Turbine farms get a second wind

Researchers narrow risk factors for birds killed by colliding with blades

Turbines may not be as fatal or disturbing to some birds as once thought. A study of 23 species at two wind farms in England found that only pheasants were significantly affected, possibly because they are larger and less agile than other birds.

By suggesting that farmland birds may be less likely to collide with turbine blades, the study (published in the Journal of Applied Ecology) could be useful for finding areas where wind turbines could be built without affecting biodiversity.

Reports of birds’ deaths by turbine have been widespread. Raptor populations, for instance, declined after some wind farms were erected.