Imagine the ‘outrage’ from environmentalists if it had been an oil derrick

Dozens of birdwatchers who traveled to a Scottish island to see an extremely fast and rare swift have been left distraught after it was killed by a wind turbine.

English: White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus...

White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While not an endangered species, sightings of the White-throated Needletail are quite rare in the UK, since it’s primary breeding and migratory grounds are in the far east and India. So when one was spotted on the the Isles of Harris it caused quite an interest with birdwatchers who flocked to the island to see it.

Wikipedia says: The White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus), also known as Needle-tailed Swift or Spine-tailed Swift, is a large swift. It is the fastest-flying bird in flapping flight, with a confirmed maximum of 111.6 km/h (69.3 mph). It is commonly reputed to reach velocities of up to 170 km/h (105 mph), though this has not been verified.

Video follows.

Despite its purported speed, it wasn’t fast enough to avoid the turbine blades.

There had been only eight recorded sightings of the white-throated needletail in the UK since 1846. So when one popped up again on British shores this week, bird watchers were understandably excited. A group of 40 enthusiasts dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and blue bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia. But instead of being treated to a wildlife spectacle they were left with a horror show when it flew into a wind turbine and was killed.

This video was taken after the bird was killed by the wind turbine, and it seems there is no video of the actual collision with the wind turbine, though there are several reports in the British MSM about the event. Of course if it had been an oil derrick or a power plant smokestack that caused the death, you can bet every environmental organization would be having a collective cow. But, it was killed by green energy, so the death gets a pass.

Here is the bird in the area before it ventured into the wind turbine area. It certainly is fast.

h/t to Charles the Moderator

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149 thoughts on “Imagine the ‘outrage’ from environmentalists if it had been an oil derrick

  1. The Greens would like us to believe that claims of bird deaths from wind turbines are exagg erated. The naturalist David Bellamy was black balled by the BBC because of his rejection of climate policy, especially wind turbines. I think they might have trouble ignoring this bird’s demise.

  2. This blogs slips too easily and too often into stereotypes, almost as badly as the AGW alarmist crowd.

    There is many many people in the environmentalist community who view wind farms as having many problems, for many reasons.

    Environmentalist bashing for the sake of it, as if its black and white, leftwing,rightwing, only serves to further divide, without adding anything positive to the debate.

    REPLY:
    Feel free to point out anything in the article that isn’t true – Anthony

  3. I wonder if the swifts in my chimney can fly that fast. The make pretty sharp turns at those high speeds too.

  4. Left wing green crazies really don’t care about reality. Greenies live in a phantasmagoric world of bogus, shallow “feelings” bereft of any logic or deep thought They are basically bloodthirsty—look how viciously greenies and their ilk fight to prevent even minimal laws that would defend 7 1/2 month old babies in the womb from the abortionists scalpels. Amazing dissonance of reason.

  5. The URL went private in the time it took to preview then publish the essay, updated now along with a second video.

  6. I doubt the public will be told if a California condor is ever killed by a wind mill. The condor is a scavenger and there is a veritable buffet of avian carrion at the base of windmills. Getting to the dead birds lying around the wind mills must shurely have already killed at least one of these extreemly rare and endangered birds.

  7. Pauls says:
    June 28, 2013 at 8:20 am
    This blogs slips too easily and too often into stereotypes, almost as badly as the AGW alarmist crowd.

    That’s it. Kill the messenger. Maybe those birders need to go out with bushel baskets and collect the tattered corpses of birds killed by wind turbines.

  8. This is an environmental disaster! We need to put an end to these dirty, bird murdering ‘green’ technologies! We must reduce our feather footprints and become one with nature….. Ooom ne ma ti pad me Ooom.
    /sarc

  9. During the Vietnam war, one officer explained a village had to be destroyed to save it.

    This bird had to be destroyed to save it.

  10. Pauls says:
    June 28, 2013 at 8:20 am

    This blogs slips too easily and too often into stereotypes, almost as badly as the AGW alarmist crowd.
    ###

    Maybe some of us would have a better opinion of the environmental movement if it was not totaly dominated by Marxists bent on the destruction of civilization. As it is, they deservie all the derision one can give.

    BTW, leftwing-rightwing is a false dichotomy.

  11. So the first video went private immediately?

    Can’t have those wonderful wind turbines display their nasty disposition toward birds now, can we?

    Hypocrites!

  12. I believe there are a few video clips show large birds being chopped by these ghastly white elephants on youtube!

  13. “Of course if it had been an oil derrick or a power plant smokestack that caused the death, you can bet every environmental organization would be having a collective cow. ”

    Of course if it had been killed by a car or cat or by flying into a window you can bet WUWT wouldn’t have been writing about it. Yes, windmills kills birds and you need to consider that in deciding where to put them and how to design them, but overall it’s an insignificant number compared to birds killed by other human enterprises. I found some statistics here:

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2011/06/cats-tnr-birds-feral

    This is why picking single examples like done here can give a false view of reality.

    REPLY:So you’d not report it for fear of upsetting some delicate sensibilities? I’m simply reporting what other news sources have already reported and made a valid comparison about situations. Tough noogies if that bothers you. Motherjones is not a credible source, it is an activist newspaper. Do you listen to yourself when you state these things? – Anthony

  14. What is important to find out is how do White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus) taste. No sense in wasting it. ;)

  15. I guess it wasn’t quite fast enough – and coincidentally, it is just a little bit … more rare. On the bright side, they at least got to see it! And now they can see it up close!
    .
    Is that barbecue I smell?

  16. Enviroloons have made their Climalarmist bed, and now they must lie in it. Even beloved birds must get sacrificed on the altar. Must be tough for them to continue on.

  17. This is why picking single examples like done here can give a false view of reality.

    So cats killing birds is the fault of humans…..

    Riiiiigght….

  18. Reply to Pauls: Wind power only has three problems:

    1. It’s not needed
    2. It doesn’t work
    3. It’s too expensive

  19. Thomas says:
    June 28, 2013 at 8:59 am
    “Of course if it had been killed by a car or cat or by flying into a window you can bet WUWT wouldn’t have been writing about it. Yes, windmills kills birds and you need to consider that in deciding where to put them and how to design them, but overall it’s an insignificant number compared to birds killed by other human enterprises.”

    Why are windmills in California allowed to kill a certain number of Golden Eagles a year? Which other industry is?

  20. Thomas says:
    June 28, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Cars and windows are necessary and useful. Windmills are not.

  21. But Shana! These birds knew the turbines were there and they knew the risk they were taking! You would have to deny evolution to believe they will not be able to adapt to these minor obstacles. In fact Shana just look at how well they have adapted to gravity? Wind turbines are not nearly as dangerous as gravity, just look at all the death it causes?

  22. That’s an entire species of bird wiped out in Scotland. 100%. I think that’s how RSPB / FoE / Greenpeace / WWF / Guardian would report it if it had been an oil industry structure.

  23. . I think they( The BBC) might have trouble ignoring this bird’s demise.

    No trouble at all. I keep saying it but he I go again; 97% of all british people are thick as 2 short planks. The government know this, the BBC knows this and all the green orgs know it.

  24. Thomas says:
    June 28, 2013 at 8:59 am


    Yes, windmills kills birds and you need to consider that in deciding where to put them and how to design them…

    As an engineer, let me help you with that request (and make it a win-win situation regarding the unjustifiable expenses these monsters incur):

    Just construct them (the wind turbines) without blades.

    Then the birds can use them as safe nesting sites.

    Problems solved.

  25. The BBC did indeed report

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-23082846

    but points out that wind turbines save more birds than they kill because they mitigate the impacts of climate change.

    Which brings us to the question: What climate change have they mitigated over the last 17 years during which there was none?

    In other words, the BBC is still a 100% warmist catastrophist propaganda organ.

  26. Thomas says:

    June 28, 2013 at 8:59 am

    You idiot. This another 1.000.000 birds worlwide. 50.000 baldeagles can’t be wrong.

  27. deklein says:
    June 28, 2013 at 9:13 am
    “That’s an entire species of bird wiped out in Scotland. 100%.”

    The correct term is “local extinction”. Can we say, Last Needletail in the UK killed by small windmill? Yes We Can!

  28. So yet another very rare bird is killed and we’re expected to believe that it’s the exception rather than the norm? What, are rare birds more stupid that common ones? Do they have a fatal, moth like attraction to spinning blades? Or are large numbers of common birds going unrecorded?

  29. Environmental Groups protect the environment the same way that the National Organization of Women(NOW) fights for ALL women’s Rights, only If it fits their political agenda.

