Birds

 Overview

Wind Turbines kill and maim birds. The tip speeds of the rotors can be over 200 mph, even though the turbines look like they are spinning slowly. They are simply so large that the scale creates an illusion of slowly spinning blades. 

The following shows the tip speeds that might occur using the new supersized turbines planned by First Wind for their Oakfield expansion near Island Falls:

The wind industry has a playbook that they use the world over. When confronted with the bird mortality caused by turbines they invariably state that more birds are killed by cats or buildings.

What they fail to point out is that there are perhaps 75 million cats in the U.S. and perhaps 20,000 industrial wind turbines. Ditto for buildings.

Also, when was the last time a house cat killed an eagle or hawk?

The eagles and hawks have eagle eye vision and they use that to locate prey on the ground from high above. But that vision does them very little good when their eyes are fixed on the ground as they ride the thermals, not paying much attention to what look like deceptively slowly spinning blades off in the distance.

Table of Contents

2/25/11 - Threats to Birds From Power Lines

11/29/11 - Bird Slaughterhouse

6/30/12 - Dispelling the cats, buildings vs. wind farm bird death myth

 

 

Contents

2/25/11 - Threats to Birds From Power Lines

 

Threats to Birds From Power Lines

 

(Washington, D.C., February 24, 2011) The electrocution death from a power line on Kodiak Island, Alaska of the second oldest known Bald Eagle in the entire state – and perhaps one of the ten oldest ever recorded – highlights the threat large birds face from power lines, an issue of particular concern as the nation looks to increase wind energy generation, says American Bird Conservancy, the nation’s leading bird conservation organization.

“The threat to birds from power lines comes in two forms: electrocution when a large bird comes into contact with two lines or a line and a pole simultaneously, and collisions with the hard-to-see lines. We are very concerned that with the rapid expansion in wind power, numbers of both causes of mortality will rise. To meet the 2030 goal, the nation will need to produce about 12 times more wind energy than in 2009, which will dramatically increase the threat to birds such as the Bald Eagle unless appropriate mitigation takes place,” said George Fenwick, ABC’s President.

A band retrieved from the dead eagle confirmed that it was the second oldest on record in Alaska. The oldest found in the Unites States was a 32-year-old Bald Eagle from Maine. A wildlife biologist from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said that, based on records she has seen, the bird may have been one of the ten oldest [Bald Eagles]ever recorded. The bird was captured in 1989 following the Exxon Valdez oil spill that happened earlier in the year.

“That eagle survived one of Mother Nature’s harshest climates for 25 years, only to find death on a man-made utility pole,” he added.

“Wind farms require the installation of large numbers of utility poles and power lines. Unless buried or properly insulated, those power lines can electrocute large birds such as Bald and Golden Eagles that perch on poles and lines while hunting,” he said.

“Wind farms are typically located in more remote areas that also require significant build-out of massive high-tension power lines to connect them to the grid. Unless properly marked, these lines can also result in bird deaths through collisions, a particular concern for birds such as the endangered Whooping Crane,” he said.

American Bird Conservancy (www.abcbirds.org) conserves native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats while building capacity of the bird conservation movement. ABC is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization.

http://www.flyrodreel.com/blogs/tedwilliams/2011/february/threats-birds-power-lines

Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

11/29/11 - Bird Slaughterhouse

Bird Slaughterhouse: Repowering Altamont Pass with Smoke and Mirrors

If you love eagles and hawks, bats or gulls, or desire truly eco-friendly energy, this is a must-read.

Is wind energy the safe, sustainable 'green' energy solution we've been lead to believe it is? Is the repowering (using new, 'safer', more bird-friendly turbines) at Atlamont Pass really a step in the right direction - Or has it resulted in an even bigger 'eagle slaughterhouse' in the guise of eco-friendly technology? And  how will this 'new improved' turbine design help - or decimate - wildlife populations?

This week we have a scathing report on the wind industry, well-known to be one of the LEAST 'Earth-friendly' of the so-called  'green' energy technologies - and breathtakingly inefficient as an energy source, as well.

In an industry as corrupt and lucrative as Big Oil, it should come as no shock that wind-farms (industrial utility installations often owned by fossil-fuel utility companies) are routinely pushed through using falsified or rigged environmental impact studies and outright deceptive impact reporting.

