Californian Bird Lovers Wonder If Climate Change Killed or Confused Their Missing Birds

Bird vs Turbine
Large bird in its final moments before the turbine strikes. Source Bird vs Turbine FAIL video

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Perhaps they should consider other possible explanations.

Climate Change Threatens Bird Migrations, Habitats In San Diego County

Monday, April 2, 2018

By Susan Murphy

“I would say that every species in San Diego County could be threatened by climate change, said Phil Unitt, curator of birds and mammals at the San Diego Natural History Museum.

“Each species is going to be its own really complex story,” Unitt explained, as he walked along a path in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, using his special chirping call to attract nearby birds.

Unitt said annual migration patterns are being disrupted by rising temperatures, causing some species to seek new habitats that are wetter and cooler.

“Species like the house wren and the Cassin’s kingbird that aren’t migrating south in the numbers that they did previously,” Unitt said.

Read more:

If Greens are so worried about migratory birds, maybe they should have objected more when their fellow travellers went and built loads of bird choppers, some of which allegedly exact an excruciating toll on birds and bats.

As if the bird choppers weren’t enough, other greens went and built what are in my opinion bird versions of the death star out in the desert. The locals call birds “streamers”, because of the smoke trail they leave when they fly through the solar concentrator hotspots – an average of one “streamer” every two minutes, according to Federal Investigators. If the one bird every two minutes estimate is correct, that accounts for a quarter of a million dead birds per year per concentrator – surely enough to put an observable dent in local bird numbers.

The video below is a rather sad encounter between a bird and a wind turbine, from which the image above was taken.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ian Magness
April 3, 2018 2:04 am

“I would say that every species in San Diego County could be threatened by climate change, said Phil Unitt.
Wow! What a definitive statement! They COULD all be threatened by dinosaurs rising again too – You Nit!
Great name.

M Courtney
Reply to  Ian Magness
April 3, 2018 7:26 am

They could all be threatened by climate change. This is true.
And he would say it.
I wouldn’t.

Reply to  Ian Magness
April 3, 2018 9:20 am

The first mistake is believing what is going on right now…is what’s normal….

Reply to  Ian Magness
April 3, 2018 11:42 am

Can he explain why snowy owls and snowy gulls are showing up in my AO? The most recent census on the owls was 150. They may have started flying back north by now, but they’re WAY south of their usual turf.
I would say that because all the specimens counted were youngster, their parents drove them away when they reached adulthood, so they graced us with their presence.
Why isn’t this birder guy concerned about the damage being done to migrating birds by those solar farms, or the slaughter of raptors by wind turbines they can’t get away from?
Not impressed with what he says. Birds can and do adapt to changes in their environment, or they move on.

Reply to  Sara
April 3, 2018 3:55 pm

Right. ‘Endangered’ owls can fly from one tree to another if the one they’re in is cut down. Wind farms are a different story. Birders might want to consider outings to canvas their area’s turbines, glass the ground beneath and around them, and record what they find.

Reply to  Ian Magness
April 4, 2018 4:29 pm

I would say that every species in San Diego County could be threatened by climate change fanatics.

April 3, 2018 2:05 am

How does Big Wind get a free pass on killing millions of birds, when run of river Small Hydro is regulated up the yin-yang for killing a single fish?

Reply to  Earthling2
April 3, 2018 6:48 am

Politics, pure and simple.

John from Europe
Reply to  MarkW
April 4, 2018 5:33 am

Don’t forget money..

Reply to  Earthling2
April 3, 2018 10:04 am

At this rate of diverted advocacy and policy attention for one-track CO2 minded pot of gold carbon tax, the Amazon will be cleared and the Pacific ocean will be a big garbage dump.

Reply to  Earthling2
April 3, 2018 3:57 pm

Please. Stop thinking logically.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Earthling2
April 3, 2018 4:40 pm

Can’t help but ponder Ivanpah when I hear about a bird depopulation in that part of the country.

dodgy geezer
April 3, 2018 2:08 am

You should learn the Environmental Creed.
When Greens kill birds, it’s either justifiable, or it’s the fault of Big Oil. and capitalism.
When Fossil Fuel industries save birds, or any other animal, it’s because they want to capture it and put it in a vivisection lab, subject to unspeakable tortures.
Whatever Greens do is automatically good and right, because they’re Green. Whatever Industry does it’s automatically wrong and evil, because it’s Industry….