  30. Thank you Charles. As is well known to WUWT regulars I love birds, feed birds, and watch birds. What I feel about this appalling situation is grief and HOPE. Just maybe, maybe the travesty will inspire the world to reject these useless birdchoppers. One can hope, anyway.

  31. WRT Thomas and Pauls’s comments that there are numerous human caused bird kills, why is it that power plants and oil refineries are fined $250,000 per bird killed and the US Dept of Interior issues permits for wind farms to kill endangered species. Equal treatment under the law is a doctrine that should be applied. It would bankrupt wind farms in days.

  32. 65 mkln years ago it was a comet that killed most of the dinosaurs.

    65 mln years after that, mankind finishes the job on their last descendants with windmills.
    We’ve come a long way. Green energy, because we care!

    The Green Khmer is running the show now. What could possibly go wrong.

  33. Quote
    @@@
    Despite its purported speed, it wasn’t fast enough to avoid the turbine blades.
    @@@

    From what I have read, I have no actual knowledge, this is wrong. Birds like this fly in areas where there are usually no obstacles like wind turbines. Their eyesight has evolved to look only at the ground; for navigation, food, whatever. So it is not that they DO not see the turbine. They CANNOT see the turbine. Their speed is a detriment in this case; not an asset.

  34. birdwatchers aplenty but no image of the kill…we need stronger evidence before believing this story

    REPLY: The first video shows the bird dead under the turbine. Playing devils advocate; with a bird that moves that fast, and rarely perches, how would one shoot it out of the sky if they wanted to fake it? The other video shows the bird flying at high speeds. Even though I’m pretty good at skeet shoot, I don’t think I could snag a clay pigeon as fast or as darty as that one. – Anthony

  35. Anthony, You may write about events like this, but I think it’s useful to provide a context and as you didn’t, I did. Sorry if that upset your delicate sensibilities.

    If you don’t like Motherjones there are plenty of different sources you can find, and even if they all give surprisingly different numbers the general conclusion that wind turbines are a minor killer is clear. Perhaps you find this source more “official” even if it’s a bit old:

    http://www.fws.gov/birds/mortality-fact-sheet.pdf

    “Do you listen to yourself when you state these things?” I don’t have to move my lips when reading or writing. Do you?

    BTW, can you give an example of “every environmental organization having a collective cow” over the death of an individual bird of a not acutely threatened species killed by an oil derrick or a power plant smokestack? Even one killed by an oil spill. Generally when this kind of stuff is reported it’s when an oil spill is large enough to kill hundreds of birds, and even then most events get ignored by the mainstream press.

    REPLY: LOL!

  36. The green fraternity talk about conservation etc but they aren’t interested in nature, only managing and controlling it.

    Natural selection has the Panda pencilled in foe extinction, but because the green’s compassion is gauged by their estimation of an organism’s cuddliness and/or intelligence we’re giving the Chinese £2 million a year in the hope that they might have a shag.

  37. TBraunlich, it’s not my area, but a quick search turned up this document about golden eagles:

    http://www.fws.gov/midwest/eagle/protect/fnlpermitregs_qas.html

    It lists “utility infrastructure development and maintenance, road construction, operation of airports, commercial or residential construction, resource recovery, recreational use, etc.” as areas where permits to kill eagles may be handed out. It’s not as if they get a free hand in killing either, for every eagle killed they have to pay for conservation efforts to ensure another one can be raised. It’s nevertheless possible the place is badly chosen for wind power, I can’t tell.

  38. Regardless of the tremendous bird slaughter, the strategic energy plan from CAGW crowd is basically this:

    Step 1: Shut down all forms of reliable energy (coal, gas, nuclear)
    Step 2: Replace it with unreliable energy (wind turbines, solar)
    Step 3: Install “smart meters” so that your home or business can have it’s supply of energy reduced (or shut off) when there is no energy to deliver (government climate science facilities are exempted, of course)

    All is proceeding according to plan. Please note again that the politically connected in the climate industry will be unaffected by any changes…their needs will always be served first. Life is good as a CAGW alarmist…

  39. To moderate the sense of tragedy, I would like to note that swifts do collide with stuff — in particular, with each other. Not often, but you will occasionally see a dead one on the ground where they nest or feed.

    I had one fall on my head as I walked across an empty field — apparently, he had had a mid-air collision with a mate. There was nothing else in the air. I picked him up, and while I was checking him out, one of his feet clutched my finger bad enough to pierce the skin. Other than that, he appeared dead — no signs of breathing or heartbeat — and I took it for a post-mortem convulsion. The grip was so tight I thought I needed some sort of surgery to remove his claws from my finger, so I went home to see about that. Ten minutes later, he released my finger, opened his eyes and started breathing, but remained limp for some more time. About an hour later, he kind of composed himself and began turning his head. I sat him on my balcony’s railing and watched. He kept sitting there for several more hours, then took off and joined his flock as if nothing had happened.

    I learned a couple things from that incident. If a bird appears dead, it may not necessarily be so. And then, wild animals are jut as error-prone as we are.

  40. Well Thomas, I see you’re a hard nut to crack. What’s the death of some 6 to 18 million birds and bats annually in Spain alone? Just imagine the carnage worldwide, increasing day by day with the steady advance of Big Wind sucking money from the public through subsidies and expensive electricity rates. Then consider that it’s all for no reason, except to line the pockets of Big Wind owners and investors. Sheesh, Thomas, if you can’t find it in your heart to care about the birds, you could at least care about getting robbed blind.

  41. Link to BBC article.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-23082846

    RSPB Scotland said it was possible the migratory bird had been blown off course and had lost its way.

    A spokeswoman said: “Whilst the collision of this unusual visitor with a small domestic wind turbine is very unfortunate, incidents of this sort are really very rare.

    “Careful choice of location and design of wind farms and turbines prevents, as much as possible, such occurrences happening on a large scale.”

    She added: “Wind energy makes a vital contribution towards mitigating the impacts of climate change, which is the biggest threat to our native birds and wildlife.”

    Fecking lying b****

  42. Thomas says:
    June 28, 2013 at 9:36 am

    That FWS link you posted is a perfect display of eco-terror propaganda. It lists strictly oil companies as killing killing 2 million birds but wind farms killing ONLY 33k per year… somehow though building strikes cause 97 million to 976 million deaths per year? WTF add in Com tower a completely non-moving tower killing 4-5 million birds… however could be as many as 40-50 million…

    How the hell does a huge blender only kill 33k birds per year but a non-moving com tower kills 40-50 million per year? These numbers are as fake as the smoking TV ads where they claim 400k ppl die a year due to smoking.

  43. There are indeed lots of videos on youtube of large birds being killed by wind turbines. Quite sickening to watch actually.

    I heard this story on Radio Scotland yesterday. They made light of it at the end, saying the witnesses were obviously upset at the events and blogged about it on “yes, you’ve guessed it – Twitter”. Seriously, they ended their report with that little joke. Ok, it was funny – I love birds, hate wind ‘farms’, but a joke’s a joke. What is not a joke is being taxed to pay for these useless things industrialising the previously unspoilt beauty of Scotland’s awesome post-glacial rural and wilderness landscapes. Not to mention the new mega-pylons required to take the power south from these wind farms – Beuley to Denny – crossing (ruining) some of Scotland’s most magnificent scenery. All for what?

  44. If the editorial decisions aren’t to one’s liking, then one can visit another website that tells one what one wants to hear.
    In the meantime, kudos to Anthony for reminding us that editorial boards are not objective when choosing which stories to tell.

  45. @Pauls –

    Thns blog doesn’t bash environmentalists – it bashes faux environmentalists who blame everything on oil, coal and industry, and who excuse environmental damage done by “renewables” which, on closer inspection, are far dirtier than fossil fuels.

    The population of gravely endangered whooping cranes has been reduced by up to half by the wind turbines situated along their migratory flight paths. Where is the green outcry about that? Oh, but if we take down the turbines, der Fuehrer';s crony capitalist buddies won’t be able to get richer off them.

  46. @temp: Eco-tards are strict utilitarians. Wind turbines kill less birds than evil fossil fuel production, therefore evil fossil fuel production is EVIL EVIL EVIL and birds killed by wind turbines are of no consequence.

    This is the cognitive dissonance that is the stuff of religious zealots.

  47. DirkH said:
    June 28, 2013 at 9:16 am
    …[BBC] points out that wind turbines save more birds than they kill because they mitigate the impacts of climate change.

    Which brings us to the question: What climate change have they mitigated over the last 17 years during which there was none?
    ————————————————
    What climate change have they mitigated? There was no change over the last 17 years.

    They’re working!!!

