Birds & Bats

3/18/2019
Rising Human Activity Could Be Harming Endangered Species

The Post Journal
Mary Heyl
Wind energy is the single largest source of mortality in bats

1/20/19

Water and wings: what Chautauqua County stands to lose
Observer Today
Mary Heyl
“I know that the temptation is there to have a more financially viable project, but if you can’t do it right, then it shouldn’t be done.” To him, wind energy companies’ drive to create more power — and more money — points to a systemic problem and the environment may pay the ultimate price. “As a species, we really need to stop putting as much focus on money. Obviously, we all need it and rely on it. But it’s not the most important thing in the world. We can’t buy back the bats that are being lost,” he said.

1/19/19
State’s first Article 10 wind project seeks more changes
Observer Today
Mary Heyl
“The cumulative impact of these wind projects has not been properly publicized or assessed,” he said. “Each project states that their impacts will be ‘minimal,’ yet they fail to address the additional mortality from each new project. … Once these turbines are up, they will begin killing bats for as long as they are operational, and the more that are installed, the worse the problem will become, so we need to consider this very carefully.”

11/13/2018
Agencies earn right to challenge wind farm studies
Watertown Daily Times
Marcus Wolf
Both the state departments of Public Service and Environmental Conservation said in letters dated Nov. 2 that they have withdrawn from the particular stipulations due to Apex’s decision not to divulge the knowledge of the nest and the lack of studies to address it.

11/5/2018
Wind farm ‘predator’ effect hits ecosystems: study
Phys.org
Patrick Galey
They found that predatory raptor birds were four times rarer in areas of plateau where wind turbines were present, a disruption that cascaded down the food chain and radically altered the density and behavior of the birds’ prey.  In particular, the team observed an explosion in the raptors’ favorite meal, fan-throated lizards, in areas dominated by the turbines.

10/31/2018
Wind farm review faces possible extension after eagle nest details were withheld
Watertown Daily Times
Marcus Wolf
Wind farm review faces possible extension after eagle nest details were withheld. “When an applicant withholds information regarding the environmental conditions in a siting application and those conditions are relevant and material to the agencies’ review of the application and negotiation of stipulations and studies to be performed, it raises serious questions about the applicant’s character and fitness.”

10/24/2018
Bird populations decrease in areas adjacent to wind turbines – UCC study
Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Ireland’s National Public Service Broadcaster.
Will Goodbody
He and colleagues surveyed birds at 12 upland wind farms and found that populations of birds were 10% lower in areas close to where the wind turbines were built. Forest species like Chaffinches, Great tits or Goldcrests are the most affected as commercial plantation forests are cleared to make way for turbines and wind farm tracks,” said Dr Fernández-Bellon. “Most people are familiar with the problem of bird collisions with wind turbine blades, but this study highlights how indirect effects, such as the alteration of habitats, can also be important.”

8/26/2018
Red light spells danger for bats near wind turbines
Telegraph
Sarah Knapton
“Bats are at a higher collision risk at wind power stations during their autumn migration,” explains Oliver Lindecke, co-author of the study. “Our study indicates that the use of red light signals could have fatal consequences for them as this appears to attract them to operating wind turbines.”

5/9/2018
Birds, bats and wind turbines often compete for airspace
The Blade
Tom Henry
The battlefront in this region has become a microcosm of the larger, political tug-of-war over valuable land and airspace that many people agree is probably going to get worse before it gets better.

3/29/2018
Wind farms affect small birds too
The Applied Ecologist’s Blog (official blog for Journal of Applied Ecology)
Julia Gomez-Catasus, Vincente Garza, Juan Traba
Due to their low detect-ability and high rate of carcass disappearance, fatality records of small-sized species are scarce and studies based on collision fatality records might be underestimating the impacts of wind farms on these species.

2016-2017 articles

4/11/17
Commentary: Wind turbines around the Great Lakes? A terrible idea for birds, bats

Chicago Tribune
Michael Hutchins, director of the American Bird Conservancy’s Bird-Smart Wind Energy campaign
The rush is on to build scores of large, commercial wind energy facilities in and around the Great Lakes, in Canada and the United States. From the proposed Galloo Island and Lighthouse projects in New York to Camp Perry and Icebreaker in Ohio and Amherst Island and White Pines in Ontario, developers are looking to flood the region with renewable energy. But at what cost?

4/8/2017
Wind Energy And Birds FAQ — Part 1: Understanding The Threat
American Bird Conservancy
Michael Hutchins
When it comes to wind energy, siting is everything. The risks are, of course, much greater when wind turbines are placed in areas attracting large concentrations of birds and bats12. When wind energy projects are located in or near major migratory routes, stopover sites, or key breeding or foraging areas, the losses are expected to be great.

11/7/2016
Wind farms could be killing 80,000 bats a year, new study finds
Telegraph
Sarah Knapton
A survey of 29 wind farms showed that 194 bats a month were killed, although the figure is likely to be higher because many of the dead creatures would have fallen prey to scavengers.
The research also showed that the risk of bat death increased by 18 per cent for each extra meter of blade length. Some individual turbines were found to kill around five bats a month.

9/19/16
Bird Concerns Lead To Denial of Saskatchewan Wind Farm (Canada)

Citing the protection of migratory birds, the Saskatchewan environment minister announced that the Algonquin Power 177MW project in Chaplin will not proceed.