These vast, deadly installations not only destroy hundreds of acres of sensitive and critical habitats for wildlife, but they guillotine birds by the millions, and the change in air-pressure around the whirling blades actually causes the lungs of bats to explode.

Leading authority on birds-of-prey and the wind farm industry, Jim Wiegand, is my guest columnist this week.  Mr. Jim Wiegand is Vice President of Save The Eagles International. His meticulously researched report on the new "safer' wind turbine installation at the infamous Altamont Pass in California is alarming.  It is shared, verbatim, below.

Repowering Altamont Pass with Smoke and Mirrors 

A few months back it was disclosed through the media that the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area was repowering with new safer turbines. With their new turbines Altamont was going to drastically reduce the bird mortality rate by 80 percent and raptors by 67 percent. We were led to believe that this major upgrade was going to drastically  reduce the number of bird kills in the Altamont region while increasing energy production.  This highly publicized move was received as good news across the world because thousands of eagles and tens of thousands of other raptors have been slaughtered at the wind turbines of Altamont Pass.

Image: Jim Wiegand

I began to think about it. The turbine designs haven't really changed, they 're just bigger. I did not understand how this could be possible. So I set out on a journey to find out if the new turbines really are safer for birds and raptors.

Why is my opinion important? I am a wildlife biologist, an expert on birds of prey, and I tell it the way it is.  I have even done my own research in the Altamont pass area before wind turbines were installed.  The wind turbine issue has been of great concern to me because protected and rare species have been getting chopped up in great numbers at Altamont for over 30 years. Some will say this is not my business and they will be wrong.  Dead eagles are my business.    

Over the years I have seen the wind industry answer to this problem.  Environmental laws have been changed in their favor, the industry has virtually no regulations, they have their own army (of) biologists, and as far as they are concerned, wind turbines belong just about everywhere the wind blows. Their money has always won and the golden eagles as well as all other raptors, have always lost.

I now have a different story to tell.  It is important because the scientific studies that were used to bring us this good news are loaded with seriously flawed information. In addition, this false information is now being used to sell even more turbines to the ignorant across the world. Ignored is the fact that if something is not done,  we are going see major population declines of nearly every raptor species across the world.  This includes the extinction of several species. All caused  by the uncontrolled  installations of the propeller style wind turbine.

For this critique I have looked through decades of reports and studies on Altamont Pass. To sum it up, Altamont Pass  is one big mess and mortality is really much worse than what is being reported. I will explain why and hope to bring some clarity to a very complex set of circumstances. Some of what I have to say is quite tedious but in the end  I believe everyone that reads this, will never think of Altamont pass or any other wind farm, in the same light again.

The Golden Numbers

The industry numbers used to proclaim that the larger turbines used for the repowering of Altamont will be much safer, are presented in ratios comparing Fatalities/1 Megawatt /Per Year. Many charts and hundreds of ratios were used to compare the different species of birds killed at Altamont. I could tear apart any of these numbers but I will only illustrate and discuss a few of the key numbers. Those being the numbers used for the media reports, target species of raptors and those used for all native birds.  The target raptors are those species killed in the greatest numbers every year at Altamont. They are the Golden Eagle, the Red-tailed hawk,  the American kestrel, and the Burrowing Owl.  The all native birds category,  are all the many species of native birds killed at Altamont over the years.

The numbers from numerous studies show that raptor mortality since 2005 at Altamont has ranged from 4.035 fatalities per megawatt to .803 fatalities per megawatt per year according to the size class of turbine. The death rate for all native birds  range from 11.00 fatalities per megawatt a year down to 2.389 for the newly repowered Buena Vista wind farm.

The higher  mortality numbers were derived from the smallest 40-65 Kw class turbines in use at Altamont for over 20 years. The lower mortality figures were derived from studies conducted on much larger 1 MW turbines in the newer section of Altamont called Buena Vista. There were also comparisons to other progressively smaller turbine size categories as well.  The categories shown below illustrate a progressive increase in mortality per megawatt. These numbers can be seen below.