    (just kidding)

  48. Got windows, Got Cars, Got Mobiles, Got Cats, then your birddeath footprint is large!

    Window strikes – estimated to kill 97 to 976 million birds/year
    Communication towers – estimates of bird kills are impossible to make because of the lack of data, but totals could easily be over 5 million birds/year, and possibly as many as 50 million.
    Electrocutions kill tens of thousands of birds per year. This occurs mainly when large birds such as raptors make contact between a live electrical wire and a ground such as a pole. The relatively small number of birds affected belies the significance of this threat, since species such as Golden Eagle are more susceptible.
    Cars may kill 60 million birds per year.
    Wind turbines may kill 33,000 birds per year, and, as in the case of electrocutions, these birds tend to be large and scarce (e.g. raptors)
    Pesticides may kill 72 million birds per year or possibly many more.
    Oil spills kill hundreds of thousands of birds a year or more
    Oil and wastewater pits may kill up to 2 million birds per year.
    Lead poisoning – kills unknown numbers of birds each year, but Bellrose (many years ago) estimated that about 4% of the waterfowl population dies annually due to lead poisoning, and the California Condor recovery team stated that lead poisoning was the primary cause of the condor population decline over the last 50 years
    Hunting – as a point of reference the carefully-managed annual waterfowl hunt kills about 15 million birds a year in North America. This, of course, is balanced by extensive and well-funded management and conservation efforts so hunting is not a threat to the population of any North American bird,
    Domestic and Feral Cats – may kill 500 million birds per year or more.

  49. sergei MK,

    So if you shoot yourself in the foot, it makes sense to shoot yourself in your other foot? Just because birds fly into windows is no excuse for windmills.

    And we’re not talking sparrows here. Windmills kill thousands of raptors.

  50. I have found a windmill that won’t pureé birds!

    If they could just get it to generate power – it keeps putting engineers to sleep.

  51. Rationalizing bad political policy has led to a lot of serious world problems. No windmills, no dead birds.

  52. TinyCO2 says: June 28, 2013 at 9:21 am Do they have a fatal, moth like attraction to spinning blades? Or are large numbers of common birds going unrecorded?

    There is a large low pressure area, a relative vacuum if you will, down wind from the obstruction of the spinning blades. Additionally, it varies significantly in magnitude and direction causing barotrauma.

    Yes, I believe that the magnitude of bird kills at windmills is not reported.

  53. “And this Thing I saw! How can I describe it? A monstrous tripod, higher than many houses, striding over the young pine trees, and smashing them aside in its career; a walking engine of glittering metal, striding now across the heather; articulate ropes of steel dangling from it, and the clattering tumult of its passage mingling with the riot of the thunder. A flash, and it came out vividly, heeling over one way with two feet in the air, to vanish and reappear almost instantly as it seemed, with the next flash, a hundred yards nearer. Can you imagine a milking stool tilted and bowled violently along the ground? That was the impression those instant flashes gave. But instead of a milking stool imagine it a great body of machinery on a tripod stand… Seen nearer, the Thing was incredibly strange, for it was no mere insensate machine driving on its way. Machine it was, with a ringing metallic pace, and long, flexible, glittering tentacles (one of which gripped a young pine tree) swinging and rattling about its strange body.” — The War of the Worlds (H.G. Wells, 1898)

  54. Let us put the statement by an ‘RSPB spokeswoman’ into context.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-23082846 Paraphrasing and then quoting:- An RSPB spokeswoman reportedly said that while she regretted the incident, “..Wind energy makes a vital contribution towards mitigating the impacts of climate change, which is the biggest threat to our native birds and wildlife”
    Figures from the National Grid state that all of the wind farms in the UK in 2011 ‘saved’ about 7.3 million tons of CO2. Annual world emissions are about 34 billion tons of CO2. So world emissions were reduced by about 1 : 5000th. So this amount is a ’vital contribution’?! What nonsense.

    (Note: I am not the ‘Thomas’ posting on this same thread)

  55. May I just put in a different point of view?
    From a search on google, I found 2 small wind turbines with a rating of 5 kw each. This is not a huge wind farm. This is a small installation providing power to a village (Tarbet population 500), the main settlement on the remote island of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, off the NW of Scotland. I would guess that the installation is fully justified, indeed, the approval information is available on the internet. The alternative may well be diesel generation with the fuel coming from the mainland.

    Clearly, the loss of a rare bird is sad and maybe it gives a snapshot of what the effect will be of large on- and off-shore windfarms. Unlike the vast wind farms, this is a miniature power plant helping a remote area of Scotland. For some background, see a smaller island in the Inner Hebrides:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/alastair-good/10029757/Wind-brings-24hr-power-to-remote-Scottish-island.html

  56. Thomas says:
    June 28, 2013 at 9:36 am
    “If you don’t like Motherjones there are plenty of different sources you can find, and even if they all give surprisingly different numbers the general conclusion that wind turbines are a minor killer is clear.”

    They all give surprisingly different numbers… maybe each one of them looks for the numbers in his own behind?

  57. If a bird gets chopped on a remote Scottish hillside, but nobody sees or hears it, does it count as a statistic?

    What is the sound of one wing flapping?

  58. Alan Bates June 28 2013 11:39 am:

    Alan, the link you provided tells us of a windfarm being installed on an island with just a few people on it. The National Lottery fund has paid for the installation to the tune of £978,890. You can buy a hell of a lot of diesel for that! Almost a million! In fact you could invest the money and get an income of about thirty grand a year. That would buy you forty gallons of untaxed (Red) diesel every day of the year. That should be enough, I’d have thought.

  59. DirkH says:
    June 28, 2013 at 9:16 am
    Which brings us to the question: What climate change have they mitigated over the last 17 years during which there was none?

    Well don’t you see that it isn’t warming since 17 years? That is only due to the windmills, of course, what other proof do you need? You cannot imagine how hot it would be without those.
    Actually…

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/lol-wind-farms-causing-global-warming/

    Thomas says:
    June 28, 2013 at 9:36 am
    BTW, can you give an example of “every environmental organization having a collective cow” over the death of an individual bird of a not acutely threatened species killed by an oil derrick

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2009/08/21/how-much-is-a-birds-life-worth-part-1/

    And this for an industry that is totally useless and damaging:

    http://www.countryguardian.net/halkema-windenergyfactfiction.pdf

  60. Scarface says:
    June 28, 2013 at 9:29 am

    The Green Khmer is running the show now. What could possibly go wrong

    Scarface you have come up with a winner! From now on I’m going to refer to the extreme environmental movement as Khmer Vert. From the Wikipedia article on the Khmer Rouge:

    The organization is remembered especially for orchestrating the Cambodian Genocide, which resulted from the enforcement of its social engineering policies.[1] Its attempts at agricultural reform led to widespread famine, while its insistence on absolute self-sufficiency, even in the supply of medicine, led to the deaths of thousands from treatable diseases such as malaria.

    Eerie how the same bad pennies keep turning up.

  61. Thomas says:
    June 28, 2013 at 8:59 am

    “…it’s an insignificant number compared to birds killed by other human enterprises…”

    But, the windmills preferentially kill rare and endangered birds which do not reproduce quickly. If a species reproduces faster than it is killed, it survives. If not, it becomes extinct.

    TinyCO2 says:
    June 28, 2013 at 9:21 am

    “What, are rare birds more stupid that common ones?”

    Birds of prey or carrion fowl tend to loiter in the air, scouting for food. To do so without expending too much energy, they seek out areas where they can essentially surf the updrafts.

    Such areas also happen to be ideal for windmills.

  62. Are “environmental impact studies” required in the UK?
    Such studies, if required, might be a good target for FOIA request.

  63. Mike M says (June 28, 2013 at 9:13 am): “But Shana! These birds knew the turbines were there and they knew the risk they were taking!”

    Shirley you can’t be serious! :-)

  64. Pauls says:
    June 28, 2013 at 8:20 am
    …..Environmentalist bashing for the sake of it, as if its black and white, leftwing,rightwing, only serves to further divide, without adding anything positive to the debate.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    There are many of us here who are conservationists and like me were one time members of Greenpeace, WWF and Serra Club. We have major problems with those who claim to be ‘Environmentalists’ as a cover for pushing a totalitarian agenda, (although many are not even aware that’s what they are doing.)

    That is what the ‘Environmentalist bashing’ is about. We are not bashing conservationists but those wearing the sheepskin of an environmentalist over the heart of a greedy wolf.

  65. Thomas says:
    June 28, 2013 at 8:59 am
    …..Of course if it had been killed by a car or cat or by flying into a window you can bet WUWT wouldn’t have been writing about it. Yes, windmills kills birds and you need to consider that in deciding where to put them and how to design them, but overall it’s an insignificant number compared to birds killed by other human enterprises……
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And as usual the point is completely missed.

