Robin hushed: Wind turbines are making songbirds change their tune

By Mark Whittingham, professor of applied ecology, Newcastle University

WIND turbines are a leading source of green energy which could supply 12 per cent of the world’s energy by 2020. But their use is often criticised for its impact on wildlife, particularly birds. Larger birds can collide with turbines and some have even learned to avoid flying near them.

Robin on birdbath

Impacts on smaller birds are less well documented as they tend to manoeuvre around turbines and can avoid impacting with them much more easily than larger species. My own research showed that birds associated with farmland, including a range of songbirds, were generally unfazed — their winter distribution didn’t change in the presence of turbines.

But there were also some intriguing patterns in the behaviour of skylarks...... continue reading at The Metro


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