Windmills killed over half a million birds and nearly a million bats in 2012. Where will it end?
AP has distributed a story carried by many news outlets, including Fox, The Guardian, etc. I like the variety of headlines. Some hardly admit the point while others all but accuse the President of killing eagles and fighting oil production.
A quote: “More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s windfarms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.”
The link to the journal should work, but it is available after purchase only, and I didn’t register to find out how much it is. 
 

Smallwood, K. S. (2013), Comparing bird and bat fatality-rate estimates among North American wind-energy projects. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 37: 19–33. doi: 10.1002/wsb.260

Author Information

  1. 3108 Finch Street, Davis, CA 95616, USA

Email: K. Shawn Smallwood (puma@dcn.org)

*3108 Finch Street, Davis, CA 95616, USA

  1. Associate Editor: Brennan

Publication History

  1. Issue published online: 3 APR 2013
  2. Article first published online: 26 MAR 2013

Abstract

Estimates of bird and bat fatalities are often made at wind-energy projects to assess impacts by comparing them with other fatality estimates. Many fatality estimates have been made across North America, but they have varied greatly in field and analytical methods, monitoring duration, and in the size and height of the wind turbines monitored for fatalities, and few benefited from scientific peer review. To improve comparability among estimates, I reviewed available reports of fatality monitoring at wind-energy projects throughout North America, and I applied a common estimator and 3 adjustment factors to data collected from these reports. To adjust fatality estimates for proportions of carcasses not found during routine monitoring, I used national averages from hundreds of carcass placement trials intended to characterize scavenger removal and searcher detection rates, and I relied on patterns of carcass distance from wind turbines to develop an adjustment for variation in maximum search radius around wind turbines mounted on various tower heights. Adjusted fatality rates correlated inversely with wind-turbine size for all raptors as a group across the United States, and for all birds as a group within the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, California. I estimated 888,000 bat and 573,000 bird fatalities/year (including 83,000 raptor fatalities) at 51,630 megawatt (MW) of installed wind-energy capacity in the United States in 2012. As wind energy continues to expand, there is urgent need to improve fatality monitoring methods, especially in the implementation of detection trials, which should be more realistically incorporated into routine monitoring. © 2013 The Wildlife Society

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Anyway, isn’t it time the Audubon Society and groups like Sierra Club were at least calling for monitoring and stopping these things in some migratory paths?

Windmills really are not worthwhile on an industrial scale. They cannot be justified for their intended purpose. Aside from killing bats and birds, they are disruptive in other ways, including to humans. The price is high and the benefit is nearly nil. 

Windmills have been abandoned over and over for over three thousand years and will be again. Our grandchildren will curse us for leaving them such a mess.

Thank you for your consideration.