Reply to  dodgy geezer
April 3, 2018 6:49 am

Or it’s because government forced them to save the birds, etc.

Reply to  dodgy geezer
April 3, 2018 8:00 am

The Green freaks are the enemy of the country. Shun them, and cut “all” their public funding. Disable all the wind choppers and desert solar farms.

Phil Rae
April 3, 2018 2:19 am

Eric….this is, however, a double edged sword. “Allegedly” is a dangerous word to use, too. For example, in defense of the Exxon Valdez spill, it has been reported that while a quarter of a million birds died due to the effects of the spill, this represents the same number as die EVERY DAY in the US flying into window glass and buildings.
I can’t vouch for the veracity of this number but I do have confidence in Bjorn Lomborg who reported it as someone with a balanced view on environmental issues and priorities. More recent work has supported numbers in this range and while I recognise such reports often originate with scientists closely aligned with the environmental movement and that they are anathema to many contributors on this site, we can’t just ignore them. Of course, everybody’s gonna jump all over this post and say “Yeah! But what about the raptors?” or even worse……..! Despite all the likely invective I risk attracting here, I still say that bird deaths are NOT the most important thing to focus on when it comes to windmills and solar collectors. They are a distraction and we need to focus on the economics, intermittency and other adverse aspects of these devices. Leave the birds to the bird watchers!

DC Cowboy
Reply to  Phil Rae
April 3, 2018 2:37 am

Phil, I think the point here is not that the things are killing birds/bats at horrific levels, but rather the special treatment these devices receive when they do so, which is crickets. As I recall the Exxon Valdez spill was accorded significant coverage and attention for the bird kill while, as far as I know windmills killing a much higher number is essentially ignored or the statistics you cite about buildings is used to say, ‘it doesn’t matter.
What do you think the reaction of the ‘Greens’ would be if a coal/gas/oil power plant was shown to be killing as many birds/bats as an equivalent wind farm?

Phil Rae
Reply to  DC Cowboy
April 3, 2018 3:21 am

DC Cowboy
Thanks for your comment and I do understand and agree, generally, with the point that was being made> However, I just don’t think it’s what we should focus on. These things, whether wind or solar, are a giant “FAIL” when it comes to economics and dispatchability and they are stealing vast amounts of money from consumers via inflated tariffs and from taxpayers via government subsidies. Their vulnerability to the vaguaries of weather and/or darkness and their requirement to have significant spinning reserve from conventional thermal stations and hydro to back them up undermines their environmental credentials and the feasibility of having them constitute any significant fraction of the overall power network. Their maintenance costs, exotic components and intrusive architecture are also significant points against them. Birds, not so much…….just my opinion, of course!

Reply to  DC Cowboy
April 3, 2018 4:35 am

And corals in the South China Sea aren’t endangered, but the Great Barrier Reef is doomed, but can be saved by donating payola and vig to greenie scumbags, every year, for eternity.
It’s the only way.
It’s not like democracy has a broken spine or nothin.

Reply to  DC Cowboy
April 3, 2018 6:53 am

All arguments are good, saying we should ignore valid arguments is not the way to win a debate.
An additional point is that it undermines the moral authority of those who are pushing for the bird choppers.
Since they claim that they are doing this for the environment, showing how much damage they are doing to the environment is a prime counter-argument.

Reply to  DC Cowboy
April 3, 2018 6:56 am

Which rule for radicals is it that says you need to force them to live up to the rules they espouse for others?

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Phil Rae
April 3, 2018 3:58 am

It’s the weapons-grade hypocrisy of greenies. That’s the point here, which you seem to have missed entirely in your haste to concern troll.

Phil Rae
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 3, 2018 6:18 am

Bruce Cobb
I didn’t miss anything – but you clearly did! Try actually reading my posts so you can understand them before making ridiculous comments & accusations please. Thanks!