40-65 KW         95-200 KW             250kw-400kw            660 KW             1MW

Wind Turbines     Wind Turbines      Wind  Turbines    Wind Turbines    Wind  Turbines

4.035/MW/year3.243/MW/year1.579/MW/year2.117/MW/year0.748/MW/year11.000/MW/year8.140/MW/year4.111/MW/year3.512/MW/year2.389/MW/year

These are impressive numbers and it appears that Altamont is on its way to reducing yearly mortality and living up to the settlement agreement made with the Audubon society, Californians for Renewable Energy ("CARE");  and Attorney General ( People of the State of California), to reduce mortality.  But there is a lot more to these numbers as I will illustrate and the agreement made to reduce mortality is not being met.

Rated Capacity and Actual Energy Production 

Altamont pass has a rated capacity of 580 MW. This number represents the theoretical total energy output of their 5000 or so turbines under high wind conditions. Every turbine depending on its size also has an industry given "rated capacity". These turbines are represented in the different categories seen above.  For the sake of simplicity I will  compare just two different wind turbines. One from the from the lowest 40-65 KW category and one from the 1 MW category,. those being an older Windmatic  65 KW  will be compared with  one of the new Mitsubishi  1 MW turbines that have been installed in the Buena vista section of Altamont.  These can be seen in the images provided.

The average wind speed in the Altamont region is in the 12-16 mph range. At 12.5 mph the Windmatic wind turbine produces about 135,000 KWh  per year. According to the manufacturer the 1 MW turbine at the same wind speed produces about 1,000,000 KWh. This comes out  to a 7.4 to one ratio in energy production when compared to the smaller turbine.  The "rated capacity" for the smaller turbine is 65 KW  This industry rating when compared to the 1 MW Mitsubishi rating creates a  ratio that  is 15.4 to 1(65kw divided by1000kw).  With this disparity between "rated capacity" and actual energy production it more than doubles the number of wind turbines used to compare fatalities for the much higher 40-65Kw  mortality category. This  type of comparison can be used with any of the turbines installed at Altamont.

All the mortality numbers from Altamont were derived by using comparisons to "rated capacity".  By using bird mortality and equating it to rated capacity, it creates a deception or trick of numbers because rated capacity is a subjective wind industry figure that refers to maximum energy potential of a turbine at a particular wind speed. The term rated capacity is so vague that it should NEVER be discussed in any mortality impact studies to protected species.

I know the State Of California  is well aware of this as well because twenty years ago the California Energy Commission made the following statement about rated capacity..... "Because the wind industry does not yet employ a standardized turbine rating system, much of the data reported is not directly comparable. Turbines are tested under different conditions and rated at widely varying miles per hour specifications. Evidence of the problem is indicated by the lack of correlation between blade swept area and turbine KW specifications."  Yet the wind industry has created false correlations for their mortality studies.

Instead what should always be discussed in every scientific mortality study are total rotor sweep area, tip speed, and placement because these are the primary wind turbine factors that slaughter our birds.

Currently there is no data available from Altamont Pass or any other wind facility across America, equating actual energy production to raptor and bird mortality. If one understands the magnitude of what  I have just presented, then it becomes obvious that  that none of the wind industry mortality studies using rated capacity comparisons have  credibility.   Rated capacity, that vague term of potential, is also used in another deceptive manner,  it is used to embellish the energy projections of wind farms.

In the end, with these new turbines going into Altamont,  more energy will be produced and that is the real reason why they are repowering. It is not for the birds and never has been.  More energy will be produced because at 300 feet up in the sky these turbines reach into stronger winds and far more rotor sweep will be put into Altamont.  Likewise  if the same old turbines now on  60- 80 foot towers were placed at the same level, they too would produce far more energy.

Rotor Sweep

All things being equal,  if we look at rotor sweep comparisons to produce the equal amounts of energy (135,000 kwh)  it shows that at a 7.4 to 1 ratio Windmatic have a combined total rotor sweep of 1140 sq meters (7.4 x 154sq meters=1140). The new 1 MW Buena vista turbines reaching almost 300 feet into the air have a rotor sweep of 2959 square meters. Each of these turbines has a rotor sweep equal to the total sweep area of 19.2 of the smaller Windmatic turbines. They also a total rotor sweep of  2.6 times for the same energy production. But more importantly the mortality equivalent of 19.2 turbines in the numbers above, is being compared to just one 1 MW turbine when it should be compared to just 7.4 turbines. This creates a figure showing 2.6 times more fatalities for the smaller turbines. If this inflated 2.6 ratio is plugged into the industry numbers it drastically lowers the mortality numbers again for the smaller 40kw-65kw class of turbines.

