Wind advocate Maine Audubon lectures about the importance of dark skies

This, from the "environmental group" that granted "Eagle Status" to giant donor First Wind, the number one wind developer in the state and likely public enemy number one to, err, eagles.

A guide to reducing light pollution around your home, neighborhood

“As we continue to see suburban sprawl reaching into historically dark areas, we should expect to see lower productivity and higher mortality in many of our native species,” said Doug Hitchcox, staff naturalist at Maine Audubon.

Hitchcox and his colleague, Maine Audubon conservation biologist Sarah Haggerty, specified some of the effects:

• Some animals mistake artificial lights for moonlight.

• Some are disoriented by artificial lights.

• Man-made lights automatically favor diurnal species, and can lead to conflicts between them and their nocturnal counterparts.

• The problem of predation also disproportionately hurts nocturnal species, which have evolved to hide. Exposed to lights, they are more likely to get eaten.

• When man-made light extends the day into night, nocturnal mammals – among them beavers, bats and most rodents – have less time (and surface area) to scavenge for food.

• “Many mammals will catch food and then carry it to a dark, safe place before eating, so light pollution will cause them to spend more time seeking out these safe areas,” Hitchcox said.

Solar-powered walkway lights soak up sunlight during the day. Quality StockArt/

Haggerty spelled out the problems for several particular creatures. The clam worm spawns in the light of the full moon, she said. But in shorelit areas (such as much of developed coastal Maine), man-made lights block out the moon, impeding the clams’ timing. Several amphibian species rely on the secretion of melatonin in their metamorphoses from tadpole to adult; the increase of artificial light may slow their development. And perhaps most familiar to the layperson – the moth. A moth flitting around a light is a moth that is not doing its job, Haggerty said. And because moths comprise a large chunk of pollinating insects, when lights disrupt their pollination tasks, the whole ecosystem suffers.

Airborne creatures such as moths, fireflies and birds bear the brunt of the impact of man-made lights, said Hitchcox, who specializes in ornithology. Nine-hundred million birds die each year over the United States during migrations, he said. Most of the deaths occur among songbirds, such as warblers. These smaller birds like to travel at night in order to avoid large predators, such as hawks, eagles and falcons, which migrate during the day. And while Maine-specific migratory bird studies are rare, Hitchcox says artificial light carries some of the blame.

He’s collected some of his own anecdotal evidence: On Portland’s West End, where he lives, Hitchcox has noticed an uptick of birds that swoop into lower altitudes during fall migration on the nights that Hadlock Field turns on its stadium lights. The lights may be attracting them, or disorienting them – scientists aren’t sure. In either case, it’s bad news for the birds, as these migrating birds are safer at higher altitudes, where they are less likely to collide with tall buildings.

“The tough thing is that no one really cares about this because no one knows it’s happening,” he said. “My goal is to get at least a baseline to show people that, ‘Hey, there are thousands of birds flying overhead at night. Could you please turn those lights off a little earlier?’ ”

Continue reading the article here:


Meanwhile, here's a new movie about dark skies called "Stars over Katahdin". I look forward to seeing the film. I wonder whether the film maker is aware of the various wind projects right to the east of Katahdin, Baxter and the KW & W national monument that have been on the wind developers' drawing boards for years. Are the proponents of the national monument cognizant of the fact that the monument host communities for which they lobbied (Sherman, Stacyville, Patten, Mount Chase, etc.) are in the wind developers' target sights? (To say nothing of other area communities such as Molunkus, Benedicta and Island Falls, the latter already plagued by "neighbor" Oakfield's wind turbines)

Do humans suffer ill effects from light pollution?

Filmmaker Sriram Murali addresses the question in his new movie, which will be shown at 'Stars over Katahdin.'

Rollins Lights

Turbine lights on Rocky Dundee seen from Upper Pond (Rainer Egle)

Yet another reason not to have flashing thunderous wind turbines…

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Comment by Sherwin Start on October 17, 2018 at 4:55pm

STILL  NOt a SINGLE WORD FROM MAINE AUDUBON about the BIRD STRIKES/KILLS  around the and from the WIND  TURBINE BLADES! IN ADDITION NOT A WORD FROM MAINE AUDUBON ABOUT the  SOUND  OF the wind turbine BLades generated while they are Spinning? THE ENVIRONMENTAL DESTRUCTION  that these MOnsters CAUSE   is INCALCULABLE!! WHY ARE THEY SO SILENT? After all, it's their JOB To protect all species of birds !! IN Addition- the Night LIghts on these MONSTROSITIES  may ATTRACT  even more Birds for the Turbines to Kill !! WHAT  SAY YOU  - MAINE AUDUBON - LEts address the REAL issues here and TRY to live up to YOUR name .

Comment by Sherwin Start on August 5, 2018 at 10:56pm

NOW THEY want to clear and BULL-DOZE a SWATH They Maine FRom CANADA  so they can TRANSPORT POWER From HYDRO QUEBEC to MASS., Conn.,& R.I.!  THE  REsidents of Maine will not receive as much as 1 kilowatt of power from this  "TRANSMISSION LINE".. BUT THE RATEPAYERS of MAINE WILL BE PAYING FOR IT - WHAT DEAL !!!  NO DEAL !!!

Comment by Sherwin Start on August 5, 2018 at 10:50pm



Comment by Stephen Littlefield on August 5, 2018 at 5:56pm

Unfortunately Audubon has sold out to big wind, they get big payoffs and the birds of prey get slaughtered by windmills! Sounds like a disgusting sellout for Maine and the birds! Audubon's actions are reprehensible and should be shunned for their betrayal of the birds and the people on Maine!!

Comment by Frank Haggerty on August 5, 2018 at 8:58am

Does money make a difference to Massachusetts Audubon? ---YES 

Massachusetts Audubon to make a long story short accepted $780,000.00 to allow Cape Wind to build 130 wind turbines of Cape Cod--They call it "mitigation" my opinion is they were paid $780,000.00 dollars to allow Cape Wind to kill Roseate Terns and then Massachusetts Audubon would build new nesting sites on Ram Island, Mattapoisett and Bird Island, Marion 
The bottom line Massachusetts Audubon took $780,000.00 -  
"MA Audubon is in an enviable position if Cape Wind is permitted beyond the $8 million dollar Cape Wind AM contract. MA Audubon manages Bird Island with $780, 000 restoration mitigation anticipated from Cape Wind lease payments." 

First Prize

NE Book Festival


Maine as Third World Country:

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 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?" 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.”

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