    The birds that are on the rare or endangered lists are generally hawks and eagles and vultures. These are the birds that use thermals like gliders do. The best place to put a windmill is in the exact same air space used by these endangered birds since BOTH are looking for high sustained winds.

  66. Dr. Bob says: @ June 28, 2013 at 9:27 am

    ….why is it that power plants and oil refineries are fined $250,000 per bird killed and the US Dept of Interior issues permits for wind farms to kill endangered species. Equal treatment under the law is a doctrine that should be applied. It would bankrupt wind farms in days.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    What it means is the USA is no longer under the Rule of Law but has reverted to the Rule of Man where you can be sentenced to death just for appearing in the King’s dreams.

  67. Gary Hladik says:
    June 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Mike M says (June 28, 2013 at 9:13 am): “But Shana! These birds knew the turbines were there and they knew the risk they were taking!”

    Shirley you can’t be serious! :-)

    ========================================================
    “Killed by a windmill! What is it?”

    “It’s a big, wind powered thing that crushes things. But that’s not important right now ….”

  68. Thomas says:
    It’s not as if they get a free hand in killing either, for every eagle killed they have to pay for conservation efforts to ensure another one can be raised.

    So you can get “bird offsets”? How’s the market trading for those?

  69. Hey!

    Tired of being dependent on utility companies for electricity? Introducing the Ronco Wind Turbine! For just $4 million you too can have a gigantic tower filled with blades. It slices! It dices! It clubs birds to death!

    But wait, there’s more! Order now and we’ll hack through any wilderness land, building a road to bring several hundred tons of concrete to anchor your Wind Turbine! No need to even pretend you’re saving the environment when you have clearcut the required area surrounding your Wind Turbine!

    Of course, you’ll need a backup plan when the wind isn’t blowing, so we at Ronco have negotiated cut rate power from the utilities for you, in exchange for them being able to call themselves “green” just for having your Wind Turbine connected to their grid!

    But wait, there’s even MORE! We even make special arrangements with environmentalists, so you can sleep at night knowing you won’t be charged for the endangered species your Wind Turbine slices, dices, and clubs to death! Trust us, California Condor and Spotted Owl are both delicious! And the best part is, your Wind Turbine will Slice, Dice, and Club birds to death all day long, you don’t have to do a thing! In fact, when you’re done with it, just walk away! Someone ELSE (ie, taxpayers) will have to pay to remove the rotting hulk of crap, far into the future.

  70. There is a theory that the number of bird kills is under-reported as the carrion birds and rats remove the dead bodies. But do wind turbines also kill bats? In the UK it is a £ 2,500.00 fine per bat killed. Admittedly wind farm sites are not natural bat terriotory,bats prefer low level tree lined areas, but believe me in the UK there is nothing more criminal than killing a bat. ( Apart from the flying natterjack toads( which takes us into the Monty Python scheme of things))

    P.S. Hi Prism, GCHQ and NSA. Sorry if this is boring you but do have a lovely weekend

  71. What is the probability there is rare bird like the White-throated Needletail seen on a Scottish Island?

    This probability is extremely small.

    And what is the probability this one rare bird will be killed by a wind turbine?

    This probability is also extremely small.

    So the overall probability of this event happening is extremely extremely small.

    What does this tell me?

    I say, the probability of this wind turbine killing a lot of local birds is extremely extremely high. Because this turbine made an extremely extremely rare event happen nevertheless. Do your calculations for the common local birds.

    This is the chilling thought for me left over after this story.

  72. How many Scotland birds will be killed by global warming?

    None.

    How many Scotland bird species will be wiped out by the numerous windmills built there?

    It is hard to say because most species survive on the margins with reproduction just being sucessful enough to keep the population close to stable. Throw in one more mortality-causing impact and the numbers start going the other way so that the species doesn’t make it beyond another dozen generations.

    Eventually, survival of the fittest will take over and only the non-flying birds will be left in Scotland. All none of them. But a few dozen Scots like their windmills.

  73. I will have a good laugh when some expensive stealth surveillance drone gets clipped while hiding from the radar.

  74. Hey, left-of-most-left-wingers here, we’re not all feel-good greeny morons, and I don’t think those of us who are grounded in reality are any fonder of the greeny morons than folks on the other end of the political spectrum might be.

    The fact is, as a socialist and anarchist I am disgusted by all forms of greedy manipulations, like those which push carbon taxes and demonizing CO2, the only outcome of those policies will be to raise energy costs, which will wind up making a small number of people very rich at the expense of vastly more people suffering.

    We can all agree that lying and denying reality is bad, hence the global warming scam is bad, regardless of our political outlook.

  75. Hey, left-of-most-left-wingers here, we’re not all feel-good greeny fools, and I don’t think the more grounded in reality leftists are any fonder of them than folks on the other end of the political spectrum might be of their own nutters.

    The fact is, as a socialist and anarchist I am disgusted by all forms of greedy manipulations, like those which push carbon taxes and demonizing CO2, the only outcome of those policies will be to raise energy costs, which will wind up making a small number of people very rich at the expense of vastly more people suffering.

    We can all agree that lying and denying reality is bad, hence the global warming scam is bad, regardless of our political outlook.

  76. London247 says:
    June 28, 2013 at 3:14 pm
    “There is a theory that the number of bird kills is under-reported as the carrion birds and rats remove the dead bodies. But do wind turbines also kill bats? In the UK it is a £ 2,500.00 fine per bat killed. Admittedly wind farm sites are not natural bat terriotory,bats prefer low level tree lined areas, but believe me in the UK there is nothing more criminal than killing a bat. ”

    In Germany, the land of Northrhine Westphalia is ruled by a Social Democrat – Green coalition. They have decided that it’s time to implement the windmill regime in their land. Which is hilly, so you have to place the windmills on the hilltops. Where there is forest. That’s where the bats live. So they’re cutting the hilltops clear, build access roads, build wind turbines, and kill the bats through the pressure waves caused by the windmills which rupture the lungs of the bats.

    This is a Green provincial government. They give a flying crap for endangered species when they can make a dime on wind energy subsidies extorted from the ratepayer.

  77. Windmills are not only a hazard for real birds but also to the large metal birds. The returns put clutter in the screens of the ATC ( Air Traffic Control) radars.

  78. The issue of windmills killing flying critters will have zero effect on policy unless and until some flying progressive (with or without plumage) is killed by one. Then watch the s#it hit the fan.

  79. Max™ says: @ June 28, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    …. I don’t think those of us who are grounded in reality are any fonder of the greeny morons than folks on the other end of the political spectrum might be.

    The fact is, as a socialist and anarchist I am disgusted by all forms of greedy manipulations…
    We can all agree that lying and denying reality is bad, hence the global warming scam is bad, regardless of our political outlook.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    It is the politicians that are pushing the left/right divide. No civilized human wants to see babies starved to death or old folks freeze to death. We do not want to see the environment trashed either. As far as I am concerned being civilized has nothing to do with the left/right divide the powerful use to control us.

    As far as the greedy B@$t…ds are concerned:

    International Monetary Fund report Finance & Development, September 2012, Vol. 49, No. 3
    In many countries the distribution of income has become more unequal, and the top earners’ share of income in particular has risen dramatically. In the United States the share of the top 1 percent has close to tripled over the past three decades, now accounting for about 20 percent of total U.S. income (Alvaredo and others, 2012).

    NYTimes: Income inequality has soared to the highest levels since the Great Depression, and the recession has done little to reverse the trend, with the top 1 percent of earners taking 93 percent of the income gains in the first full year of the recovery.
    Meanwhile back in the ghettos

    …When we consider all working-age men, including those who are not working, the real earnings of the median male have actually declined by 19 percent since 1970. This means that the median man in 2010 earned as much as the median man did in 1964 — nearly a half century ago. Men with less education face an even bleaker picture; earnings for the median man with a high school diploma and no further schooling fell by 41 percent from 1970 to 2010….

    http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2012/10/22-wages-greenstone-looney

    That is IF they can even find a job. The real Unemployment rate is ~ 22%

    The Real Numbers: Half of America in Poverty — and It’s Creeping Upward

    ….the informal economy is, in fact, the larger part of the world’s total economy. When you add in the domestic and household economy of the world’s households, the subsistence economy, the barter economy, the volunteer economy, the “under the table” economy, the criminal economy and a few other smaller players, you get something that adds up to 3/4 of the world’s total economic activity. The formal economy – the territory of professional and paid work, of tax statements and GDP – is only 1/4 of the world’s total economic activity….

    http://earlywarn.blogspot.com/2011/11/size-of-us-underground-economy.html

    This is the true target of Agenda 21. If you move everyone into Smart Growth cities and sustainable apartments and allow no small business via regulation, you have the ability not only to control but to TAX everyone. Smart growth is nothing more than a return to feudalism and if you think the elite are going to live in a 14ft by 14 ft Micro-mini apartment I have a bridge I want to sell. But that doesn’t mean they do not want the rest of us caged in cities with no other option but to work for them.