Even so, there are far bigger problems with the wind industry mortality studies and their conclusions.

Proportional Rotor sweep and Search Areas 

In order to get the mortality data,  an area around each turbine must be searched. If we compare the areas searched between the different turbine types the results are shocking. Especially when comparing the search areas of the 1MW turbine to the smallest and supposedly most dangerous 40-65 KW turbines.

 

40-65 KW 95-200 KW            250kw-400kw             660 KW                   1MW

Wind Turbines       Wind Turbines          Wind  Turbines       Wind Turbines       Wind  Turbines

rotor sweep area 154 sq meters  1658 square feetrotor sweep areaapp. 350 sq m app.1734 sq feetrotor sweep areaapp. 800 sq m app. 1734 sq feetrotor sweep area1734 sq meter s18,664 sq feetrotor sweep area2960 sq meter 31,860 sq feet50 meter search50 meter search50 meter search60 meter search75 meter search

 

Published Scientific reports claim declining fatalities in the new larger turbines installed at Altamont but the data also shows something else if you look close. The data shows that there a direct association between the number of fatalities found in relation to turbine size. It is an illusion because from the highest number of fatalities found in the studies down to the lowest shows progressively smaller search areas for each of the five larger wind turbines categories.

The area searched for each of the smaller Windmatic turbines is 50 meters out from the base of each turbine.  The area searched looking for bodies around the 1 MW turbines at Buena Vista was 75 meters.  Since the 1 MW turbines are actually 19.1 times bigger we can multiply the 7850 square meter Windmatic search areas by that amount for comparison. This will give us an area of  149,935 square meters that was searched for the fatalities listed for the smallest turbines. Now if we look at the total area searched for the much larger 1 MW turbines it is just 17662 square meters

A total single search of the so called safer 38 turbines installed in the Buena Vista wind project,  covered  671175 square meters. The total search area of the same rotor sweep equivalent ( 726  40-65 Kw turbines)  of the smaller turbines was 5,699,100 square meters.   A difference of  5,028,735 square meters, or almost  2 square miles.

This is very important because wounded birds with severed limbs can travel for days before dying and smaller birds hit by blade tips can fly like a baseball upon impact.

The mortality figures given by the industry for the 1 MW turbines were derived from    search area equivalents 8.5 times smaller.  The new larger turbines with lower claimed fatalities had bird and bat mortality searches covering an area of  over 26  million less square feet every time searchers looked through the turbines.  What does this all really mean?  That if you do not look, you will not see.

Now that the wind industry undersized search radius ploy has been exposed, an argument can also be made that comparison search areas should be derived from the equal angles created from the outside edge  or the maximum height of the rotor  sweep to the outside edge of the search radius. I have looked into this and depending on tower height, it still creates a search area radius in the 130-142 meter range that should have been done for each of the Buena Vista 1 MW turbines. This is still 3 - 3.6 times too small.  But even if this had been done, the increased search areas would not account for the higher winds at the increased elevation of impact,  nor the greater impact to birds generated  from birds hitting blades with much faster tip speeds of the newly installed 1 MW turbines.

All Native Bird Comparisons                                                                                                     

The new turbines were said to drastically reduce the bird mortality rate by 80 percent. This statement is not true. Not only are the all native bird figures wrong from the result of  using distorted comparisons of rated capacity, rotor sweep, and search area sizes, but birds species that do not use the habitat, were used to create the low Buena Vista number of 2.389 bird fatalities/per MW/ per year.

Bird species that do not live in or use the habitat should not have ever been used. I've walked the Buena Vista habitat. The habitat where the Buena Vista wind turbines are placed, is a treeless semi desert grassland (see images).  You will not see wild turkeys, flickers, scrub jays, pelicans and many of the other bird species that were used to build the 80 percent reduction number. This is another trick of numbers used to create the safer turbine myth.

Other problems with the Turbine comparisons

Hidden in the numbers are several other facts that completely change the widely published repowering conclusions. With the largest 1MW turbines, is the terrible news that the golden eagle death rate went up over all other wind turbine categories from .043 fatalities to .084 per MW /per year. Even with the many flawed comparisons and conclusions the death rate still nearly doubled when compared to the 40-65 kw turbines. When accounting for these flaws, the death rate for the golden eagle becomes even more alarming because it easily escalates mortality to over 4 times as many golden eagles killed with the so called safer turbines.

