so stupid as to pay more for my electricity (as offered in the Pacific NW) to ensure that it comes from wind power.

  8. You people are idiots. I live in a house with windows and I have seen about on average 4-5 birds a year hit my windows and die from the broken neck that the received from hitting the window. Are ya going to live in a tent? I am not for wind energy as they are not efficient. Just because they turn doesn’t mean they are producing power. Ya just don’t think sometimes. You can not fix everything; it is not a perfect world.

  9. There is a pretty big difference between a bird hitting a skyscraper in the middle of a city and birds getting chopped up in the “open spaces” where these wind farms are located. I am reasonably sure that vast majority of the ones killed in the city aren’t species deemed to be endangerd (though I don’t have actual data). Also, the skyscrapers don’t move.

  10. Please do not overlook other vertical structures, like broadcast and communications antennas, power line pylons, and cell towers. Flying aircraft are also a hazard, along with active volcanoes. This is just more a NIMBY-blabber effect with the target of the day.

  11. WE are AGAINST wind turbine projects

    But …

    … in all fainess, skyscrapers with large surfaces of glass, kill a vast number of birds that believe that transparent surfaces are not solid.

    Birds literally break their necks against the glass.

    Although it heart-wrenching to see large birds, like the great Bald Eagle, be destroyed by wind turbines, we are not sure that using such images is the way to go in defeating these projects.

    If you don’t want birds to be killed by wind turbines, then the same reasoning should, unfortunately, apply to skycrapers.

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