    Green Practices/Sustainability:Land Planing Page

    Apartments are the core of any sustainability strategy. They are more resource- and energy-efficient than other types of residential development because their concentrated infrastructure conserves materials and community services. As part of an infill or mixed-use development, apartments create communities where people live, work, and play with less dependence on cars. This reduces the consumption of fossil fuels and their carbon emissions.

    Through the NMHC Sustainability Committee, the Council is advancing industry best practices; working with lawmakers to adopt voluntary and incentive-based energy policy; and developing and promoting standards to help firms market their sustainability quotient.

    This online resource is designed to help apartment developers and managers build and operate more sustainable properties and to help policymakers craft effective energy efficiency goals.

    ALSO SEE: http://www.postsustainabilityinstitute.org/the-post-sustainable-future.html
    and/or a video

    Agenda 21 Micro-Apartment Scheme Being Beta-Tested in NYC

    L.A. County’s Private Property War

    California Declares War on Suburbia: Planners want to herd millions into densely packed urban corridors

    Tips for selling the Urban Experience to Suburbanites

    Respect for private property was enshrined as a civil right, due to the understanding that if you cannot own property, you are property. Once the government/banks attaches all sorts of cravats on ‘Owning Property’ you no longer actually own it since it can easily be taken away from you especially if you can not own a small business. Worse in many cases you do not even have the right to a trial by jury in the USA. A bureaucrat decides whether you broke a regualtion and whether to fine you or even send you to jail.

  80. sergei MK [June 28, 2013 at 10:32 am] says:

    Got windows, Got Cars, Got Mobiles, Got Cats, then your birddeath footprint is large!

    Window strikes – estimated to kill 97 to 976 million birds/year

    [... snipped lots more made up bullsh!t ...]

    Domestic and Feral Cats – may kill 500 million birds per year or more.

    When the drag-racing teenagers were asked why they stage their competitions right in front of an elementary school they were heard to reply: “Well for one thing the road is straight and level so the location is simply perfect for us. Besides, children are run over every day by cars, they die of cancer, they fall in wells, shoot themselves, fall out of trees, exploding firecrackers, yada yada yada. So you see unless you’re gonna stop all those other things why are you bothering me?”

    Even that parody doesn’t quite capture the insanity of the anti-envornmentalist ecotards heard from on this subject. I had prepared a better one where the propaganda minister replies to questions about the holocaust but I figure someone would charge me with a Godwin violation, and we can’t have that.

    sergei MK, I have never read a post so full of crap before, and saying that on a site devoted to exposing the lies of the AGW death cult is really saying something. As so many others have pointed out, Windmills are an additional source of death and destruction, and an optional one at that. You cannot propagandize away the hypocrisy factor either because Windmills are supposedly created for the sole purpose of mitigating carbon emissions which you and your kind theorize will somehow kill something years down the road. You are rationalizing killing birds to save them.

    Windows do kill a few birds, mostly when they are not draped or covered and this is increasingly rare because people with windows do not WANT or accept the killing of birds and move to mitigate it accordingly. The birds that do encounter undraped windows and smash into them occur in those cesspools of liberalism, the big cities full of skyscrapers and knuckleheads like you. And as far as cats go, this is a bigger lie than AGW itself. Cats are predators, they are natural, and feral or not the ones that are free to roam and kill animals are still part of nature, subject to her whims of survival of the fittest and will take the weak and easy prey and not more than nature requires them too. Your deception is to project upon the word “cat” all cats, domestic included to start a propaganda lie that wherever exists a cat also exists wanton bird destruction.

    The worst part of this is that your Windmill fantasy means the shredding of soaring animals, the least numerous of all at the top of the food chain. This will have secondary effects of an explosion of smaller animals that these birds themselves prey on, and so on, down the line. But tampering with nature is just fine so long as leftists get to distribute taxpayer funds to “green” companies that fulfill their fantasies and buy them votes.

    If windmills killed rainbows and unicorns then maybe you would take notice. In the meantime, Google the word “Rationalization”.

  81. CodeTech says:
    June 28, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Hey!

    ===========================================================================
    You left out the:
    “And if you call right now, we’ll include ANOTHER chopper for free! Yes that’s TWO choppers for only $4,000,000!
    (Just pay shipping and carcase handling.)”

  82. “Imagine the ‘outrage’ from environmentalists if it had been” the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

    RSPB embraces wind of change with its very own turbine
    After years of opposition to wind farms, the conservation group installs its own turbine.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/may/06/rspb-installs-wind-turbine

    RSPB makes a killing… from windfarm giants behind turbines accused of destroying rare birds

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2305197/RSPB-makes-killing–windfarm-giants-turbines-accused-destroying-rare-birds.html

    Follow the money and to heck with the birds they are supposed to be protecting.

  83. A few ecotard apologists have made the very lame point that many birds are killed by cats, windows and cars. This is of course true.

    But how many of these are large raptors or, as in this case, fast flying itinerants. Have you ever had an eagle fly into your window? When was the last time you saw Tiddles with a falcon or an albatross?

    Different kinds of birds, different hazards. There are plenty of sparrows and starlings around – large raptors, not so much.

  84. Here in Oz, in the mid 90’s when plans were being made for the first windmills, I saw a handful of protesters on the news bleating some “endangered orange-bellied parrot” or other gumph would get chopped up. I laughed at the suggestion. To me it was pure garbage thinking that surely birds have eyes and can’t be that stupid.

    Since then, especially after all the evidence of carnage, I changed my tune. Birds haven’t evolved to understand these new trees with branches that rotate at the top. Sure – cars, windows and other structures are an impediment but I’ve also seen dead birds beneath trees, likely being chased due to territorialism.

    There’s always a reason something’s rare or endangered, but that’s very largely evolution. 99.99% of species that ever lived on this planet are now extinct without Man’s help. In places where it is, it’s also natural evolution because we’re not aliens. Others like Ursus Bogus are no longer endangered but stay on the list because they’re no threat to us, “cute” and therefore “good” – if not also being used a a political platform. I mean, how many flies, cockroaches, foxes, rabbits and other animals we consider “vermin” do we exterminate annually? If not vermin, how many bees are stuck in your radiator fins that you care nothing about?

    But that doesn’t mean we can simply erect large unnecessary rotating structures to placate an imaginary problem. Imagine if these structures were large and obviously useless crucifixes placating an imaginary ideology, doing the same damage. I wonder what the verdict would be then..

  85. Peter Wilson says:
    June 28, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    A few ecotard apologists have made the very lame point that many birds are killed by cats, windows and cars. This is of course true…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Around here you are likely to lose your cat to a red tailed hawk or a barred owl or great horned owl.

  86. In Oscar Wilde’s short story “The Happy Prince,” a little swallow sacrifices his life to bring warmth and food and joy to the poor of the city, and the angels come and carry him away.

    I am a staunch believer in free markets, private property, and am a U. S. Constitution originalist. I am for peace through military strength. I am, in short, a “conservative.” I also have tears rolling down my face as I write this. I love animals. I love them so much.

    Little swift, soar through blue sky,
    sunlight glinting in your eye,
    free at last to Live and cry,
    “I laugh at windmills — watch me FLY.”.

    I dedicate this video to the memory of a little bird that closed its eyes for the last time this week.
    (Yeah, the bird in the video is “only” a seagull. I hope the message still comes through.)

    “‘… sparrows … not one of them is forgotten by God.'” Luke 12:6.

    The EXCELLENT posts above illuminating truth and destroying lies are a living memorial; that little swift did not die in vain.

    Rest in peace, little swift, rest

    in peace.

  87. Yep, irrespective of the disputes about numbers of birds killed by other factors (and the numbers are so rubbery it is hard to get any real picture anyway), I can say with absolute conviction that the birds that fly into city office blocks are, in the several cities I have lived in, mostly feral pigeons. Thank you, office blocks – keep up the good work. As others have mentioned, one of the worst things about windmills is that they shred species which are not endangered by office blocks, cars, cats etc because that is not where they live. Further, top-order predators like raptors are much slower breeders than flying rats, aka [self snip] pigeons.

    As for the RSPB’s lame rationalisation, I have one question for them. How many birds and bats can they prove to have been killed by anthropogenic climate change in the UK in the last decade, as opposed to the thousands that have indisputably been butchered by windmills?

  88. DaveR says:

    “What is important to find out is how do White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus) taste.”

    Almost identical to the California condor and the Ivory Billed woodpecker.