Old England
Reply to  Phil Rae
April 3, 2018 6:11 am

This is a Spanish assessment of the number of birds and bats killed annually by wind farms in Spain – between 6 million and 18 million a year.

Phil Rae
Reply to  Old England
April 3, 2018 6:38 am

Old England
And this might well be correct,…..I don’t know but it is clearly from an advocate group. As is this paper, from the Smithsonian, no doubt, on the American Ornithological Website. It supports the comments made above regarding building collisions.
Bird–building collisions in the United States: Estimates of annual mortality and species vulnerability
Scott R. Loss, Tom Will, Sara S. Loss and Peter P. Marra
The Condor Feb 2014, Vol. 116, No. 1 (February 2014) pp. 8-23
Abstract | Full Text | PDF (374 KB)
Personally, I think all these deaths, regardless of provenance, are horrendous but when you look at the scale of the alleged wholesale carnage in everyday settings, it makes the arguments against windfarms, on the basis of bird deaths alone, seem pointless.
There are far better ways to attack windfarms on the basis of economics and technical shortcomings than to get into the same stupid game as the environmentalists! Again, just my opinion…..

Phil Rae
Reply to  Old England
April 3, 2018 6:41 am
Phil Rae
Reply to  Old England
April 3, 2018 8:51 pm

Sorry, Old England……wrong link! Not my day! This is the one I meant to post! Thanks!

Reply to  Phil Rae
April 3, 2018 6:51 am

Two points. The birds that fly into windows and such are usually the nuisance birds. Windmills on the other hand are killing endangered birds.
Secondly, saying that these deaths don’t matter because even more are killed over here is like saying that since Mao killed millions, it doesn’t matter that they guy down the street was killed.

Reply to  MarkW
April 3, 2018 7:35 am

It looks like the bird struck in this video was an endangered Condor. Double bad for greens.

Phil Rae
Reply to  MarkW
April 3, 2018 8:41 am

Ridiculous arguments, MarkW………we need to focus on the big issues! Who are you to decide what constitute “nuisance birds”? You just undermine your own argument about those “nuisance birds” with that comment about Mao since it uses exactly the same logic. Is it OK to kill “nuisance birds” just because you think they’re a nuisance? Birds get killed in many ways. Ugly, inefficient windfarms happen to be one cause of death……flying into buildings, getting lost in fog, old age and predation are others. Even if the estimates quoted by Lomborg and numerous other studies are off by an order of magnitude, the evidence suggests that wind farms and othereco- junk power sites are not responsible for the vast majority of bird deaths.
Most of us on this site know how hypocritical the environmental movement is and how its supporters want to blame all manner of unpleasant things in life on the stuff they personally don’t like – mankind, overpopulation, industry, oil & gas, pollution, pesticides, agrochemicals, blah, blah, blah….while simultaneously ignoring natural causes and the problems caused by their own pet “green” technologies. We should criticise them for such nonsense, of course…………but we shouldn’t fall into the same trap, while doing so! I have personally fought against wind farm construction in public in several situations and, from what I’ve seen, bird deaths are not accepted by planners as a good reason to prevent construction of these industrial monstrosities.

Reply to  MarkW
April 3, 2018 6:37 pm

We need to focus on all issues, since different issues are most important for different people.
You are essentially arguing that everybody should think and act as you do.
As I said above, one of the first rules for radicals is that you need to force the other side to live up to their own standards.

Big T
Reply to  MarkW
April 4, 2018 10:17 am

Wood peckers, gold finches, and cardinals are “nuisance” birds? I kind of enjoy them.

Reply to  MarkW
April 9, 2018 8:09 pm

The more starlings and Indian doves which fly into my windows and kill themselves, the better.
The criminals who introduced those weed species to North America should be roasting in the lowest circle of Hell.

Reply to  Phil Rae
April 3, 2018 9:39 am

Did MarkW claim that he was defining what “nuisance birds” were for everyone else, or that he had the authority to do so? No, he made the reasonable assumption that when he used the term, most people would understand what he was talking about implicitly. You make a facetious objection.
You also sound more like a greenie fanatic than you may realize. “We need to focus on the big issues!” comes close to “Damn the consequences, unintended or otherwise. What matters is that the Cause is served!”

