Second wind

Wind turbines may not be as fatal or disturbing to some birds as once thought. A study of 23 species of birds at two wind farms in England found that only the pheasant was significantly affected. Researchers suggest the pheasant may have been more effected because they are larger and less agile, which could make them more likely to collide with the turbine blades.

Reports of bird death by turbine have been widespread. Raptor populations declined, for instance, after some wind farms have been erected. But this study, by suggesting that farmland birds may be less likely to collide with turbine blades than raptors, could be useful for finding areas where wind turbines could be built without affecting biodiversity.

The findings were published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.