Turbines blamed for bird deaths

Offshore wind turbines could be causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of night-flying migrant birds, according to a study published in Bird Study in February.

A team headed by Ommo Hüppop of the Institute of Avian Research examined the bodies of birds found dead in the vicinity of a tall offshore turbine in the North Sea over a four year period, basing the estimate on the number of bodies found.

The dead birds were mainly passerines, including thrushes and Starlings, most showing injuries consistent with a collision with the turbine, and with deaths increasing when weather conditions were poor.

Strangely, the research also seems to show that birds in poor condition are less likely to be involved in such collisions than those in good condition, a factor which, if true, could have far reaching consequences in terms of breeding.

The study recommends taking urgent action at windfarms to prevent these losses.