Looking for studies that explore the effect of Wind Farms on birds of prey?
September 9, 2011 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Studies showing the effect of Wind Farms on birds of prey?

Hoping that anyone can point me in the direction of studies that look at the effect of commercial wind wind farms on birds of prey.

Google throws up a mixed bag of news articles about bird deaths but I'm really looking for something more rigorous and objective.

posted by lapsang to Science & Nature (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: From the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary's Principles for Raptor Conservation-- "Wind power and raptors: their interactions and ways to reduce them" (link, but try typing "turbine" into the search box if it doesn't work):

Specifically, HMS recognizes:
• that bird kills, including raptor kills, have been documented at wind turbines, and that the cause, or causes, of these kills is not well-understood, and that successful mitigation cannot be developed until this is better understood, and;
• that there is a lack of sufficient and relevant research on the effects of wind turbines on migratory raptors, and that such effects are likely to vary with topography, location, season, and weather, and;
• that, generally, it is not appropriate to extrapolate effects from one region to another, and that ecological baseline data should be determined on an individual, site-specific basis, and;
• that wind turbines have yet to occur at the scale and at many of the locations they have been proposed for, and that the effects of wind turbines on natural resources, including raptors, presently cannot be fully assessed or predicted."

This .pdf has a (short) list of resources as well as contact information for Keith L. Bildstein, Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, one of the authors cited in this list.
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:05 PM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: Have a look through:

This google scholar search?
posted by Leud at 2:07 PM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: This, from the Canadian Peregrine Foundation, mentions one that you might be able to look into. (My daughter "adopts" a Peregrine through them every year, so we look at the site frequently.) They are really really helpful and nice there.

The Canadian Raptor Conservancy visited our daughter's camp this year. You could check with them, too, perhaps?

And, without knowing, but guessing, why you're asking, this blog post contains information and links that might be helpful, and I am friendly with the author and can assure you that she is a kind-hearted and scary-kind-of-smart person, who would likely be able to provide you with any information you might be looking for, though she is, of course, pro-turbine. (I personally, have not studied enough to have an opinion about anything other than how awesome falcons are and care about my kid, who adores them.)
posted by peagood at 2:33 PM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: It takes several years of rigorous pre- and post-construction monitoring to identify these effects, and there aren't many places that have had this requirement for long enough that reports are published. The proceedings of the various national wind energy association conferences would be a good place to start.
posted by scruss at 2:48 PM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: I believe that the Altamont Pass wind farm in California is one of the oldest. It was built before any understanding of the impact on birds and has since become a poster child for the damage that can be done. However it has also served as a study area to understand and mitigate the problem. Now finally the old poorly designed, poorly sited turbines are been pulled out and replaced with modern turbines based on all the learning gathered at that site.

The wikipedia page may provide some links to the actual research.

Here's an article talking about the turbine replacement project.
posted by Long Way To Go at 3:02 PM on September 9, 2011

More about Altamont.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:16 PM on September 9, 2011

Best answer: Oops. With link. Apologies.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:16 PM on September 9, 2011

One of the official reports, with lots of references to dig through.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:20 PM on September 9, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you everybody; very generous of you all.
posted by lapsang at 2:09 PM on September 10, 2011

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