US

Bird group calls for end to wind energy due to threats to species

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

Irony of ironies, wind energy — a preferred form of renewable energy among environmentalists — has animal rights advocates concerned about the hundreds of thousands of birds killed by wind turbines.

On Tuesday an international bird watchdog group based in Spain, Save the Eagles International (STEI), warned that the expected construction of 3.5 million wind turbines worldwide will result in the extinction of a variety of bird species.

STEI is calling for a moratorium on all wind farm construction and an investigation into whether the threat to wildlife is worth the amount of energy produced — when, they say, there are so many other, more efficient sources of energy.

According to STEI it is a fallacy to compare wind turbine bird deaths to other sources of bird carnage such as automobiles and high windows, as wind turbine construction is optional.

“[M]ortality caused by windfarms and their power lines is new and additional”, said STEI president Mark Duchamp. “[A]nd like the proverbial last drop that spills the glass, its effects will be upsetting. To wit the Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle, which has been condemned to extinction by the construction of seven windfarms in its habitat.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) also expressed concern about the high number of bird deaths that result from wind turbines, but has not gone so far as to call for a ban.

“Unfortunately they do kill and maim birds and bats. Not only do they harm these birds, but they also hurt the young who depend on them and end up suffering as well. There are ways to reduce harm,” senior PETA campaigner Ashley Byrne told TheDC “There are more wildlife friendly turbines that spin more slowly and pose less of a risk and there is even a company that manufactures hoop shaped blades that are far more wildlife friendly.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department reports that these sky-high blenders slaughter more than 440,000 birds annually, including protected species.

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  • RichinNH

    No problem that there is absolutely no data to backup that claims for even a single bird that has lost its life from a wind platform. More get killed each year by windows – so how about we outlaw glass. Leave it to the liberals to pull their classic tricks of finding a previously unknown Spotted Newt Finch (Crockus Ofshyttus) that we must stop all development to protect.

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  • fourleafclover

    There are reports of massive bird kills when the windmill farms are in the migration flight pattern of migratory birds.

    A farmer in my area complained bitterly about the sound coming from a windmill farm that was installed next to him. I’ve never heard what a whole bunch of windmills sounds like but it could be irritating.

    I saw a short movie of a windmill in a strong wind that had something fail. The blades on the windmill started rotating at a tremendous speed until it literally blew apart. Parts were thrown for a good distance. No one or animals should live close to a windmill farm.

    Besides, if the US tried to switch over to relying solely on wind and solar power there would be a huge power deficit. Many people in the summers and winters could die from the extremes. There has to be another power source since the wind can stop and the sky can become cloudy over large sections of the country at the same time.

  • roadfixr

    What a farce. I’m no fan of these over-priced, under producing turbines, but they do not kill birds or other wild life. I’ve been directly under them and seen not a single dead bird. I’m not saying that no bird has ever been killed by flying into one, but birds have also been killed flying into my living room window. BIRDS CAN SEE!! When is the last time you heard that we need to get rid of all airplanes because birds do sometimes fly into them???????????

  • californiacitizen

    Just all part of the “green energy” hoax.

  • FloatingRock

    As a bird lover I find wind farms immoral, and considering that they don’t generate much electricity they need to be ripped out of the ground like those baseketball hoops in Detroit:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0ZZHGO5sXw