Wind Turbines have minor impact on North American small-bird populations

Only about two or three small birds are killed per turbine wind turbines each year for every 225-300 houses supplied with renewable energy, new research suggests. 

The study collated data from 116 US and Canadian studies on 156 species of passerines (small birds). The study suggests some species are affected more than others, but that wind turbines generally have only a minor impact on these small-bird populations.

By contrast, over six million small birds are thought to be killed by communication towers in the US and Canada. Meanwhile, cats are estimated to kill at least 55 million birds each year in the UK alone, although some of these are thought to be weaker birds that would die anyway. 

The researchers also explored evidence for factors thought to contribute to bird collisions. 

The summary report can be obtained from:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/small_birds_wind_turbines_minor_impact_395na4_en.pdf

while the full report is available to view on-line at:

www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0107491

© Peter Foss 2012