Huge vulture gets nailed by wind turbine blades and splats a hundred feet below.
I once worked on a wind-farm siting project out of Wenatchee, WA, to determine where heavy migratory flyways were located, by conducting night radar-surveys for birds. Using a FURUNO radar system, we could get a good idea of passerine numbers flying at night, by reading their echo signature. There are a ton of apple farms there.
The wind farm project I worked on was being considered in the middle of a
passerine flyway ie; a "super-highway" of millions of birds headed
north to feed. Birds have regular established routes of travel on their
migrations, just like caribou and wildebeest. These migration routes
take advantage of feeding areas, wind currents, shelter, water, and
The concern was if too many birds got killed, farmers would see increased production costs with applying more pesticides because less insects would be eaten. That would affect the cost to consumers, and more chemical run-off into the Colombia River could adversely affect wild fish stocks.
The question being considered, with the full support of local farmers, was where to place the turbines that would
still capture prevailing wind currents, yet miss knocking out oncoming
flocks of millions of birds that also maximize energy-expediency from
those same air currents.
Passerines eat seeds, berries, and insects. Vultures, obviously don't.
Many wind turbines, such as Altamont in California, are NOT in migratory
routes, thus kill far fewer birds, mostly the gliders and soarers, such
as eagles, hawks, and other raptors.
Of which there are far fewer of those than passerines. The number one killer of birds in the United States are pet kitty-cats.
Its all connected, which is why biological sciences are so fascinating.
A USATODAY article here:
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