Another fact buried in the 67% lower raptor mortality numbers is the fact that with the burrowing owl mortality category, no mortalities were reported because they also do not live around the turbines in Buena Vista 1 MW turbine habitat.  This lowered the overall raptor mortality of the raptor species. The closest and rare observations of this species were all about 1/2 mile away from the closest turbines.

Lastly it must be pointed out that the these same 1 MW Turbines put in other locations of  Altamont pass with better habitat would kill far more raptors, birds, and bats. In other words the bird and raptor mortalities reported would have been higher in nearly every category except for those species like the Horned lark and Prairie falcon that prefer this semi desert habitat. The death list from the Buena Vista turbines shows that their mortality numbers went up.

The only reasonable conclusions that can be made from the Buena Vista Mortality studies  is that the new larger turbines are far more dangerous to the golden eagle and wind turbines kill the indigenous species from the habitat where they are placed.

The Stark Reality

One of the reasons the new turbines are so dangerous to eagles is because the placement of the Buena Vista turbines now has the highest concentration of wind turbines in all of the Altamont region. In addition, for any bird species that pays a visit to the Buena Vista Wind farm, the chances of coming out alive are the worst in all of Altamont. Now within this .85 mile square mile area, anything that flies  must face 1,205,132 square feet of air space with spinning turbine blades. Their blade tip speed is 210 mph when spinning at 19.8 rpm.  The Buena Vista section of Altamont Pass now has more than three times the density of spinning blades (rotor sweep) found anywhere else in the entire Altamont wind resource area. In other words, the equivalent of 726 of the older Windmatic wind turbines have been crammed into one small area.

For the Buena Vista project 179 older turbines were taken out and this repowering project  added 441,320 more square feet of rotor sweep to the previous total. When the original 179 turbines that were pulled out, they also did not sit on .85 square miles, they were spread out over an area of 3.9 square miles. The untold truth is that the Buena Vista wind farm is now the most dangerous installment of turbines in the entire region of Altamont Pass and it is going get worse.

Why Altamont Death Rate is Really Much Higher                                                                        

When looking through the many studies conducted at Altamont over the years, I also saw mistakes  researchers we were making with their the studies under the turbines. I can report that mortality is much worse than anything reported and much higher than any of previous of estimates. Especially for the smaller birds and bats. This is because all the previous studies were set up to see only the leftovers from scavenging. Unreported in the studies is the fact that Ravens, sea gulls, vultures are picking the search areas clean long before the searchers arrive. Over the years I have spent time studying each of these species and from what I have seen of their behavior I know that most of the smaller species killed by the turbines are carried off or eaten from the turbines in a day or two after they hit the ground.

In all the studies researchers have been coming back to the turbines checking for bodies   two weeks, a month , or even 3 months later so they can tally up the fatalities. But its really old news and even if they checked everyday the ravens and gulls would make fools out of them.

A look at the many Altamont studies consistently shows that these species as a group are the most commonly seen birds in the Altamont Pass region. These species are tenacious scavengers equipped with very keen eyesight. Their eyesight may not equal that of  an eagle's, but it is not far off. In addition there is another very important characteristic about raven behavior that plays a part in all of this. That is, they stash food. Hiding it away even if they do not need it or can ever possibly eat it all, they will fly off  and hide it.  I have witnessed ravens carry off and hide a months worth of food in a few hours. But due to spoilage much of the food taken could never be consumed.

Scavenger studies by researchers have been set up to account for the disappearance of fatalities, but as I have seen, they too are flawed. For example with the Buena Vista scavenger studies, the dead quail used in the scavenger studies were too big for gulls to swallow whole or for the ravens to carry away.

There are other very serious problems with all the mortality studies. These problems arise from deliberate  interference from those protecting the money. Lack of researcher access given by the wind companies, wind farm personnel picking up and hiding bodies, land owners with leases wanting to keep a lid on the bad publicity so their money will keep coming in. Then there are those endless studies generated from the wind industry experts.  As anyone can see from the results of the Altamont repowering studies, none have these have much merit.

I have a lot more I could say about Altamont but I will save it for another day. Right now I want the people in the Bay Area,  to understand the next ugly chapter of what is about to take place at Altamont Pass, more eagles will die.

