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Wind Turbines are killing Raptors
Tim of ThyArt   30 Apr 2020 / updated: 30/Apr/2020

Are cats or wind turbines more a threat to birds?


Wind turbines kill specifically predatory birds such as hawks, owls, and eagles that use wind turbines as perches. These birds reproductive cycle is years to maturity compared to months for the common smaller birds. That is comparing killing domestic cats to killing mountain lions in the USA. Wind turbines are not located in most places in the USA, but as wind turbines become more populous across the world, these predatory birds will suffer greatly, possibly increasing disease potential rodents.


Statista "According to numbers aggregated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, cats are a bigger scrooge to the overall bird community than wind turbines. The most recent estimate places the number of bird deaths at the paws of cats at 2.4 billion. Collisions from wind turbines on land killed a small fraction of birds in comparison to the damage that cats and glass buildings cause to the general bird population. Land wind turbines were responsible for over 200,000 bird deaths while collisions from building glass are estimated to be responsible for nearly 600 million bird deaths. …"

 [1] The source of this data comes from the US Fish and Wildlife Services. [2] Their collected data from random papers dating from 2006 to 2014 indicate cats kill annually 2.4 billion birds, [3] collision with buildings, vehicles, and power lines cause close to 700 million, poison is responsible for around 70 million, [4] and wind turbines exactly 234,012 birds killed. That exact number comes from the average of exact minimum and maximum numbers, which makes it very suspicious, an obvious biased or agenda oriented report.

There is an estimated 10 to 20 billion birds in North America, less in the USA. This makes the numbers by the US Fish and Wildlife near impossible, as that would mean cats are killing 1 out of every 4 to 5 birds in the USA. [5] There are estimates of 70 million feral cats and 100 million domestic cats in the USA, which would put the kill per cat per year at 14, which sounds almost plausible. Mother Jones in an article puts that number killed by cats at 500 million per year, which is likely more accurate. The problem is most all birds are smaller, living off some type of vegetation, worms, or insects, these are a dime a dozen. [6] But raptors, noted as birds of prey, they vary in size with the larger ones seeking the higher altitude perches to watch for prey, the smaller ones more likely to use a tree branch, this making the larger raptors more susceptible to becoming a victim of wind turbines as smaller birds remain at lower altitudes to prevent from becoming their prey. The estimate is about 1 in 6 birds killed by turbines is a raptor. The closer estimates that are over 5 years old put the numbers at 573,000 birds killed per year by turbines, 83,000 being raptors. Wind capacity has doubled since then; therefore, the count is likely higher now. Large raptor reproductive cycle is years to maturity compared to months for the common bird, raptors replenish slower. Cats are more likely to be killed by a raptor!

The good is that wind turbines will not work in most locations over land, giving some safe harbor to the predatory birds that literally seek these towers out to watch for prey. One tower can wipe out the eagles, hawks, and owls living within a radius of many miles.

 



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