Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rare Bird Killed...by Wind Turbine

There hasn’t been a sighting of a White-throated Needletail in the United Kingdom for 22 years, so nearly 80 birdwatchers flocked to Scotland this week to get a look, the Telegraph reported.  But instead of enjoying the world’s fastest flying bird soaring, they watched it fly into the small blade of a wind turbine and die.

"It was seen by birders fly straight into the turbine. It is ironic that after waiting so long for this bird to turn up in the UK, it was killed by a wind turbine and not a natural predator, “ Josh Jones of Bird Guides said.

The Needletail was apparently thousands of miles off course when two bird spotters identified it on the isle of Harris Monday. By Wednesday, scores of watchers had gathered in the Tarbet area of Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland to catch a glimpse of the rare bird.   

“It’s tragic. More than 80 people had already arrived on the island and others were coming from all over the country. But it just flew into the turbine. It was killed instantly," Jones told the Telegraph.

Avid bird watcher David Campbell witnessed the accident Wednesday. "We all ran over there and were heartbroken to find the poor bird lying beneath the machine, in perfect condition apart from blood and slight trauma on the head - but it was stone dead. Cries of sorrow and anger from the assembled birders.


  1. If your reason for posting this is to slam turbines, then shouldn't we be just as upset about cars and trucks? I see lots of dead birds on the road every day.

  2. The reports of birds of all species being killed by wind turbines has been widespread for a very long time. Wind power has been trumpeted for the past decade as one of the solutions to foreign oil dependency. This is true were we a much smaller country requiring much less electrical power to drive our computers, ovens, hair dryers, chargers, appliances, lights, heaters, entertainment systems, just to name a few.

    I have had several occasions to visit power plant sites owned by Ameren and whenever I can I have asked about the viability of wind power in our future. The answer has consistently been that it is a nice alternative however one example given was that it would take more than 50,000 wind turbines to generate enough power to run Manhattan at 100% capacity. So, where would we put those 50,000 turbines? More farmland? Ocean front? If we are killing birds with the turbines we have now, imagine what damage 50,000 would cause in a concentrated area.

    Wildlife is frequently a casualty of our progress. Which of the two can we live without, a wind turbine or a vehicle?

  3. You can't wave the banner of conservationist in one particular case while ignoring the degradation of nature in so many other cases. If you don't like wind turbines, you probably ought to come up with other reasons why they're bad. Yes, birds die. But look at what coal and oil do to nature. Would you really say these energy sources are better for our environment than giant propellers? Wind power may very well turn out to be unviable, but it won't be because some suddenly concerned citizens are crying over a few scattered feathers.

  4. Just looking at the external costs of wind vs coal or natural gas derived by fracking, there is no comparison.

    Disliking alternative energy because you associate with liberalism and those darn hippies speaks volumes about your mindset.

  5. I have nothing against wind turbines but rather the mentality of ecologists that want to claim that a perfect system is possible. In the course of nature, all living things die and accidents will happen. Animals eat other animals. Man can and should prudently make use of the bounty of nature to live. It is part of nature. The ecologists seem to deny this reality.