9/12/16
Hiding Evidence of the Massacre (Scotland and England)
Biased, misleading studies financed by the wind industry are reassuring the public that industrial wind turbines will not only avoid killing eagles but lead us to believe that eagles will actually thrive. Yet, one Australian wind farm killed 7 eagles within a 4 month period revealing that raptors are actually attracted to turbines and that turbines pose a greater threat than previously thought.

8/24/16
Wind energy company sues to keep bird kill data out of public’s hands (Ohio)

Blue Creek Wind Farm (owned by Spanish company Iberdrola) has sued two Ohio state agencies to prevent them from revealing bird and bat kill statistics to the public. The company is claiming that it would be revealing “trade secrets.”

3/31/16
Birding in the Towns of Yates and Somerset
(pdf)
The Great Backyard Bird Count: The Great Backyard Bird Count is a popular citizen science event where people collect valuable information on the health of bird populations all over the world.  It’s free and easy to participate.

2015 articles

10/28/15
How green is the Wind Industry?
One could believe that the wind industry, with its focus on renewable energy, would also be a consistent champion of wildlife conservation, but it doesn’t always behave that way.

2/17/15
Wind Power and Bats
Of New York’s nine species of bats, the three species of tree bats (red, hoary, silver-haired) do not hibernate in caves or buildings during the winter, but migrate to warmer climes. For these migratory species, the relatively new upsurge in the use of wind energy poses a threat.

2014 articles

12/5/14
Snowy Owls add intrigue to the landscape

KENDALL – Readers have been sending photos of Snowy Owls to Orleans Hub in the last two weeks after sending many last winter when Snowy Owls were here in a historic migration, perhaps the biggest in a half century.

12/2/14
It’s Time for Independent Monitoring of Wildlife Kills at Renewable Energy Sites
Last month, an Oregon-based wind energy company filed suit to block the federal government from releasing information on bird kills at the firm’s 13 wind-power sites nationwide.

11/5/14
Massive Huron County, Michigan Wind Development Planned for Key Migratory Bird Corridor
Under FWS’ current voluntary permitting guidelines, wind energy companies are not required to apply for incidental take permits under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act or the ESA when the project sits on private property. ABC asserts that this is a loophole allowing wind developers to kill federally protected birds with impunity.

8/18/14
Hawk Migration Association of North America’s wind turbine siting policy
The Hawk Migration Association of North America’s official mission is to conserve raptor populations through the scientific study, enjoyment and appreciation of raptor migration. HMANA is concerned about the threat posed by industrial wind energy developments to migrating‭, ‬nesting and wintering raptors.

2012-2013 articles

3/27/12
Wind Storm: Whistleblower alleges gag order prevented State Park employees from revealing harm…x

The former Superintendent of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (ABDSP) has contacted East County Magazine to allege a cover-up by the State Parks Department and the Governor of serious impacts that the proposed Ocotillo Express wind project would have on our largest state park and its natural resources.

8/10/12
Migratory Bird Stopover Project (pdf)

Lake Ontario Migratory Bird Stopover Maps

1/21/13
Confessions of a windfarm bird-kill “control specialist”
Written by a bird-kill control specialist hired by the wind turbine company to disposes the bird and bat carcasses as quickly as possible to hide them from view, this poem documents the experience of “following death around,” as he titles it.

Birding in and around the Towns of Yates and Somerset

Lake Ontario Migratory Songbird Study

American Bird Conservancy explains the Top 10 Myths About Wind Energy And Birds
Wind energy does have an impact on wildlife and habitats. This article addresses common misconceptions about industrial wind development.

American Bird Conservancy discusses wind turbines and the Great Lakes
Wind turbines on the Great Lakes threaten migratory birds and bats.
author of both articles: Michael Hutchins, Director of ABC’s Bird-Smart Energy Program

Braddock Bay Bird Observatory
Braddock Bay Bird Observatory is a non-profit organization dedicated to ornithological research, education and conservation.  BBBO is operated entirely by volunteers, with the financial support of our members.  Our primary research and education facility, the Kaiser-Manitou Beach Banding Station, is located on the south shore of Lake Ontario northwest of Rochester, NY.

Braddock Bay Raptor Research (BBRR)
is a 501(c)-3 non profit, volunteer based organization.  Founded in 1986, BBRR has been continuously working towards preserving the area’s natural resources by focusing research and education activities on the spectacular spring raptor migration, and summer natal dispersal.  Braddock Bay is a bird migration “hot spot” located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario just northwest of Rochester, New York. Millions of birds migrate through the area every spring as they head north to their breeding grounds.

9/1/2013
(A 2013 video applicable to the growing eagle population along the south shore of Lake Ontario)
Why the Eagles Returned
Delaware Highlands Conservancy at www.delawarehighlands.org on Vimeo
In 1972, there was a single pair of nesting American Bald Eagles left in New York state. Today, there are hundreds in New York, Pennsylvania and surrounding states. What does the story of the American Bald Eagle’s return teach us about the impact we have on our environment, and our responsibility to conserve our shared habitat?

Informative Tables and charts regarding wildlife in the Southwest Lake Ontario Basin (pdf)

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