  89. stan stendera says: “omnologos; We have a body and a weapon. No evidence my ass.”

    Aha, but you lack a crucial element: motivation. There is none, not even for the windmills being there in the first place. Oh, yeah, well maybe greed, but other than that?

  90. Janice Moore, I feel your pain.

    I love birds. It’s one of the reasons I love living on this lake. We get Bald Eagles here. Literally, 100 feet away from me, they’ll perch. And owls, and bats at night, and Herons, and Pelicans… I LOVE the Pelicans… they float in and you’d swear it was a squadron of bombers coming in, completely with fighter escort some days. Loons. Cormorants. Pretty much all waterfowl that ever hang around in Canada show up here at some point.

    My favorites at the moment are the mundane Mallard Ducks – currently there’s a mama with no less than 10 babies following her around. I have a set of pictures from the other day when she misplaced two of them and dragged the rest back to find them. They walked not 3 feet away from me (we try not to interact with the birds, we do NOT want them too used to humans).

    Last month when the video was floating around showing what I think was a buzzard getting hit and killed several people on the YouTube page were saying “stupid birds”. I commented, that YES, birds are stupid. They don’t understand technology, they don’t build heated winter homes, they don’t hold elections and drive cars. They’re BIRDS… which is why it is OUR responsibility to look after them.

    It’s horrific to see what is happening almost everywhere that migratory birds migrate, and all of the Raptor flying areas are also ideal for these slicing/dicing/clubbing machines. It would be difficult to imagine a more effective way to SCREW UP NATURE, even if we were trying to do it intentionally.

    The justification for this has nothing to do with “climate change”, it’s pure greed and money grubbing. It needs to stop, and these things need to be taken down NOW.

    To those who mock this danger, SHAME on you. Oil derricks and office buildings are STATIC obstructions, built away from migratory paths. Windmills are DELIBERATELY placed where the birds need to be, and are spinning and confusing to any bird. They don’t understand, they are incapable of understanding. I’d like to think humans are smarter than birds, however my faith in that is very, very low right now.

  91. Wind farms are good at hurting bird species that never be affected by any fixed structure or vehicles which so low- way lower than a wind farm. Greenies were worried that fixed structures like their local organisation offices (some are massive complexes) weren’t hurt enough types of birds so they had to have wind farms. More environmental damage is better for greenies to get their egoes and bank balances stoked.

  92. Thanks, Code Tech. What a delightful place to live. Mama Mallards are, in my eyes, one of the most beautiful birds there is. Nothing sweeter than that little bright brown-eyed face with its pleasant “smile.”

    Fine essay above. Excellent comment re: the buzzard video. What happened to those people’s hearts?!

  93. Well, Jorge K., if we’re going to get down to brass tacks about prosecuting those who kill birds with their infernal, eternally negative, R.O.I. windmills….

    We could easily convict them of Reckless Homicide. No intent or motive to kill a particular victim required. Elements:

    1. Intent to incur a
    2. known risk of
    3. substantial bodily injury.

    For instance, if you knowingly drove your car the wrong way on a freeway (just for fun) and struck a person there who died as a result of the collision.

    We have all the evidence we need in those numerous eye witnesses and the dead body.

    Of course, we have a little problem in that it is a bird body, but, the theory Stan Stendera proposed is essentially correct.

    Hm. I suppose we could tell it to the E.P.A.-type agency in the U.K.. I’m SURE they will promptly act to fine the perpetrators — NOT. Probably already issued them a lifetime unlimited bag on birds. Sigh.

  94. Olaf Koenders says:
    June 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    The Orange Bellied Parrot was cited as one of the endangered species that would be put at risk if the Bald Hills wind farm was built at Tarwin Lower, Victoria. That wind farm is now being built despite its proximity to the Bald Hills Wetland Reserve, which was established as a strategic sanctuary for many species of wetland birds. It is true that recorded sightings of the Orange Bellied Parrot have been very rare at Tarwin Lower, but now we find that at King Island in Bass Strait, much closer to the bird’s Tasmanian breeding ground, a massive 200+? wind farm is now proposed. While the Orange Bellied Parrot is a more frequent visitor to King Island than to Tarwin Lower it can’t be claimed that it visits in large numbers. However, the island does teem with other bird life such as the iconic Cape Barren Goose.

    Financial sweeteners have been offered by Hydro Tasmania to the King Island community, before a community survey vote that will help establish whether TasWind’s 200-turbine farm is built.
    The TasWind survey began last Friday to see if a 60 per cent community majority is in favour of a $20 million feasibility study.
    Hydro Tasmania has promised $1 million ever year to the community if the farm is built.

    Now, despite their “survey” having fallen short of the 60% benchmark Hydro Tasmania still intends to proceed with that feasibility study?

    Shenhua Group, China’s largest coal producer, is behind Hydro Tasmania’s push to build the 200 turbine, industrial wind factory (IWF) on King Island. Many people are probably not aware that while Hydro Tasmania has been plying the people of King Island with its “30 pieces silver” and extolling the planet saving virtues of the proposed project, the Shenhua Group in China is busy in China building a $10 billion coal to liquids plant (CTL). In addition to producing oil, CTL plants produce massive amounts of carbon dioxide.

    While some might say that by building a King Island IWF Shenhua is atoning for its “climate sins” in China. But others might well conclude that the company would be simply cashing in on “free” REC (Renewable Energy Certificate) subsidy money available in gullible Australia. After all, the company would get a guaranteed market for any electricity produced, as well as trousering at least another $65 million per year thanks to the LGC/REC “electricity tax”. That thousands of birds and bats would be chopped and King Island likely become uninhabitable, well tough, just inevitable collateral damage as the wind industry gravy train passes through.

    I see no problem with Shenhua profiting from its Chinese CTL plant while creating plant food (CO2) as a byproduct. However, I can imagine there may be folks who find it just a teeny weeny bit hypocritical that this same company can then make hundreds of millions of dollars in Australia on the pretext of removing a small percentage of that same CO2 from the Bass Strait air?

  95. Jimbo says (June 28, 2013 at 5:52 pm): “RSPB makes a killing… from windfarm giants behind turbines accused of destroying rare birds…”

    That reminds me of Willis Eschenbach’s story (told here) about a logging company “buying” the island council so it could log the forests of Vella Lavella Island for a pittance. Looks like we’re not all that advanced compared to the “primitive” islanders after all.

    This story of the White-throated Needletail killed by the wind turbine also reminds me of another Willis story, the one in which fishing guide Willis thanks the salmon they’ve just caught for its sacrifice. Maybe the RSPB can organize (for a fee, of course) a mass thanksgiving to the birds killed by RSPB-approved wind turbines.

  96. The killer turbines that caused the death of the Scottish swift and James Delingpole’s Brighton gull are both small turbines. The larger ones are designed to operate at slower speeds. I doubt that the overall bird and bat casualties are more than stated by the RSPB, and other organisations.

    However the large wind turbines are only able to operate at slow speeds because of their neodymium rare-earth supermagnets, and neodymium mining has its own environmental problems.

    • deklein says:

      > The killer turbines that caused the death of the Scottish swift and James Delingpole’s Brighton gull are both small turbines. The larger ones are designed to operate at slower speeds.

      Don’t confuse revolutions per minute with airspeed. Properly optimised turbine blades will have roughly the same velocity at the tip, regardless of their size. It is one of the design constraints that they all want to approach as close as possible.

  97. To give an idea of where the UK’s activist Luddite energy policy is taking it, here is a BBC report of the energy minister Michael Fallon being “fully behind” a proposal from the National Grid to ration energy. The amusing thing is that in the first version of this report (withdrawn but partly reported here) Fallon denied that companies would be asked to reduce power usage at certain times. A few hours later he U-turned and supported the proposal for rationing. Clearly behind the scenes there is some PR-panic in government.

  98. deklein says: June 28, 2013 at 10:57 pm
    However the large wind turbines are only able to operate at slow speeds because of their neodymium rare-earth supermagnets, and neodymium mining has its own environmental problems.
    ———————-
    Not true for all turbines:
    ENERCON WECs produce clean energy without neodymium
    29.04. 2011

    ENERCON wind energy converters (WECs) generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way without the use of the controversial element, neodymium. The gearless WEC design on which all WEC types – from the E-33/330 kW to the E-126/7.5 MW – are based includes a separately excited annular generator. The magnetic fields required by the generator to produce electricity are created electrically. By design, and unlike the majority of competing products, ENERCON WECs do without permanent magnets whose production requires neodymium.