Phil Rae
Reply to  drednicolson
April 3, 2018 6:07 pm

Apparently birds that fly into windows are “nuisance birds” by MarkW’s definition so, yes, I believe that constitutes a claim. There was nothing facetious about my objection and I take offence at your ridiculous accusation that I am some green troll. Nothing could be further from the truth but I see it’s a waste of time arguing about this issue here since bird deaths due to windmills are clearly an article of faith with some and dare not be challenged, despite plenty of evidence there are many worse causes of bird mortality.
Bird deaths from ANY man made structures are lamentable and those from windmills are tragic because these structures are unnecessary & inefficient. I can cite any number of very good reasons why we shouldn’t cover the landscape with windmills and, yes, avian mortality would be one of them but it wouldn’t be the main reason. Grid stability, intermittency,cost, environmental damage, steel/concrete, rare earths, infrasound, industrialisation of the countryside, etc. etc. are all good reasons to object to these structures…..birds are one more!

Reply to  drednicolson
April 3, 2018 6:39 pm

Phil, why the high horse?
Why do you get so upset that other people don’t agree with you as to what every bodies first priority ought to be.
Do you honestly believe that you are so smart that you are entitled to form not only your own opinions, but everyone else’s as well?

Phil Rae
Reply to  drednicolson
April 3, 2018 7:34 pm

The horse isn’t particularly high but, like you and everybody else here, I have a right to defend my point of view. When my comments are misinterpreted, deliberately or otherwise, and my opinions ridiculed unnecessarily, or taken out of context, I challenge the perpetrators to explain or justify their position. That’s what debate is all about. Sacred cows (or birds) should be subject to the same scientific scrutiny and critique as any other topic regardless of any strong emotional attachment to a particular line of argument.

Tom O
Reply to  Phil Rae
April 3, 2018 12:50 pm

Sorry Phil, the bird deaths are NOT a distraction. They are every bit as important as anything else. You forget the bat deaths as well, and the fact that the choppers also clear a swath of moving air of insect life as well. My wallet isn’t the only thing that is important to me. I also like the food on the table that happens because of flying insects and bats pollinating that these ugly wastes of money cause. So if we want to throw out distractions, lets stop whining about the economic impact and consider the real impact on the world that we live in, not just the one that lines your wallet.

Phil Rae
Reply to  Tom O
April 3, 2018 6:30 pm

Tom O
I never said birds, bats or any other lifeforms were a distraction – only that there are plenty of other significant reasons to argue against these monstrosities. Economics and technical performance (or lack thereof) are good reasons but they are not the only ones, obviously.
My main concern in all this is that we end up accused of exactly the same hypocrisy as we level at the greens. We have evidence to say windmills kill birds but we choose to ignore the fact many more birds die on buildings – that’s cherry picking. You claim that windmills kill insects – almost certainly true but so do streetlights, refineries and who knows what else. If we want to argue against windmills on the basis of wildlife deaths, that’s fine…..but when there are other urban and/or industrial causes for wildlife deaths in much greater numbers, we can’t just ignore them or write them off as irrelevant! That leaves us wide open to accusations of cherry picking and smacks of exactly the kind of green hypocrisy we despise!

Robin Hewitt
April 3, 2018 2:46 am

A quarter of a million bird streamers per annum seems to assume they do it at night.

April 3, 2018 2:46 am

Went and visited the South Australian wind farms. No birds. None.
I live in fear the local looney Australian polititians will put up wind turbines near me. At the moment, I wake up to the song of thousands of birds.

Reply to  Peter
April 3, 2018 4:06 am

Bats are very sensitive to wind farms and in their attempt to avoid them have settled in Bathurst’s Machattie Park, much to the angst of the locals who say its unprecedented.

Reply to  ironicman
April 3, 2018 5:05 am

“Some species seek habitats that are wetter and cooler”. Exactly – I believe it’s called adaptation, which is what we humans do better than any other species when our habitats change, get warmer or cooler.

Doug Huffman
April 3, 2018 3:21 am

Are the greenies eating the roadkill?