The future

The result of the repowering of Altamont will bring many more fatalities to the golden eagle and all raptors.  Currently Altamont has a rated capacity of 580 Mw of which it has never come close to achieving.  With the new turbines and by using the obscure meaning of "Rated Capacity",  I believe the industry is going to make it happen. In the process the total rotor swept area for Altamont will be increased by several million more square feet.  For Altamont the blood bath will not only continue, it will get much worse. If this happens a mortality decline for raptors will never be reported until there is a decline in the overall raptor populations or the media grabs a hold of a cooked-up wind industry report.

The repowering of Altamont is in it early stages. I know that 100 much larger 2.3 MW turbines are scheduled to be put in at Altamont by NextEra. The total rotor sweep of these turbines will equal 4400 of the early turbines 65 KW turbines (see image). Combine these turbines with the 38 1 MW turbines installed at Buena vista,  the 31 Diablo Winds 660 KW turbines and together they will total 5434 of the early 65KW turbines. I have been told that as many  as 700 of these huge new generation wind turbines are planned for the repowering of Altamont.

So I ask, at what point if ever, does any of this ever sink into the consciousness of  the Bay Area?

 

Image courtesy Jim Wiegand

Jim Wiegand

Vice President USA, Save the Eagles International

 

Save The Eagles International        

Partida La Sella, 25, p.2

03750 Pedreguer, Spain

Tel : + 34  693 643 736    www.savetheeaglesinternational.org


http://www.examiner.com/wildlife-conservation-in-national/bird-slaughterhouse-repowering-altamont-pass-with-smoke-and-mirrors


Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

6/30/12 - Dispelling the cats, buildings vs. wind farm bird death myth

It's been a tiresome retort from spokespeople defending the wind industry: "More birds are killed by cats and glass buildings than by wind farms, so wind farms are OK."

Really? That makes it 'OK'? Well, let's think about that critically.

First of all, just because people die in car wrecks every day doesn't mean it's therefore OK for still more folks to die by plane crash, does it?

Yes, the argument is that ludicrous.

Especially since eagles, cranes, condors or bats are not likely to be flying into anyone's window.

Ever.

And when was the last time a domestic cat dragged home a bustard or an eagle?

Besides, if rare and threatened species are already on the brink due to human activities upon the planet, doesn't it make sense to try to minimize such 'collateral damage' as much as possible? At least, it makes sense if you want to call your industry a 'clean', 'green' energy source.

I am going to do something different here, and list my source's references right up front, to make a point:

REFERENCES

(1) – CBC article:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/06/27/nb-birds-wi...

(2) – Eagles killed by wind turbines:http://www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=3071

– Ospreys killed by wind turbines:http://savetheeaglesinternational.org/?page_id=843

(3) – Specifications of wind turbine Aeronautica 47-750:http://aeronauticawind.com/aw/library/Spec_Sheet_Norwin750-54_new.pdf

(4) – 40 to 60 great bustards killed by the power lines of the Villasilos windfarm, Spain.
This compares to a previously estimated population of 260 individuals, immatures included, for the whole province of Burgos. The Villasilos area being the principal habitat in the province for these 10-14 kilo birds, where most of them show up at one time or another, the windfarm is actually acting as an ecological trap, a population sink for this endangered species. This is how “carefully” the wind industry places its windfarms. – STEIhttp://savetheeaglesinternational.org/?page_id=947

(5) – 6-18 million birds and bats killed yearly by 18,000 wind turbines in Spain:
http://www.seo.org/2012/01/12/seobirdlife-presenta-una-nueva-guia-para-l...

(6) – The Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle is being driven to extinction by windfarms:
www.iberica2000.org/Es/Articulo.asp?Id=4382

(7) – Wind turbines already driving some species to extinction:http://savetheeaglesinternational.org/

Scary that a 'harmless', so-called 'green' energy source should cause so much havoc on the Earth, isn't it?

By now, long-term readers will know this author's stance on industrial-scale wind installations: They are inefficient, costly, dangerous, noisy, ugly, destroy millions of acres of sensitive and critical habitat and chop up birds and bats by the millions around the world.

Wind 'farms' are not farms - They are industrial-scale utility installations - heartless, corporate-run income machines. They are not wildlife-friendly. They are not 'green' energy solutions.

You've read my past articles. You know the drill.

