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Wind farm faces protest over bird kills

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
KIMBERLY EDDS
SPECIAL TO THE STAR

LOS ANGELES—The freezers at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department in the Sacramento Valley are overflowing with the decapitated and mangled bodies of golden eagles, kestrels and red-tailed hawks, victims of the whirling blades of wind turbines.

It's estimated that as many as 44,000 predatory birds have been killed over the past two decades in the Altamont Pass, east of San Francisco.

Although the rows of spinning blades turn wind into electricity and make Alameda County less dependent on fossil fuel, they are also the end of the line for many birds whose annual migration route includes the pass. Concentrating on their prey on the ground, the birds fly into the blur of the windmill blades.

The bird deaths have led some environmental groups that support wind power to oppose permits for the Altamont site, arguing that the industry is not doing enough to stop the deaths.

In Alameda County, several environmental groups are trying to persuade the county to stop reissuing permits for the turbines without requiring additional environmental studies.

The county zoning board approved permanent permits for 1,400 windmills in November, but Californians for Renewable Energy and the Center for Biological Diversity say the county approved the permits illegally.

"The level of bird kills is just astronomical. You couldn't have picked a worse place to put a wind farm. It's just been an accepted cost of doing business out there," said Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Steve Stengel, a spokesman for Florida Power & Light Co., which owns about half of the 7,000 wind turbines at Altamont, said the industry has been trying to find ways to reduce bird kills.

Past attempts included painting the tips of turbine blades to make them more visible, installing screens around generators and adding devices to discourage perching on the towers.

But these failed to substantially reduce deaths. Among measures now being discussed is letting grass below the turbines grow taller and removing rock to provide cover for prey and discourage birds from flying in the area.


Washington Post
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
44,000 over two decades is less than 10 per day.

In Toronto, during migration, each year 35,000 birds are killed flying into buildings at night downtown because the lights are on.
 

Aeryanna

TRIBE Member
I'm sure they can find other deterrents to keep the birds away: Low-intensity sound devices that emit signals known to "irritate" birds (It wouldn't effect humans because its conducted at a lower decible than humans can detect), they can erect physical look-alikes of known predators or even holographic patterns that reflect flashes of light and prevent birds fromlanding. I wonder if they've tried any of these.
 

Day Dream

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Aeryanna
I'm sure they can find other deterrents to keep the birds away: Low-intensity sound devices that emit signals known to "irritate" birds (It wouldn't effect humans because its conducted at a lower decible than humans can detect), they can erect physical look-alikes of known predators or even holographic patterns that reflect flashes of light and prevent birds fromlanding. I wonder if they've tried any of these.
don't be so niave to think that it wouldn't "effect" humans, it's probably going to affect them in one way or another.

Maybe humans can't hear it, but it doesn't mean it wouldn't affect them.
 
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Aeryanna

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Day Dream
don't be so niave to think that it wouldn't "effect" humans, it's probably going to affect them in one way or another.

Maybe humans can't hear it, but it doesn't mean it wouldn't affect them.
I think perhaps you're a little of the mark here. I say it won't affect humans because its usually conducted at lower decibles ( less than 0) and in this case what we can't hear actually won't affect us. Lets assume a worst case scenario and pretend that the device they might use would produce an intensity that humans can detect, say 4-6 dB. Regular conversations are usually around 65dB and even whispering in a quiet library is at most 20 dB in intensity. You have a better chance of ruining your hearing at home or at a noisy office where noise levels reach 85 dB. So if noise 4 times quieter than whispering doesn't have a negative effect on our hearing (unless you believe someone can whisper your hearing away) then it only makes sense that noise that we can't detect at all wouldn't have a negative effect on our hearing. Don't believe everything you see in the movies :)

By the way, this is an impractical solution anyways because the turbines would be making too much noise for the birds to pick up the sounds, let alone humans. They're probably better off using holographic patterns.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
http://www.onequeenstreeteast.com/08notieven.html

Each year in Canada, roughly 10 million night migrating birds meet their death by colliding into office buildings and other tall structures, mistaking artificial light with star constellations - nature's intended method of guiding birds along their migratory path. In Toronto's downtown core alone, some 10,000 birds fall victim each year.

In a nation wide initiative to help reduce the number of collision kills in urban centres, our program puts the onus on office tenants and property managers to turn lights off at night during migration season.

Through tenant communiques, internal operations procedures and tenant space audits, the program stresses not only the importance of the lights out rule, but also urges tenants to lower their blinds at night and remove foliage directly in front of window areas. This program can be implemented year round, but is most important during migration season, mid-April to early June and mid-August to late October.
Pay attention, yo... 44,000 birds in 20 years is a drop in the bucket, compared to the 200 MILLION killed in the last 20 years in Canada alone from birds flying into buildings...okay? Now go collect some pop can tabs, m'kay?
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
North American numbers below... miniscule numbers of birds are killed by wind turbines in comparison... CATS KILL 100,000,000 BIRDS EACH YEAR!!!! (compare to the wind farm article, i.e. 2,200 a year)

http://www.currykerlinger.com/birds.htm

Glass Windows
Bird Deaths a year: 100 to 900+ million

Dr. Daniel Klem of Muhlenberg College has done studies over a period of 20 years, looking at bird collisions with windows. His conclusion: glass kills more birds than any other human related factor.


