Tilting at Windmills

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Tilting at Windmills
From: "Birding Services Brisbane" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 12:25:54 +1000
Hi Carl and others

I have done some consulting work here in Queensland assessing the potential for bird strikes at possible wind farms sites. I have also worked on raptor migration surveys in southern Spain where wind turbines are a big problem for Griffon Vultures and there are significant mortalities each year. I have seen several dead Griffon Vultures under wind turbines myself and watched heart in mouth as flocks of up to 50 negotiated rows of turbines. Big soaring vultures that eat dead things on the ground do not have the manoeuvrability of a falcon or goshawk. Researchers were working on the problem and looking at ways of addressing it. In that area of Spain (Andalusia) there were literally thousands of wind turbines. Many environmentally minded locals were anti turbines, not only because of the loss of visual amenity but because of the environmental damage done in the installation and servicing of the turbines. Many were in wilderness type landscapes and each has a service road to it. This causes erosion, lets in hunters and their domestic animals and allows weed and exotic plant infestation.

In Australia we can learn from issues such as this and hopefully minimise damage to the local environment where windfarms may be situated. The problems of birdstrike on windturbines is certainly much less here than in places such as Europe and north America.


Roy Sonnenburg

PS Each turbine can generate enough power for about 40 -50 'normal' homes.


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