But now the World Council for Nature and Mark Duchamp/Save the Eagles, International, have come out and officially denounced the deceptive statements and outright lies routinely doled out by this lucrative INDUSTRY.

For starters, the press release states that, contrary to claims by wind-industry spokespeople, there is no such thing as a 'bird-safe' propeller-style wind turbine.

Industry misinformation claims that birds 'stupidly crash into the turbines', which repeatedly has been shown to be incorrect. Birds are struck by the blades, which seem to be slow-moving but in fact travel at very high speed at the tips. Imagine a child crossing the track at Indianapolis: this is what birds are doing when they fly between the arms of what looks like a gentle giant - suddenly, Whack!

The model they refer to, to be installed into supposedly protected wildlife habitat (Campobello Island, NB in the Atlantic Flyway) has a blade tip speed of 226 km/h - and is placed right in the path of ospreys and eagles.

Nothing can dodge a 2-ton blade moving at that speed, nor can a bird gauge the blade's speed to avoid it, nor can bats, even with their echolocation, avoid the lethal drop in pressure around the spinning blades that stuns them to the ground with internal hemorrhage.*

Considering that massive wind installations are routinely sited in fragile and critical open, windswept locations, the invasive installation and infrastructure alone damages wildlife habitat. Combined with the direct killing of soaring birds - frequently threatened or endangered species, at that - and it's a wonder the outcry has taken this long to begin slowing the spread of these disastrous projects.

It is happening, though, at last.

We can only hope it is not too late to save our imperiled species.

The situation is so dire that, despite harsh economic and political obstacles, more and more conservation organizations are stepping up to the plate to try to halt the insidious spread of these industrial-scale killing fields. For instance, here is the first press release from Mark Duchamp, of the World Council for Nature, on the outrageous project of Campobello Island, in which not just the turbines but the selection of the site itself, within an Internationally protected natural flyway and refuge, are exposed as hugely irresponsible.

Estimates from conservation groups predict 333 - 1000 bird and bat deaths per year per turbine.

Knowing that most installations typically expand to include more wind turbines than originally applied for, I asked Mr. Duchamp what the proposed development at Campobello would entail. This is his reply:

They are testing the water with one turbine, since it's such a sensitive habitat. It's the usual strategy for such cases.

I have no doubt more will come later. But a single wind turbine will kill bald eagles and ospreys just the same, especially if it is located as it is, near water.

These raptors will attempt to perch on the nacelle: it's ideal for stalking prey. I have pictures of raptors perched on wind turbines, plus the video of a turkey vulture on a moving turbine. This is why so many get killed.

I have a contact who lives in Welshpool, close to where the turbine will be: she has observed up to seven bald eagles perched on a tree near her house.
This is the wrong island to put wind turbines on, even a single one.

You do the math : 6-18 million birds and bats killed yearly by 18,000 wind turbines in Spain, alone .

It is a known outcome that wind installations are avian slaughterhouses. Yet they continue to be approved, pushed through with money and politics, and the birds and bats suffer.

So, when does this carnage become unacceptable?

Why do so many continue to dismiss or deny the damage the wind energy industry actually does to the planet and to wildlife?

I suspect that, with the global overload of crisis's and losing battles, which is only escalating as the folly of our ways comes back to haunt us, people are simply burned out.

We are tired.

We are overwhelmed.

We are hopeless.

We are becoming - selfish.

Does this excuse our actions or lack of actions? Does it pardon us from doing our absolute best to stem or reverse the tide of human-generated chaos and demolition we're perpetrating on the natural world?

This author has to wonder why we, with those great, big, brilliant brains humans have been blessed with, can not design an energy source that is truly benign to wildlife and to the health of the Earth.

Or maybe we can - Maybe we HAVE - But the power and influence of the giant mega-corporate entities that are taking over the world are squelching such advances.

It will take a concerted effort to reject wind-industry rhetoric and the PR campaigns these corporations can afford to spend massive amounts of money on, but for any concerned and thinking individuals, it's a moral and ethical responsibility we must uphold.

So how can you get started?

For more information please visit World Council for Natureor Save the Eagles International.

* Many thanks to Mr. Mark Duchamp ofSavetheEaglesInternational.org, for his help in fact-checking this article

http://www.examiner.com/article/dispelling-the-cats-buildings-vs-wind-farm-bird-death-myth

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CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?"  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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