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.
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.
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