From the University of Washington's Conservation Magazine:
The specter of bird fatalities has hung over the explosion in wind power over the last decade or so. Critics of wind tend to cite the now decades-old example of the Altamont Pass wind farm in California, where old versions of turbines are sited precariously close together, resulting in deaths to endangered birds like golden eagles. Estimates of just how many birds really die at the hands of a turbine have varied wildly, though a recent analysis pegged it somewhere between 140,000 and 328,000 per year.
New research, though, suggests that those very golden eagles made famous by failing to navigate Altamont may be a bit smarter about wind turbines than we thought. Researchers at the University of Northern British Columbia tracked 1,134 total golden eagles (between 327 and 427 per year) that flew near, past, over, and around a new wind farm in the eastern foothills of the Rockies in British Columbia. The first year they measured, 2009, counted as “pre-construction” before the turbines went up, while the subsequent two years were deemed “post-construction.” The birds, it turns out, aren’t so stubborn as to pay no attention to the giant spinning death traps that arose in their way. The findings appeared in the journal PLoS One.
See full article here.
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