Reply to  Doug Huffman
April 3, 2018 9:40 am


Ron Long
April 3, 2018 3:33 am

Great article Eric Worrall. I have personally stood underneath wind turbines, NE of Casper, Wyoming and seen the birds littering the ground. You cannot imagine how big the turbines are and how fast the blade tip speed is until you see it personally. Also, I watched “streamers” smoking and crashing birds encountering the liquid sodium canister atop a mirror reflector field, near the Barstow, California airport, and again, you cannot imagine what these things do until you stand there and see it for yourselves. The Green Energy Industry is the only industry I know of that is allowed to continue with this type of wildlife carnage. The Gold Mining Industry learned through some trial-and-error how to keep wildlife from cyanide ponds, so perhaps the Green Energy Industry can do the same, except they do not appear to have any regulatory incentive to do so at this time.

April 3, 2018 3:45 am

If the possibility of Anthropogenic Climate Change caused the building of the windmills then I suppose the headline is true.

April 3, 2018 4:12 am

“Climate change” in San Diego area is supposedly changing the habitat of the local birds; yet when I go to “WolframAlpha” and enter “average temperature san diego last 60 years, I see no change in typical temperature. So, how can the bird habitat be affected by changing temps if the temps are not changing?
[BTW: you can repeat this WolframAlpha locla temp timeline task with most any story of “changing temps” catastrophe, and find similarly stable temps across time.]

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
April 3, 2018 6:56 am

The birds are tele-connected to the temperatures being generated by the models.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
April 3, 2018 7:48 am

Good call. You can see that there is no temperature change whatsoever. These are the hard facts that the global warming kooks don’t see/hear/or speak of. They just close their ears…

Terry Gednalske
Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
April 3, 2018 10:27 am

The birds are responding to the ADJUSTED temperatures.

Old England
April 3, 2018 6:19 am

In the UK the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) and numerous animal rights groups choose to blame any raptor death on illegal shooting or poisoning on the part of game shooters.
This stance is maintained despite the majority of raptor deaths (including ones with GPS transmitters) being in close proximity to the huge numbers of wind farms in the North of England and in Scotland. These deaths are being used to try and end grouse and other shooting – and even the police whose job it is to prosecute any illegal killing of raptors rarely seem to look at the proximity of wind turbines and wind farms or consider the likelihood of this as a the real cause.
Animal rights activists have been spreading stories that game shooters have shot golden eagles and hen harriers (near wind turbines) and then disposed of the bodies by taking them out to sea !!. Tragedy is that too many politicians and journalists fall for this deliberate nonsense.

Old England
Reply to  Old England
April 3, 2018 6:24 am

Oops – should read:
“and even the police whose job it is to prosecute any illegal killing of raptors rarely seem NOT to look at the proximity of wind turbines and wind farms or consider the likelihood of this as a the real cause.”

Reply to  Old England
April 3, 2018 7:24 am

I think you got it right the first time.

David Hoopman
April 3, 2018 6:26 am

Two famous quotations come to mind:
“We had to destroy the village in order to save it,” and,
“Whom the gods would destroy, they would first make mad.”

April 3, 2018 6:32 am

Sad and shameful

Gary Pearse
April 3, 2018 6:33 am

The linear thinkers of modern scholarship, some time ago, argued a statistic looking at the probability of a passing bird connecting with a blade. This video shows why they have to multiply their statistic many times. These large soaring birds pass and repass through, enjoying the airflow effects until they get knocked down.
Even though this curator’s job is rapidly becoming redundant, he’s hopelessly impaired by a brain-numbing, agenda-outcomes education. Bird expert says “Where did all the birds go? It must be manmade global warming.”
How much has it warmed (manmade and natural) in this guys lifetime? Globally it hasn’t been 1°F and this concentrated in polar regions. I recall Roy Spencer’s paper on California cooling in rural areas but was unable to find the link through google – surprise surprise!

April 3, 2018 6:44 am

Not to detract from the main point of the article, but one bird fried every two minutes would only yield a quarter of a million fried birds if the sun were shining 24 hours a day. The actual number killed is therefore likely far less than that, although, no doubt, still an appalling number.