House Cats

Bird Deaths a year: 100 Million
The National Audubuon Society says 100 million birds a year fall prey to cats. Dr. Stan Temple of the University of Wisconsin estimates that in Wisconsin alone, about 7 million birds a year are killed by cats


Automobiles / Trucks

Bird Deaths a year: 50 to 100 Million

Scientists estimate the number of birds killed by cars and trucks on the nation's highways to be 50 to 100 million a year. Those statistics were cited in reports published by the National Institute for Urban Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Electric Transmission Line Collisions
Bird Deaths a year: up to 174 million
Estimates made by the U.S. Fish and Wildife Service demonstrate millions of birds die each year as a result of colliding with transmission lines.


Agriculture

Bird Deaths a year: 67 million
Pesticides likely poison an estimated 67 million birds per year according to the Smithsonian Institution. Cutting hay may kill up to a million more birds a year.


Land Development

Bird Deaths a year: unknown
Suburban sprawl is a silent but deadly killer. The National Audubon Society says loss of bird habitat is the greatest threat to bird populations.


Communication Towers

Bird Deaths a year: 4 to 10 million
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that bird collisions with tall, lighted communications towers, and their guy wires result in 4 to 10 million bird deaths a year.


Stock Tank Drowning

Bird Deaths a year: unknown
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists and other conservationists believe that large numbers of birds inadvertently drown in livestock water tanks.


Oil and Gas Extraction

Bird Deaths a year: 1 to 2 million
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that up to 2 million birds died landing in oil pits to bathe and drink in 1997. Fish and Wildlife says netting has improved that situation somewhat. There are no overall estimates for the number of birds affected by oil and gas spills, and oil and gas extractions (and transport.)


Logging and Strip Mining

Bird Deaths a year: unknown
Logging and strip mining destroy bird habitat. According to the National Audubon Society, habitat destruction is the leading cause of bird population declines.


Commercial Fishing

Bird Deaths a year: unknown
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ornithological Council report that 40 thousand seabirds per year are killed in the Gulf of Alaska by longline fishing operations. These same sources say long lining and gill netting kill large numbers of birds in other parts of the country as well.


Electrocutions

Raptor Deaths a year: more than 1,000
Experts estimate that more than one thousand hawks, eagles, falcons and owls are electrocuted on transmission lines and poles each year.


Hunting

Bird Deaths a year: 100 + million
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildife Service, more than 100 million ducks, geese, swans, doves, shorebirds, rails, cranes, among others are harvested legally each year.
 
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Mike Richards

TRIBE Member
Yes but how many Human deaths are there caused by birds each year


Originally posted by PosTMOd
North American numbers below... miniscule numbers of birds are killed by wind turbines in comparison... CATS KILL 100,000,000 BIRDS EACH YEAR!!!! (compare to the wind farm article, i.e. 2,200 a year)

http://www.currykerlinger.com/birds.htm

Glass Windows
Bird Deaths a year: 100 to 900+ million

Dr. Daniel Klem of Muhlenberg College has done studies over a period of 20 years, looking at bird collisions with windows. His conclusion: glass kills more birds than any other human related factor.


House Cats

Bird Deaths a year: 100 Million
The National Audubuon Society says 100 million birds a year fall prey to cats. Dr. Stan Temple of the University of Wisconsin estimates that in Wisconsin alone, about 7 million birds a year are killed by cats


Automobiles / Trucks

Bird Deaths a year: 50 to 100 Million

Scientists estimate the number of birds killed by cars and trucks on the nation's highways to be 50 to 100 million a year. Those statistics were cited in reports published by the National Institute for Urban Wildlife and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Electric Transmission Line Collisions
Bird Deaths a year: up to 174 million
Estimates made by the U.S. Fish and Wildife Service demonstrate millions of birds die each year as a result of colliding with transmission lines.


Agriculture

Bird Deaths a year: 67 million
Pesticides likely poison an estimated 67 million birds per year according to the Smithsonian Institution. Cutting hay may kill up to a million more birds a year.


Land Development

Bird Deaths a year: unknown
Suburban sprawl is a silent but deadly killer. The National Audubon Society says loss of bird habitat is the greatest threat to bird populations.


Communication Towers

Bird Deaths a year: 4 to 10 million
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that bird collisions with tall, lighted communications towers, and their guy wires result in 4 to 10 million bird deaths a year.


Stock Tank Drowning

Bird Deaths a year: unknown
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists and other conservationists believe that large numbers of birds inadvertently drown in livestock water tanks.


Oil and Gas Extraction

Bird Deaths a year: 1 to 2 million
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that up to 2 million birds died landing in oil pits to bathe and drink in 1997. Fish and Wildlife says netting has improved that situation somewhat. There are no overall estimates for the number of birds affected by oil and gas spills, and oil and gas extractions (and transport.)


Logging and Strip Mining

Bird Deaths a year: unknown
Logging and strip mining destroy bird habitat. According to the National Audubon Society, habitat destruction is the leading cause of bird population declines.


Commercial Fishing

Bird Deaths a year: unknown
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Ornithological Council report that 40 thousand seabirds per year are killed in the Gulf of Alaska by longline fishing operations. These same sources say long lining and gill netting kill large numbers of birds in other parts of the country as well.


Electrocutions

Raptor Deaths a year: more than 1,000
Experts estimate that more than one thousand hawks, eagles, falcons and owls are electrocuted on transmission lines and poles each year.


Hunting

Bird Deaths a year: 100 + million
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildife Service, more than 100 million ducks, geese, swans, doves, shorebirds, rails, cranes, among others are harvested legally each year.
 
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