    Neodymium has made the headlines recently because its extraction partly involves significant environmental damage. China, where neodymium-containing rocks are quarried in mines, is the main supplier of this so-called rare earth element. According to investigations by Germany’s NDR TV station, separation of neodymium from mined rocks results in toxic waste products (Menschen und Schlagzeilen and Panorama television magazines aired on 27 and 28 April). In addition, radioactive uranium and thorium are released by the mining process. These substances find their way into the ground water, heavily contaminating plant and animal life. They are seen as harmful to humans. According to the reports, part of the locals at the neodymium production sites in Baotou in northern China are already seriously ill.

    ENERCON feels that these environmental and health aspects support its choice of WEC design. “We are a high-tech company that sets great store by environmental protection,” says ENERCON Managing Director Hans-Dieter Kettwig. “Our choice to rely on separately excited generators was the right one, not only from a technological but also from an environmental point of view.” According to Kettwig, renewable energies need to be viewed in their entirety in order to offer a convincing alternative. Producing clean energy is one thing; however, sustainability in production is just as important.

  99. This bird was martyred.

    It ought to be praised for laying down its life for the good cause.

  100. Gene Selkov says:
    June 29, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Don’t confuse revolutions per minute with airspeed. Properly optimised turbine blades will have roughly the same velocity at the tip, regardless of their size. It is one of the design constraints that they all want to approach as close as possible.

    Spot on Gene, if designers of these anachronistic machines wish to extract maximum power output, then optimum blade tip speed is essential. Tip speed for maximum power output has little to do with the electric generator to which the turbine is connected, rare earth or otherwise. Too higher speed and following blades encounter disturbed air, too lower speed and maximum potential power is not extracted. Contemporary double fed induction generators employed in many current wind turbine designs allow generator RPM to be matched to optimum turbine speed.

    Multi-pole (rare earth) generators can overcome to some extent the inherent problems of high ratio reduction gear boxes, but they certainly don’t change the fundamental physics of turbine design.

  101. CodeTech says ” Windmills are DELIBERATELY placed where the birds need to be,..”

    This is true. In Nova Scotia Canada there is a world famous bird migratory marsh, migrating flocks stop there and rest as they pass north and south when the seasons change. Birders go there and take lots of pictures. Wikipedia says ” The marshes are an important stopover for migrating waterfowl such as semi-palmated Sandpipers and Canada Geese. Now a National Wildlife Area the marshes are the site of two bird sanctuaries.”

    So they built a wind farm right in the middle of it, the Tantramar Wind Farm. I kid you not.

  102. If I ever doubted who the true conservationists were and who wore the cloak of environmentalism to hide their true agenda, this post cinched it.

    Thank you CodeTech and Janice Moore.

    After living all my adult life in [self-snip] apartments I am now on a 106 ac farm. Nothing tickles me more than to see a hawk perched on a fence post, blue birds and herons and geese flying over head or to hear the eight hoots of the barred owl at night (my cats will just have to watch out for themselves). Seeing a mother fox teaching her kits to hunt is a big kick too. I have even had the pleasure of seeing a pair of bald eagles nesting about 6 miles from home. And bats? I love bats. We have several big browns that hang around in the evening.

    Needless to say I HATE WINDMILLS. They are a very harmful wealth transfer mechanism and nothing more. One would think the environmentalist/socialists would be outrage about this very obvious transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the big corporation. Yet they DEFEND them! Sure makes you wonder what their true beliefs and hidden agendas are doesn’t it.

  103. Gail and other bird fans, nice to see us meeting in this thread.

    I have turned my modest suburban block into a bird sanctuary. There are lots of plants that they like to eat, plus always a birdbath in a secure location, with fresh water every day.

    I never feed them directly. In the last 10 years, I have had almost 50 species of birds here. Some of that reflects short-term climate effects, such as flocks of budgies passing through at the height of the drought a few years ago.

    There are no dogs, and invading cats are reminded in non-politically correct ways to piss off, with 100% success so far.

    Have to say, scale is everything in these matters. A 200 pound currawong would be truly frightening, having had them perch on my windowsills and fix me with a beady eye …

    Still, birds have a lot to teach us. For example, sometimes when the weather is wet and stormy, the magpies start calling, and it 100% means that blue skies are on the way in the next hour. It doesn’t guarantee that more rain is behind it, but it certainly means that a clear zone is coming up.

    I won’t go into the details of OCDC blackbirds and peewees who take multiple, long and messy baths.

    Then there are the parrots who adore the (again) politically incorrect European trees in my yard and all over Canberra. It lifts my spirit every time I see them – which is often.

    But, we are the planet-destroying, nature-hating, (insert your favourite hate-group) funded, grandchildren-murdering psychopaths, so they say.

  104. deklein says:
    June 28, 2013 at 10:57 pm
    “…..the large wind turbines are only able to operate at slow speeds because of their neodymium rare-earth supermagnets”
    —————————————————–
    It may look like it’s going slowly but the speed at the tip of the blade is very fast. That’s how they manage to slice raptors so effectively.

  105. “Thomas says: June 28, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Of course if it had been killed by a car or cat or by flying into a window you can bet WUWT wouldn’t have been writing about it. Yes, windmills kills birds and you need to consider that in deciding where to put them and how to design them, but overall it’s an insignificant number compared to birds killed by other human enterprises. I found some statistics here:

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2011/06/cats-tnr-birds-feral

    This is why picking single examples like done here can give a false view of reality.”

    Yup, typical; jump to a very biased site for unproved estimates.

    As far as the general stats; they have been discussed here in another thread on WUWT. Nope! I’m not providing a link; you can exercise gray matter and search yourself.

    “Thomas says: June 28, 2013 at 9:36 am

    If you don’t like Motherjones there are plenty of different sources you can find, and even if they all give surprisingly different numbers the general conclusion that wind turbines are a minor killer is clear. Perhaps you find this source more “official” even if it’s a bit old:

    http://www.fws.gov/birds/mortality-fact-sheet.pdf

    “Do you listen to yourself when you state these things?” I don’t have to move my lips when reading or writing. Do you?

    Interesting ad hominem there Thomas the bird…; Did it make you feel better? Superior? Holier?

    There are a number of studies out there; all provide a very wide range of bird mortality per turbine per year.

    What is interesting is that each study depends on a minimalist approach; weekly searches and a few 2-5 day searches. They’ve even performed ‘sample tests’ to estimate search success.

    In a day and age where simple wildlife and bird observers can and do purchase then install field video and/or camera equipment, why is it that a ‘study’ fails to install a video system to capture ALL critter hits by windmills? Comprehensive, the windmill mortality studies, are not.

    Odd also, that when searching for bird mortality, windmill research, all of these other studies crop up too. Any reason you chose an older study with a lower bird mortality ‘estimate’? Yes, estimate is bolded by me to highlight that all of the studies purporting to study windmill critter mortality only offer an estimate. Which makes them just a little better than the window/building/etcetera ‘extrapolations’.

    Interesting? Yes.
    Definitive studies? No..

    “Thomas says: June 28, 2013 at 9:47 am

    TBraunlich, it’s not my area, but a quick search turned up this document about golden eagles:

    http://www.fws.gov/midwest/eagle/protect/fnlpermitregs_qas.html

    It lists “utility infrastructure development and maintenance, road construction, operation of airports, commercial or residential construction, resource recovery, recreational use, etc.” as areas where permits to kill eagles may be handed out. It’s not as if they get a free hand in killing either, for every eagle killed they have to pay for conservation efforts to ensure another one can be raised. It’s nevertheless possible the place is badly chosen for wind power, I can’t tell.”

    Pure diversion. Yes, exceptions had to be provided for; only the politically correct get said permits gratis, usually with waived fees. All others must pursue a long expensive court challenge.

    Here is that ‘alta’ statement that ‘mentions’ possible condor strikes.

    http://www.fws.gov/cno/press/release.cfm?rid=497

    Kindly note the lack of threat regarding said condors. Also note the ‘statement that ‘alta’ is applying for an official ‘take’ permit for eagles and they even mention that such strikes are unlikely.

    What all the biased reporting and research fails to mention is that wind sites are expected to ‘report’ such strikes. Oh yeah, they’re good at that; if they were honest there would be a whole lot more outcry about our loss of Federally protected and often endangered birds.

    Honest as: From Reuters; http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/13/us-usa-eagles-wind-idUSBRE95C1GH20130613

    “…Some eagle experts say federal officials are drastically underestimating wind farm-related eagle mortality. For example, a single wind turbine array in northern California, the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, is known to kill from 50 to 70 golden eagles a year, according to Doug Bell, wildlife program manager with the East Bay Regional Park District.

    Golden eagle numbers in the vicinity are plummeting, with a death rate so high that the local breeding population can no longer replace itself, Bell said…”

    Search for eagles and ‘alta’ and read the odd information that contradicts the so-called sample studies minimizing bird mortality.