Reply to  Reacher51
April 3, 2018 7:22 am

Agreed, lethal temperatures are probably reached only a few hours a day. That said, “green” or renewable energy is generally only the environmentally sound choice when the environmental havoc caused by it is ignored.

Andy Pattullo
April 3, 2018 7:04 am

Naturally birds abhor warmer temperatures. That’s why they fly north in the winter and south in the summer, or did I get that backwards. Being green is so confusing.

John Darrow
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
April 3, 2018 12:13 pm

Birds are intelligent and since it’s easier than flying UP North they have begun to fly only east/west as there’s no need to ever fly ‘uphill’ thus saving energy. Got this pertinent info from the new Green’s manual – so take it for what it’s worth!

April 3, 2018 7:18 am

That bird in the video kind of had it coming. Suicide by windmill.
The modern environmental movement isn’t about saving or even helping the environment. There’s nothing green about solar panels on a McMansion and it’s no accident that people who believe in CAGW have, on average, larger carbon footprints than people who don’t.
The purpose of the modern environmental movement is to help affluent white liberals to continue their environmentally destructive lives guilt-free.

April 3, 2018 8:23 am

“If the one bird every two minutes estimate is correct, that accounts for a quarter of a million dead birds per year per concentrator – surely enough to put an observable dent in local bird numbers.”

365.25 days per year.
24 hours per day
1,440 minutes per day
1,440 X 365.25 = 525, 946 minutes per year
525,946 ÷ 2 = 262,973 bird kill time measurements.
A) If the solar collector collected solar energy 24 hrs a day
How does that work?
Is California or Nevada using night lights for 24 hour solar power? (I wouldn’t put it past moonbeam Brown).

Derek in Portland
Reply to  ATheoK
April 3, 2018 12:17 pm

I had the same thought. Also, the NBC News article linked to in the OP gives an annual estimate of 2,000 on the low end and 28,000 on the high end. Maybe the feds that gave the “one every two minutes” estimate were there on a particularly heavy day, or were there for just a short time.

J Mac
April 3, 2018 8:43 am

The Exxon Valdez is estimated to have killed 250,000 birds in total.
It is a drop in the dead-bird-bucket, compared to the ongoing and accelerating avian holocaust created by wind turbines and solar boilers in service and being built world wide.

Joe Civis
April 3, 2018 8:58 am

it truly is a wonder this miracle of a substance CO2 and the whole of “Climate Science”, no longer does anyone have to look for clues or facts or perform experiments or actually study real things all one need to do is if something odd or bad happens it is due to evil man made CO2. you didn’t finish your homework.. CO2’s fault… didn’t finish that project at work… CO2’s fault……. didn’t win the lottery….. CO2’s fault doesn’t matter that you didn’t play or didn’t do the work…. it must have been CO2 that prevented you from doing what you needed to do to get it done or play or whatever!!!
just in case… SARC!
Joe 🙁

April 3, 2018 3:29 pm

The only way wind turbines reduce CO2 is by killing birds. If they didn’t kill birds They would be more carbon intensive than natural gas. Since most will never generate enough electricity to replace themselves.

April 3, 2018 7:11 pm

Greenies cannot even see the nose in front of their face. This is why they cannot see wind-turbines chopping up the birds and Solar furnaces frying birds to death. The Greenies, it’s all good, no matter who or what suffers.

Robert from oz
April 4, 2018 1:40 am

Here in oz we have a bird called the Bellbird which sounds a bit like small bells when it calls , the green fringe dwellers were complaining that they no longer heard their amazing calls and the Eucalypt forest they lived in were all dead .
Turns out the birds farm yes you heard right “farm” a parasite that sucks the leaves dry but the birds love to eat the parasite for its sugary goodness .
These birds have learnt that by spreading the parasite to surrounding trees they increase their favorite food but unfortunately for the tree it will inevitably die .

Mark - Helsinki
April 4, 2018 11:21 am

Cali wind kills 18000 birds per GW produced, stanford study, and that is just Wind

April 6, 2018 7:57 am

There must be something in Californian water to make so many people so gullible!

John Robertson
April 9, 2018 7:58 pm

Gang Green.
Hard at work.

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by MonsterInsights