Birds and Wind Turbines

A new study published by the American Bird Observatory used “kitty cams” to determine how many animals outdoor house cats kill. The conclusion was that housecats kill more birds than previously thought. They estimate that house cats kill 500 million birds per year in North America.

The average wind turbine kills two birds per year from direct strikes. So to equal the kill from house cats, we would need 250 million turbines. We have about 25,000 wind turbines that supply 3% of the continent’s electricity. So wind turbines kill 1 ten thousandth the number of birds that house cats do.

That must be why the Audubon Society, a major birding organization, has taken a position in favour of properly sited wind turbines. The Audubon Society takes a holistic view of wind, balancing the small impact of wind turbines on individual birds, with its positive impact on climate change, which will endanger whole species.

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