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Title: Avian risk behavior and fatalities at the Altamont Wind Resource Area: March 1998 - February 1999

Abstract

Since 1981, more than 7,000 wind turbines have been installed in the Altamont Wind Resource Area in north-central California. Currently, about 5,000 turbines are operating. Past research efforts demonstrated that wind turbines frequently kill birds, especially raptors. Little is known about the specific flight and perching behaviors by birds near wind turbines. A better understanding of these interactions may one day yield insights on how to minimize bird fatalities. This Phase 1 progress report summarizes research findings obtained at 20 study plots totaling 785 turbines of various configurations and conducted between March 1998 and February 1999. The authors examined bird use and behaviors and collected data on fatalities at the same turbines throughout the course of the surveys. They completed 745 30-minute point counts (1,702 bird observations) that quantified bird risk behaviors and bird use of the study plots. The four most frequently observed bird species were red-tailed hawks, common ravens, turkey vultures, and golden eagles. During the same period, the authors recorded 95 bird fatalities. Raptors represent 51% (n=49) of the kills found. The data indicate that the relative abundance of species observed does not predict the relative frequency of fatalities per species. Phase II of the research ismore » underway.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab., Golden, CO (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
755961
Report Number(s):
NREL/SR-500-27545
TRN: US0002687
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-99GO10337
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 8 May 2000
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
17 WIND ENERGY; WIND TURBINES; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; BIRDS; DEATH; BEHAVIOR; CALIFORNIA; ALTAMONT WIND RESOURCE AREA; AVIAN FATALITIES; RAPTORS; RISK BEHAVIOR

Citation Formats

Thelander, C., and Rugge, L. Avian risk behavior and fatalities at the Altamont Wind Resource Area: March 1998 - February 1999. United States: N. p., 2000. Web. doi:10.2172/755961.
Thelander, C., & Rugge, L. Avian risk behavior and fatalities at the Altamont Wind Resource Area: March 1998 - February 1999. United States. doi:10.2172/755961.
Thelander, C., and Rugge, L. Mon . "Avian risk behavior and fatalities at the Altamont Wind Resource Area: March 1998 - February 1999". United States. doi:10.2172/755961. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/755961.
@article{osti_755961,
title = {Avian risk behavior and fatalities at the Altamont Wind Resource Area: March 1998 - February 1999},
author = {Thelander, C. and Rugge, L.},
abstractNote = {Since 1981, more than 7,000 wind turbines have been installed in the Altamont Wind Resource Area in north-central California. Currently, about 5,000 turbines are operating. Past research efforts demonstrated that wind turbines frequently kill birds, especially raptors. Little is known about the specific flight and perching behaviors by birds near wind turbines. A better understanding of these interactions may one day yield insights on how to minimize bird fatalities. This Phase 1 progress report summarizes research findings obtained at 20 study plots totaling 785 turbines of various configurations and conducted between March 1998 and February 1999. The authors examined bird use and behaviors and collected data on fatalities at the same turbines throughout the course of the surveys. They completed 745 30-minute point counts (1,702 bird observations) that quantified bird risk behaviors and bird use of the study plots. The four most frequently observed bird species were red-tailed hawks, common ravens, turkey vultures, and golden eagles. During the same period, the authors recorded 95 bird fatalities. Raptors represent 51% (n=49) of the kills found. The data indicate that the relative abundance of species observed does not predict the relative frequency of fatalities per species. Phase II of the research is underway.},
doi = {10.2172/755961},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2000},
month = {5}
}

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