Are wind turbines a danger to birds?

A common objection to wind turbines is that they’re dangerous for birds. Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution reports that the number of birds killed by wind turbines in the US is between 20,000 and 37,000 annually.

He draws on data from this report by the Committee on Environmental Impacts of Wind Energy Projects, (US) National Research Council of the National Academies.

The report puts the bird strikes from turbines into context with annual estimates for deaths in the US from other causes (the wide ranges in the estimates indicate this is not an exact science):

Collisions with buildings: 97 – 976 million

Collisions with high tension lines: 130 – 1,000 million

Collisions with communication towers: 4 – 50 million

Collisions with cars: more than 80 million

Toxic chemicals: more than 72 million

Cats: more than a billion

BP oil spill: more than two thousand to date Read the rest of this entry »