Library filed under Impact on Birds from UK
The construction of a wind farm in Sutherland led to an 80% drop in the number of golden plovers in the area, according to a five-year study. Scientists have now said their research project should be used as the basis for future studies on the effects of wind farms on other bird species.
The study, due to be published in Ibis, reports that numbers of the plover, which are protected under the European Birds Directive, dropped by 80 per cent within the wind farm during the first two years of operation, with these declines being markedly greater than on areas surrounding the wind farm that were studied over the same period.
Critics of the technology warn turbines pose a threat to birds, particularly rare species which are already suffering from low numbers or migratory species, as well as to bats. The Scottish Gamekeepers' Association (SGA) has previously claimed wind turbines are killing killed more birds of prey than deliberate poisoning or shooting.
This decision letter issued by the United Kingdom energy secretary reports that the Mynydd y Gwynt wind energy proposal has been denied. Reasons for the denial include the secretary's inability to determine the project's impact on red kites resident at the Elenydd-Mallaen special protection area (SPA). A portion of the decision is provided below. The full document can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. The project would have sited 27 turbines of between 3 MW and 3.3 MW each in Powys.
Gannets have been found to fly higher above the sea when searching for food which makes them vulnerable to turbine blades
[T]wo new wind farms planned nearby could threaten the colony, according to a new Government-funded study which found that gannets fly higher than had been thought – putting them at much greater risk of collision with turbine blades.
Crucially, the study also shows that the birds' feeding grounds overlap extensively with planned wind farm sites in the Firth of Forth, heightening their risk of colliding with turbine blades. The researchers estimate that up to 12 times more gannets could be killed by turbines than current figures suggest, although they stress that the figure is based on calculations using current typical turbine sizes, which could be different to those actually installed, and that there is great uncertainty over actual turbine avoidance rates.
An independent Reporter appointed by the Scottish Government postponed a hearing on how the development would impact on birdlife until June because of a procedural matter. RSPB Scotland, which has objected to the 39-turbine development at Strathy South in the Flow Country of Sutherland, accused Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) of causing the delay by changing paperwork.
"I have been monitoring breeding red kites and ospreys in the forest for the past 20 years while employed by RSPB. The two chosen locations for the turbines are in close proximity to known traditional nesting sites and pose a direct risk to the movement of adult birds of prey of conservation value as well as the relic population of Capercaillie."
Consent was given under strict conditions to mitigate any potential environmental impact and backing was received from environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth Scotland. But RSPB Scotland objected to the plans and raised fears over the proximity of seabird colonies.
A massive statue of a golden eagle could soon have a bird’s eye view of a controversial wind farm which campaigners claim could kill protected birds. ...“I feel that having 67 turbines there would totally destroy the place. Apart from being unsightly, they could be a hazard to the eagles’ natural habitat.”
Wind turbines have killed more birds of prey in Scotland so far this year than deliberate poisoning or shooting, a government report has revealed. Four raptors were confirmed killed by the devices between January and June this year and a fifth bird – a golden eagle – was electrocuted by a power line.
Wind turbines have killed more birds of prey in Scotland this year, including a rare white tailed sea eagle, than deliberate poisoning or shooting, an official report has revealed. Four raptors were killed by turbines between January and June and a fifth bird, a golden eagle, was electrocuted by a power line. Over the same period, two birds were confirmed to have been poisoned or shot.
The Scottish Government has granted permission for hundreds of turbines in the Forth and Tay that could generate enough energy to power 1.4 million homes. But representatives from RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Seabird Centre said they were worried about the potential impact the structures would have on marine wildlife.
The male white-tailed, or sea, eagle, known officially as Red T, was released into the wild back in 2011 as part of the East Coast Sea Eagle project. However, a “mortality signal” was picked up for the bird in February and it was tracked to the discovery of a carcase buried under several inches of snow below a wind turbine in the Ochils.
A senior member of bird charity RSPB Scotland has called for more careful consideration of wind farm planning after it emerged a wind turbine was officially blamed for killing a rare sea eagle.
Since 2010, a proportion of the harrier chicks fledged at Langholm have been fitted with satellite tags which monitor their progress. The row centres on the methodology used by Infinis' environmental experts to assess bird numbers, which came up with the figure of a solitary hen harrier flying over the proposed site.
There had been only eight recorded sightings of the white-throated needletail in the UK since 1846. So when one popped up again on British shores this week, twitchers were understandably excited. A group of 40 enthusiasts dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and blue bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia.
"It was seen by birders fly straight into the turbine. It is ironic that after waiting so long for this bird to turn up in the UK, it was killed by a wind turbine and not a natural predator. "It is tragic. More than 80 people had already arrived on the island and others were coming from all over the country. But it just flew into the turbine. It was killed instantly."
About 30 birdwatchers travelled to the island to see the unusual visitor, which has only been recorded five times in the UK since 1950. However, they then saw it die after colliding with the wind turbine.