Study: Feds underestimating the number of protected bird deaths at all the wind farms they aren’t prosecuting

posted at 9:31 pm on July 23, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The federal government has made it their especial business, not merely to restrict recreational and productive commercial access in many areas of the full one-third of the surface area of the United States it controls — often on the proclaimed behalf of the Spotted Owl, the Sage Grouse, the Golden Eagle, etcetera — but also to aggressively pursue and prosecute any hydrocarbon companies that they discover have been responsible for killing any protected birds via their industrial activities.

Miraculously, however, the Obama administration has so far neglected to prosecute nor level the heavy related fines against any wind-energy companies, despite the mass deaths of birds protected by the Eagle Protection and Migratory Bird Treaty Acts that they often cause. Even better, the Daily Caller reports on a study that confirms that the feds have been conspicuously underestimating the number of bird deaths resulting from these swept-under-the-rug wind-turbine collisions:

In fact, bird deaths were found to be 30 percent higher than previous estimates given by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2009.

“I estimated 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities) at 51,630 megawatt (MW) of installed wind-energy capacity in the United States in 2012,” writes K. Shawn Smallwood, author of the study that was published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin.

“As wind energy continues to expand, there is urgent need to improve fatality monitoring methods, especially in the implementation of detection trials, which should be more realistically incorporated into routine monitoring,” Smallwood added.

Wind turbines have been a dividing issue among environmental groups, as different priorities are placed on promoting renewable energy to curb global warming versus saving wildlife.

“It is the rationale that we have to get off of carbon, we have to get off of fossil fuels, that allows them to justify this,” said Tom Dougherty, a former National Wildlife Federation employee. “But at what cost? In this case, the cost is too high.”

So not only is the federal government selectively prosecuting certain favored energy industries when it comes to bird deaths, but they are also making it their current business to subsidize, promote, and build the wind farms that are actually killing a lot more wildlife than even they thought. Hypocrisy, much?


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Just blowing in the wind.

Bmore on July 23, 2013 at 9:36 PM

It’s for the children.

JimK on July 23, 2013 at 9:36 PM

Birds: Tiny, rag-tag fleet

Windmills: Cylons

BobMbx on July 23, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Just goes to show you that most environmentalists…. aren’t.

KCB on July 23, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Don’t birds exhale Carbon Dioxide? Good riddance/

KCB on July 23, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Oh my. I hope the col-sarn contraptions aren’t shearing MOTHER PHEASANTS! I’d be out of a job:

I am not the pheasant plucker,
I’m the pheasant plucker’s mate.
I am plucking mother pheasants
Cause the pheasant plucker’s late.

I am not the pheasant plucker,
I’m the pheasant plucker’s wife.
I’ve been plucking mother pheasants
All my pheasant plucking life.

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on July 23, 2013 at 9:40 PM

If it weren’t for double standards the left would have no standards at all.

SoRight on July 23, 2013 at 9:41 PM

When there is an Obama Icon on the Blades of Birdie Death…
One tends to look away…

Electrongod on July 23, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Don’t forget the all important bat.

Bmore on July 23, 2013 at 9:50 PM

“I estimated 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities)
=========================

Animal Wackos appear to be silent!

Oh wait,there/their guy is in office!

canopfor on July 23, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Oops,according to Tree-Hugger,the Holocaust of Birds is
collateraly damage A-Okay!
==========================

Common Eco-Myth: Wind Turbines Kill Birds
April 6 2006
************

It’s a given that anytime we post a story on wind power

someone is going to comment that “turbines kill birds,”

suggesting that wind power may therefore be unacceptable.

Compared to what?

Hitting birds with automobiles (along with turtles, groundhogs, and deer)?

Birds caught by feral cats?

Birds colliding with buildings or phone towers?

Quite possibly, a higher mortality will be attached to the transmission wires needed to get the wind power to market.

Why, then,

do many associate bird mortality only with wind turbines?

We hope to get to the bottom of this “death by turbine” myth hole,

and point to the factors that can actually be managed though public involvement.Our hunch is that the Altamont Pass California wind turbines, reportedly the site of some of the highest bird mortalities associated with any US wind farm, and using what is now an antique turbine design, are at the root of the widespread association of bird mortality with wind turbines in general. Now might be a good time to have a glance at this site, to get some perspective on the hundreds of raptors killed per year by the Altamont turbines.(More…………….)
===============================================

http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/common-eco-myth-wind-turbines-kill-birds.html

canopfor on July 23, 2013 at 10:02 PM

How many blackbirds have to die?

Aren’t the windmills kinda white in color?