    You make a wonder dismissive statement about wrong windmill placement. Does that make the windmill killing endangered species less offensive? All forgiven now, wash hands and move on?

    How about any windmill that kills a ‘protected’ species must be dismantled?

    “Thomas says: June 28, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Caleb, here is another blog that to me seems to be more reliable, or at least more careful about having references, that denies that wind turbines are the cause of whooping crane deaths:

    http://barnardonwind.wordpress.com/2013/02/21/wind-farms-are-being-built-along-whooping-crane-migration-paths-is-there-any-risk-to-them/

    instead water management practices in Texas seems to be the culprit.

    Oh? Reliable? Doesn’t the name of the site indicate a lack of objectivity? I’d think you are jesting if this was your only post in the thread.

    Rather than just trying to insist of the might and right of the green lord (khmer vert) ‘wind power'; broaden yourself and read the basics! Read about the cost of windmills and then read about a windmills total operating life, including maintenance and repair. Contrast that with the total, (highly variable), output, low frequency noise issues, rare earth and fossil fuel chemical requirements for construction, current state of ‘unexpected windmill failures’ and don’t forget scenic blight. “Oh! Look Thomas, isn’t that the cutest hugest wind farm ruining good property and killing birds?”

  106. “Jim Cripwell says: June 28, 2013 at 9:32 am

    From what I have read, I have no actual knowledge, this is wrong. Birds like this fly in areas where there are usually no obstacles like wind turbines. Their eyesight has evolved to look only at the ground; for navigation, food, whatever. So it is not that they DO not see the turbine. They CANNOT see the turbine. Their speed is a detriment in this case; not an asset.”

    Point taken, better read some more before pursuing this line of thought.

    And check out the photo (and provided video above) on the swift.

    The only way for this bird to “…look only at the ground…” is to fly upside down or fly straight at the ground. Their eyes are up top, facing forward (mostly) and capable of providing excellent binocular vision.

    This bird is adapted to catch insects on the wing, at remarkable speeds with remarkable agility.
    This swift has:
    –excellent vision
    –excellent depth of field and distance perception
    –incredible speed
    –incredible agility
    –high metabolic rate
    –high protein, high fat insect diet
    If any bird is better adapted to avoid turbine blades, I’ve not read nor heard of it.

    Windmills are also notorious bat killers. Bats utilize in flight radar (sonar if you insist) and have remarkable flight avoidance abilities, yet windmills do not find bats difficult to mulch.

    When one honestly matches windmill benefits against windmill costs and damages, windmills rank with Attila for societal benefit and far worse than maligned carbon fuels.
    (“Hurry folks, yes you too Thomas! Buy your windmill operated personal vehicles now! Before the subsidies run out!”) (Yes, that last bit was sarcastic)

  107. Thank you, Ron House, for honoring my tribute to a valiant little bird. Your affirmation was much appreciated. I tried to comment on your site, not sure if it “took.”
    *****************************
    Some WUWT Highlights from 6/29/13:

    “This bird was martyred.”

    [Ed Z. 1:27 AM 6/29/13]

    ************************************
    “… anachronistic machines … ” [Bob in Castlemaine 3:12 AM 6/29/13]

    ************************************

    “In Nova Scotia Canada there is a world famous bird migratory marsh, …
    So they built a wind farm right in the middle of it, … .” [klem 4:02AM 6/29/13]

    ****************************************
    @ Gail Combs, thank you. What a wise, healthy, caring, person you are. Glad you’re on WUWT (along with scores of others I won’t even begin to list!). I grew up in a setting much like what you describe. EVERY weekend (except for the fall quarter of my freshman year when I wanted to see what it would be like to have been away from home for a “long” time) during college, I drove home. I just got sick of seeing buildings everywhere.

    ****************************************
    @ Johanna — yes, indeed, a pleasure. What a delightful place you have! Around here (NW Washington State, U.S.A.), cats, but not dogs, threaten backyard bird visitors (none are ground travelers). No cats for me. But, “Home is where the dog is,” so …… there he is, lying on the floor, all 95 lbs. of his German Shepherd self, snuggled against my left ankle.

    Parrots! Wow. That would be SO cool.

    Yeah, the propaganda about us “evil, selfish, greedy” anti-CAGW people reminds one of how the Soviet Communists convinced their people to hate Americans for the same reasons (and, no doubt, Australians would have been included if the Soviets had thought it worth their while).

    *****************************
    @Atheok — powerful argument (amongst many — like that of MANY others above whom I should but won’t take the space to mention) that if a swift (or a bat) with their extra-fine abilities cannot avoid being killed by a windmill, no flying creature can.

    ************************************************

    “When one honestly matches windmill benefits against windmill costs and damages, windmills rank with Attila for societal benefit .” [Atheok 10:53AM 6/29/13]

  108. Thanks, Janice.

    I don’t know about your hound, but next door are a pair of Jack Russell terriers, and I can assure you that not a bird settles in their yard.

    At my place, it is rare to look out of the window and not see a bird fossicking in the lawn or mulch, nibbling on seeds or nectar in the vegetation, bathing or drinking in the birdbath, or just hanging around (including on my windowsills!).

    Apart from the sheer pleasure of seeing them, they eat countless bugs, slugs and so on. Except for a bit of snailbait around the tender shoots in spring, I never have to use pesticides – on the contrary, despite a fairly harsh climate, hacking back the vegetation is the main priority.

    The parrots are an absolute delight – although they are sometimes destructive – especially the sulphur-crested cockatoos, whose beaks can shred woodwork in a trice and who prune branches the thickness of a man’s thumb off my trees all the time. Not that it seems to bother the trees.

    What brings huge numbers of parrots here is the planting of millions of European trees that produce nuts of one kind or another. Pine cones, acorns, liquidamber seed balls – that kind of thing. In my street, we have plum trees, and after feasting on the fruit, they come back in Autumn to exhaustively search under the trees and carefully crack the seeds for the tiny, but apparently very tasty, kernels within. They will happily spend days doing that.

    I hate bird-killing windmills, I really do. Even if they were a partial solution to energy provision (which they are not), I would hate them with a passion.

  109. Thanks for sharing, Johanna. What a lovely place. Fortunately, while my shepherd keeps a close eye on birds (the big ones like red tailed hawks soaring overhead — I’ve gotten him to associate the phrase, “It’s a bird, a BIG bird” with seeing them, so, if I spot one before he does, I love to earnestly whisper that to him and watch him immediately look up and scan the sky), he doesn’t chase them (the ones on the ground, I mean, such as robins — he only barks occasionally at the big scary ones in the sky).

    Take care and keep warm!

  110. The observation that the conservationist response to bird death’s caused by wind-turbines, differs from that when other methods of producing energy is involved, seems inarguable, and worth making. After that the posts, dealing with estimates of how many birds are killed by different structures are largely silly. Rare birds are rare for reasons other than how they might meet their deaths, whether that be from flying into man-made structures of whatever kind, and common ones would be no more common did they not exist. This Darwin chap you might not have heard of, developed a stunning scientific theory based largely on the observation that in living organisms, far more offspring are produced, than will survive. The way they meet their deaths is largely immaterial. In the 40 years or so I have been interested in such things, the UK population of The Blackbird, Turdus merula, is generally estimated at around 10 million breeding pairs. These will lay something in the order of 100 million eggs annually, and yet the following year there are, again around 10 million breeding pairs. If they avoid predation or turbines, conservatory windows or car windscreens, then disease or starvation will get them in the end anyway.

  111. All of these commentators who have referred to “windmills” are incorrect. This is a wind turbine. Windmills use the power of wind to mill corn. As “they” say – the clue is in the name. By the way, I’m surprised that a bird was killed – I drive past the large Eaglesham wind power station frequently, and half the time they are either not moving or moving so slowly they couldn’t power a light-bulb

  112. Thomas says:
    June 28, 2013 at 8:59 am
    “Of course if it had been an oil derrick or a power plant smokestack that caused the death, you can bet every environmental organization would be having a collective cow. ”

    Of course if it had been killed by a car or cat or by flying into a window you can bet WUWT wouldn’t have been writing about it. Yes, windmills kills birds and you need to consider that in deciding where to put them and how to design them, but overall it’s an insignificant number compared to birds killed by other human enterprises. I found some statistics here:

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2011/06/cats-tnr-birds-feral

    This is why picking single examples like done here can give a false view of reality.
    ++++++++++++
    I hear this type of nonsense all the time from liberals. Whenever their causes are attacked, they justify it by pointing to other examples of “negative things.” The problem is that liberals always talk about their side of the story and brush of counter arguments. I could use the trite old saying, “Who’s calling the kettle black?”

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