Oh wait…windmills…theoretically “liberal” by intent…ah…

ProfShadow on July 23, 2013 at 10:02 PM

There sure are a lot of wind farms in Minnesota, along the I-90 corridor. Almost as far as the eye can see.

And they all blow at the same speed, all the time.
- Why is that ?

williampeck1958 on July 23, 2013 at 10:02 PM

canopfor on July 23, 2013 at 10:02 PM

If we can save but one bird’s life, it will be worth it!

Tear down those windmills!

/s

ProfShadow on July 23, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Where’s greenpeace? The sierra club? All the others?

wolly4321 on July 23, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Why don’t they just build a really big friggin wire mesh cage around these contraptions to keep birds of prey from flying into there?

paulsur on July 23, 2013 at 10:05 PM

How many birds will the keystone pipeline kill ??
oh, the horrors !!

/

pambi on July 23, 2013 at 10:11 PM

canopfor on July 23, 2013 at 10:02 PM

If we can save but one bird’s life, it will be worth it!

Tear down those windmills!

/s

ProfShadow on July 23, 2013 at 10:03 PM

ProfShadow:Oh gawd,praise be,yes,haha!

It is interesting,in the name of so-called Clean Renewable Energy,what the Animal Wacko’s and Environmentalists are willing
to sacrifice!!:)

canopfor on July 23, 2013 at 10:12 PM

How many birds will the keystone pipeline kill ??
oh, the horrors !!

/

pambi on July 23, 2013 at 10:11 PM

pambi:

Us Canadians are Bird Murder’er’ers!:)
(sarc)

canopfor on July 23, 2013 at 10:13 PM

The birds just want to give the wind turbines a hug for saving the environment. Silly birds.

Glenn Jericho on July 23, 2013 at 10:15 PM

Why don’t they just build a really big friggin wire mesh cage around these contraptions to keep birds of prey from flying into there?

paulsur on July 23, 2013 at 10:05 PM

paulsar:Kinda like a Bird Protection Turbine Condom!:)
(sarc)

canopfor on July 23, 2013 at 10:18 PM

Incidentals.

Bmore on July 23, 2013 at 10:21 PM

…can JugEars fly?

KOOLAID2 on July 23, 2013 at 10:27 PM

…can JugEars fly?

KOOLAID2 on July 23, 2013 at 10:27 PM

KOOLAID2: Does a Chicken have Lips?:)

canopfor on July 23, 2013 at 10:31 PM

Why don’t they just build a really big friggin wire mesh cage around these contraptions to keep birds of prey from flying into there?

paulsur on July 23, 2013 at 10:05 PM

paulsar:Kinda like a Bird Protection Turbine Condom!:)
(sarc)

canopfor on July 23, 2013 at 10:18 PM

The trouble with enclosing a wind turbine in a “cage” is that the wind tends to establish a boundary-layer flow around the outside of it. This drastically decreases the efficiency of the turbine, which isn’t too great to begin with.

Back in the Seventies, there were proposals for “tornado turbines” that not only were safer for birds, but more resistant to high winds (E4 and above), and used the boundary-flow instead of being crippled by it;

http://www.popsci.com/environment/images/2010-11/tornado-turbine-january-1977

There’s also the rotor sail, aka the Flettner or Magnus effect system;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotor_ship

Although up to now it’s only been used to propel ships, it generates high RPMs from wind. It should be able to drive a generator.

Either one would be more efficient, more durable, less dangerous, and probably cheaper to build and maintain than those giant propeller-beanie/bird Cuisinarts.

As to why the Green mavens have never tried either one, it may just be they are carried away by the “majesty” of their giant propellers. Then again, it may be too advanced a concept for them to grasp.

As Dilbert might put it, “I’m not ‘anti-wind’, I’m just ‘anti-idiot‘.”

cheers

eon

eon on July 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM

There sure are a lot of wind farms in Minnesota, along the I-90 corridor. Almost as far as the eye can see.

And they all blow at the same speed, all the time.
- Why is that ?

williampeck1958 on July 23, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Because Iowa sucks.

That was too easy.

Roderick Spode on July 23, 2013 at 11:18 PM

Those are HUGE numbers. Without birds and bats expect insects and disease to flourish, in both animals and man.

But this is nothing new to the Left. Remember how gently they treated obama’s mismanaged Gulf oil spill? Had that been Bush, they would have had national demonstrations for impeachment.

paul1149 on July 23, 2013 at 11:36 PM

GE makes those turbines in China

No way Obama is going after GE, or jobs in China

batterup on July 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Just blowing in the wind.

Bmore on July 23, 2013 at 9:36 PM

.
Who is that masked ‘photo-shopper’ ? … nice work : )

listens2glenn on July 23, 2013 at 11:50 PM

Duhhh! Of course they are going after hydrocarbon outlets. Why? Because they are unpopular. So why aren’t they going after the wind energy folks? Because wind energy is popular AND because the feds continue to subsidize it.

RMCS_USN on July 23, 2013 at 11:53 PM

eon on July 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM

.
Thanks for the education. That kind of information needs to get around.
.
As far as the “green mavens” go, it’s never been about “green”, and has always been about disabling the U.S.

Those inefficient giant propellers are sending money to China, and wasting it here.

Win-win for the “one-worlders”.

listens2glenn on July 24, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Who could have ever predicted that big government would lie, cheat and steal about everything? ;)

PattyJ on July 24, 2013 at 12:02 AM

Where’s greenpeace? The sierra club? All the others?

wolly4321 on July 23, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Silly Rabbit! They both endorse wind power.

Here in New Hampshire the Far East version of Sierra Club, Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) operates 8 high country huts. Several of these have small wind turbines to help generate backup power for their radios. But all of the rest of their energy comes from bottled propane, which is delivered to each hut by evil oil-burning helicopters.

Back in the old days the hutmasters had to pack all supplies (including food) in by foot on huge pack boards daily. No doubt OSHA ruled that cruel and unusual punishment, so nowadays everything but fresh food is airlifted.

Del Dolemonte on July 24, 2013 at 12:05 AM

We need to follow the Democrat example and get into court and shut down these “green” bird killing machines. It’ll be just like Obama’s attack on the coal plants, sure you can build one but you’ll go into bankruptcy if you do.

RJL on July 24, 2013 at 12:34 AM

“I estimated 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities)…”

Rotor kill – m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m…

Shy Guy on July 24, 2013 at 1:28 AM

sad part is they CAN make bird-safe wind turbines. they’re not as efficient. but you can place them closer together.

warhorse_03826 on July 24, 2013 at 2:29 AM

All of this for an industry that has 14,000 dead wind turbines left to rust in place, abandoned by their owners.

You gotta love the loser Left: building an unsustainable industry, with unsustainable infrastructure, for unsustainable costs, killing off endangered species to make them unsustainable, being unwilling to prosecute those violating the law thus making the law unsustainable… all in the name of Green Energy!

More energy goes into making a wind turbine than you will ever get back from it. Feel the sustainability of the system!

ajacksonian on July 24, 2013 at 6:07 AM

We can limit the number of blades to one…for the bird children.

wheelgun on July 24, 2013 at 6:35 AM

“I estimated 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities)…”

“Clever Girl….”

The_Livewire on July 24, 2013 at 7:01 AM

Then add in the millions of birds killed each year by house cats and feral house cats and people wonder where all the song birds are?

albill on July 24, 2013 at 7:32 AM

I wonder what the percentage is of endangered species being killed?

sadatoni on July 24, 2013 at 7:33 AM

I hate windmills. Remember in the 60′sand 70′s when the left was all up in arms against billboards because they were:

Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind…?

Well, wind Farms are a visual scar on the land. They kill birds and always seem to require expensive maintenance and subsidies to work. Stupid, stupid, stupid…

Fallon on July 24, 2013 at 7:54 AM

Miraculously, however, the Obama administration has so far neglected to prosecute nor level the heavy related fines against any wind-energy companies…

This regime is lawless at every level.

petefrt on July 24, 2013 at 7:57 AM

The EPA says the windmills will continue. We’ve been having a dramatic increase in bird droppings over populated areas these past few years and the windmills serve two purposes. They cut down on the bird population that will reduce the amount of droppings and they provide a modicum of energy. Besides, the pesky birds deaths might stand in the way of the manmade global warming scam.

iamsaved on July 24, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Fallon on July 24, 2013 at 7:54 AM

Zealous environmentalists see windmills as monuments, monuments to the victory of their environmental crusade. Erected in more conservative rural America, against the wishes of surrounding land owners whose property will be drastically devalued, these Rube Goldberg monstrosities tower over us knuckle-dragging country bumpkins as daily reminders that the absolute moral authority is at work and Gaia must prevail.

petefrt on July 24, 2013 at 8:13 AM

eon on July 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM

I’ve looked into building a windmill for fun. The problem with those designs is that it is much harder to support a vertical windmill than it is for the more conventional design.

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 24, 2013 at 8:16 AM

More energy goes into making a wind turbine than you will ever get back from it. Feel the sustainability of the system!

ajacksonian on July 24, 2013 at 6:07 AM

We have that covered. China builds lots of coal power plants that are not restricted by environmental regulations to provide the power to companies that are not restricted from using the environment damaging processes needed to product windmill components. It’s a win win for the environmentalists. We get the green energy that reduces our standard of living and the Chinese get our redistributed wealth to increase theirs and who really cares that they pollute their skies and land at an unprecedented rate. It’s not like they can be used to advance the cause.

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 24, 2013 at 8:25 AM

The kill rate on bats is so high that they’ve required some of them to be shut down at night.

It’s a killing field below them.

of course, the brilliant “investigative journalists” can’t seem to figure it out even though they pick up dead animals almost every day at the larger wind farms here in Indiana.

it’s fine to our leader however. Birds are for eatin not looking at.

acyl72 on July 24, 2013 at 8:26 AM

NYC: NIMBY

Remember when Bloomberg proposed (2008) putting windmills on skyscrapers, bridges and along the shore in NYC?

The outcry was instantaneous. Architects, engineers and environmental zealots united, shouting with one voice: NOT IN MY BACK YARD. Bloomberg quickly backed off.

petefrt on July 24, 2013 at 8:27 AM

The green nazis are only disappointed that the windmills do not chop up human beings, after all, that in their opinion is the true plague on mother earth.

djtnt on July 24, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Windmills are the least efficient method of generating power ever conceived by man. Do these greenies even know how many of these giant bird/bat killers it’s going to take to displace our current means of power generation? Libs never think critically about their pet projects. Wonder how they’ll feel when the farmers can’t grow corn for ethanol when the insects take over.

Kissmygrits on July 24, 2013 at 9:24 AM

I’ve looked into building a windmill for fun. The problem with those designs is that it is much harder to support a vertical windmill than it is for the more conventional design.

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 24, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Considering the foundation and structure needed for a cost-effective “conventional” wind turbine;

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/be/Concrete_base_for_turbine_23_-_geograph.org.uk_-_517353.jpg

I doubt that for a “tornado turbine”, which would have a wider, and thus steadier, “footprint”, or a rotor sail, which after all has to stand up to the stresses of high winds while attached to a small to medium sized oceangoing vessel;

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Buckau_Flettner_Rotor_Ship_LOC_37764u.jpg

Would be much more of a construction problem than the “regular brand”. In face, since the rotor and tornado types are significantly shorter vertically on average, aeroelastic stresses should be substantially smaller in proportion.

In other words, in an E5, they probably won’t end up spread across half the downwind part of the county.

cheers

eon

eon on July 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM

I doubt that for a “tornado turbine”, which would have a wider, and thus steadier, “footprint”, or a rotor sail, which after all has to stand up to the stresses of high winds while attached to a small to medium sized oceangoing vessel;
eon on July 24, 2013 at 9:30 AM

The “tornado turbine” isn’t really a vertical style windmill. The problem is the force in the bottom bearing. The better way would be a surrounding structure to hold a top bearing. Some people doing small scale vertical windmills will hang them from a top bearing. They claim it is stronger that way. I just had to replace the front wheel bearings in a car. One was still good but I replaced it anyway. The good one has gotten me thinking about a windmill again because it has mounting holes in the base and the lug nut studs on the other side. I also replaced the CV axles at the same time and have one of those. It will make attaching the generator a breeze. No pun intended. My only problem is that I don’t really have much wind where I am. I’ve made ornamental windmills in the past and they seldom turn much. My last one got damaged in the last hurricane that touch New England. Only the bladed part got damaged. I still have the 15ft tower it was atop. I just have to think of a design the wife will like. Maybe a big daisy would do it.

Dr. Frank Enstine on July 24, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Does it matter as long as not one single bird gets oil on it and still lives?

Either one would be more efficient, more durable, less dangerous, and probably cheaper to build and maintain than those giant propeller-beanie/bird Cuisinarts.

Leftists are not about efficiency, they are about ideology of the day. These are the loweest of information people on all subjects but their ideology. To call them cultists is to insult most cultists.

jukin3 on July 24, 2013 at 10:14 AM

GE makes those turbines in China

No way Obama is going after GE, or jobs in China

batterup on July 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM

THIS. It’s a huge boondoggle for GE. And the enviro-nuts here are too stupid to understand how much fossil fuel is being used to make these things and transport them from China and around the U.S. on huge trucks.

rockmom on July 24, 2013 at 11:33 AM

The military is forcing contractors to take another furlogh non-paid day off so the government can spend $12 million to buy land next to a military base to protect prairie dogs that are not even on the endangered species list…yet these same PETA / GREEN freaks pushing THIS goat-rope are remaining silent about regarding the ‘senseless slaughter’ of our fine feathered friends in the name of wind turbine produced energy?!

easyt65 on July 24, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Save the seals, nuke the whales.

BobMbx on July 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM