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Windmills Take Toll on Wildlife
Los Angeles Times ^ | December 8, 2003 | Rone Tempest

Posted on 12/08/2003 11:20:40 AM PST by Willie Green

ALTAMONT PASS, Calif. — When the giant Altamont wind farm sprouted here two decades ago, the only major objections were aesthetic. Local residents didn't appreciate the forest of 7,000 ungainly wind towers cluttering their view.

No one, apparently, thought about the birds.

Since the phalanx of giant windmills began churning in the air above the Altamont Pass east of San Francisco Bay, an estimated 22,000 birds have died, including hundreds of golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, kestrels and other raptors, after flying into the spinning blades of the wind turbines.

Now, some environmental groups that routinely supported wind power as a clean, alternative source of electric power are opposing the renewal of permits for the wind farm until steps are taken to reduce the bird deaths.

(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: energy; environment; wildlife; windmills
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1 posted on 12/08/2003 11:20:40 AM PST by Willie Green
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; biblewonk; farmfriend; RightWhale; boris
ping
2 posted on 12/08/2003 11:21:34 AM PST by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: Willie Green
If only they could combine this with a nuke plant, they could simulateously catch, pluck, slice and microwave fresh fowl!
3 posted on 12/08/2003 11:22:11 AM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: Willie Green
Ya can't win fer losin'.
4 posted on 12/08/2003 11:22:26 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................."Dean's got Tom McClintock Eyes".........................)
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To: Willie Green
I detect an opportunity to make millions of dollars selling and installing giant fan guards.
5 posted on 12/08/2003 11:23:03 AM PST by DoctorHydrocal
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To: Willie Green
Wind power is a darned silly idea. What worked for a lone farm on the prairie in the 20s is nothing but a feel-good gesture now. It's also not fair to the raptors, who after all, are just trying to scavange the guts of crushed songbirds off the giant blades when they themselves get whacked.
6 posted on 12/08/2003 11:26:17 AM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: Willie Green
only show's ta go ya that no matter what you do, the libs will NOT be satisfied until we revert to the pre-industrial rev days.
7 posted on 12/08/2003 11:28:07 AM PST by camle (no fool like a damned fool)
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To: Willie Green
22,000 birds? including 100's of Golden Eagles? And they are expecting a "moratorium" on more windmills to come up with a solution?

What are they thinking? a giant net over northern California?

Face it, you environmental wacko's, windmills kill birds!, Now either continue your rant to return civilization to the stone age or get behind the clean applications of nuclear and fossil fuels.

8 posted on 12/08/2003 11:28:49 AM PST by AgThorn (Go go Bush!!)
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To: Willie Green
If this were true, we would be inundated with pictures of dead birds at the bottom of the windmills. They are trying the same story with wireless antennas. Fortunately, BS does not fly well, no matter how hard it is thrown by the environmentalist Luddites.
9 posted on 12/08/2003 11:29:13 AM PST by rock58seg (If Bush really were a tyrant, the liberals would love him.)
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To: Willie Green
We visited a big wind farm up in SW Minnesota- they claimed that they lost many more bats than birds, and, think of all the bugs!! Nobody even counts them ! Sob !
10 posted on 12/08/2003 11:31:27 AM PST by Red Boots
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To: Red Boots
So how many dead bats did you see?
11 posted on 12/08/2003 11:32:25 AM PST by rock58seg (If Bush really were a tyrant, the liberals would love him.)
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To: RightWhale
>>Wind power is a darned silly idea<<

I a lot of places, sure. Out here in West Texas, the wind is always blowing, nothing but desert grasslands, and the developement of wind farms...good investment unless the environits wourk their way out here and jabber-jaw about some grackle gettin' hurt...

12 posted on 12/08/2003 11:32:36 AM PST by Roughneck (". . .For there is going to come a time when people won't listen to the truth. . .")
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To: Willie Green
Nuclear fusion.
13 posted on 12/08/2003 11:34:14 AM PST by Z-28 ())
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To: Willie Green; AAABEST; Ace2U; Alamo-Girl; Alas; alfons; amom; AndreaZingg; Anonymous2; ...
Rights, farms, environment ping.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.

14 posted on 12/08/2003 11:34:43 AM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: Willie Green
Don't believe it... even remotely believe it..

Sounds like bull to me...

15 posted on 12/08/2003 11:36:00 AM PST by hosepipe
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To: Willie Green
A Mighty Wind BLOWS
16 posted on 12/08/2003 11:36:36 AM PST by Maelstrom (To prevent misinterpretation or abuse of the Constitution:The Bill of Rights limits government power)
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To: Red Boots
As a kid, we used to shoot at bats with our bb guns. (Lived behind our chimney.) They could tell the difference between bb's and insects. They were able to swerve and make us miss. Somehow I think they would notice the approach of a windmill blade.
17 posted on 12/08/2003 11:37:00 AM PST by rock58seg (If Bush really were a tyrant, the liberals would love him.)
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To: AgThorn
"a giant net over northern California?"

That would never fly, then the birds would not be able to land and make nests, etc.
18 posted on 12/08/2003 11:37:04 AM PST by looscnnn ("Live free or die; death is not the worst of evils" Gen. John Stark 1809)
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To: Willie Green
It has been known for years that windmills are cuisinarts for birds. It's amazing how flexible the greens can be when one of their pet projects collides with an endangered species.
19 posted on 12/08/2003 11:39:45 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
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To: finnman69
Well, the Lawrence Livermore Lab isn't too far away!
20 posted on 12/08/2003 11:40:31 AM PST by bootless (Never Forget)
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To: Willie Green
Checkout - http://www.cleanpowernow.org/birdkills.php
21 posted on 12/08/2003 11:41:06 AM PST by NutmegDevil
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To: Roughneck
I toyed with windpower here, put up a big windvane and propeller to see what to expect. It turned this way and that, and sometimes the propeller would turn over lazily. You want about 7 knots steady to get anything at all, and we get about 2 most of the time. There are times in the winter when the air won't move for weeks at a time, maybe just drift a few feet this way and that. If there were 20-30 knots regularly, I would set up a couple shrouded fans and go for it, but it loks like fossil fuel plants is the only practical thing. Nuclear is out for political reasons.
22 posted on 12/08/2003 11:41:43 AM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: finnman69
LOL
23 posted on 12/08/2003 11:41:54 AM PST by kinsman redeemer
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To: Willie Green
I have a soft spot in my heart for raptors. Elegant, wonderful birds.

You have your light rail. I have my falcons.

24 posted on 12/08/2003 11:42:51 AM PST by Lazamataz (PROUDLY POSTING WITHOUT READING THE ARTICLE SINCE 1999!)
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To: Willie Green
...hundreds of golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, kestrels and other raptors, after flying into the spinning blades of the wind turbines.

Are these wind turbines manufactured by Popeil?

FMCDH

25 posted on 12/08/2003 11:43:04 AM PST by nothingnew (The pendulum is swinging and the Rats are in the pit!)
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To: Willie Green
My million-man-math calculates 22,000 birds in 20 years as three birds a day for the entire 7000 windmill farm, or approximately one bird every seven years per windmill.
26 posted on 12/08/2003 11:44:24 AM PST by js1138
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To: farmfriend
BTTT!!!!!!
27 posted on 12/08/2003 11:44:44 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: rock58seg
If this were true, we would be inundated with pictures of dead birds at the bottom of the windmills. They are trying the same story with wireless antennas.

I did not know they were going after antennas now.

28 posted on 12/08/2003 11:46:01 AM PST by george wythe
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To: finnman69
That's what this county needs! More people with vision!
29 posted on 12/08/2003 11:46:44 AM PST by tbpiper
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To: Roughneck
Out here in West Texas, the wind is always blowing,

I remember in Amarillo, 20mph was considered 'calm'.

30 posted on 12/08/2003 11:48:45 AM PST by tbpiper
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To: RightWhale
Wind power is a darned silly idea.

Powering 100% of the grid through wind power is darned silly. Powering 2% or 5% of the grid through wind power can be economically viable. Windmills obviously have to be built where there's a lot of wind, and on a plains or even on pylons in the ocean. Solar power is currently not good for much more than powering a calculator. But with wind power, they've gotten it advanced technologically enough now that for relatively small amounts of power, you can do it economically. Best if you have a windy desert....

22,000 birds over 20 years isn't that many, probably as many as are killed by FedEx trucks or something.

31 posted on 12/08/2003 11:50:32 AM PST by Koblenz (There's usually a free market solution)
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To: js1138
Seems like a lot of dead tweety birds, until you compare it to the fact that 267,000 birds a DAY, perish in the US striking pane glass windows.
32 posted on 12/08/2003 11:50:54 AM PST by Slicksadick
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To: Willie Green
So THAT'S how they make McNuggets!
33 posted on 12/08/2003 11:51:57 AM PST by happydogdesign
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To: Willie Green
Rush talking windmills right now...
34 posted on 12/08/2003 11:52:24 AM PST by Slicksadick
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"Sometimes your the windshield windmill, sometimes your the bug bird..."
35 posted on 12/08/2003 11:53:04 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat (www.firethebcs.com, www.weneedaplayoff.com, www.firemackbrown.com, www.firecarlreese.com)
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To: happydogdesign
lol
36 posted on 12/08/2003 11:53:27 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat (www.firethebcs.com, www.weneedaplayoff.com, www.firemackbrown.com, www.firecarlreese.com)
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To: Willie Green
wonder if all the windmills slow down or speed up the rotation of the earth....hmmmm
more sunshine on one spot longer...might mean global warming..
37 posted on 12/08/2003 11:55:48 AM PST by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: looscnnn
The giant net is to be dropped over the envirowhackos.
38 posted on 12/08/2003 11:57:36 AM PST by alloysteel
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To: Willie Green
Put screens around the windmills so the birdies can't fly thru.
39 posted on 12/08/2003 11:58:10 AM PST by graycamel
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To: Willie Green
This thing is one ugly thing to look at, the put one up in PA recently as well you can see from the turnpike... but come on 1000 birds a year die by flying into windmill blades? Damn.. if windmills are such a hazard, how have the dutch managed to have birds after all these centuries?

Envirowackos.... gotta love em.
40 posted on 12/08/2003 11:59:12 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: looscnnn
That would never fly, then the birds would not be able to land and make nests, etc.

This reminds me of those environits that are objecting to a fence across certain border areas between CA and Mexico. They were all upset about the birds habitats and such, I mean, I thought a bird could FLY over a darn fence!


The environMental lobby has ulterior motives..we all know that...
What a bunch of maroons.
41 posted on 12/08/2003 12:01:49 PM PST by Roughneck (". . .For there is going to come a time when people won't listen to the truth. . .")
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To: Slicksadick
You are correct, one must also see mortality in relation to collisions with other man-made objects. From the Google link I found
http://greengold.org/wind/faqs.php

The following is the estimated annual avian collision mortality in the USA

- Vehicles: 60 million - 80 million
- Buildings & windows: 98 million - 980 million
- Power lines: 10,000 to 174 million
- Communication towers: 4 million - 50 million
- Wind turbines: 10,000 - 40,000

Note that above numbers do not include domestic cats and their damage. It appears that wind turbines are at the bottom of the damage category...

42 posted on 12/08/2003 12:02:53 PM PST by bwteim (BWTEIM=Begin With The End In Mind)
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To: Willie Green
In the spirit of unintended consequences, anybody know what percentage of the local atmospheric energy is removed by the 7000 windmills, and how that reduction might affect local weather?
43 posted on 12/08/2003 12:04:24 PM PST by laredo44
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To: Willie Green
Since the phalanx of giant windmills began churning in the air [...] an estimated 22,000 birds have died, including hundreds of golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, kestrels and other raptors,

Let's see, that's 22000 birds total, and since they only say "hundreds" I'll be generous and say 1000 raptors, killed by 7000 windmills over two decades. Let's run the numbers:

22000 / 20 = 1100 birds per year.
1000 / 20 = 50 raptors per year.

1100 / 365.25 = 3.01 birds per day.
50 / 365.25 = 0.136 raptors per day (1/0.136 = 7.3 days / raptor, or one raptor per week)

3.01 / 7000 = 0.0043 birds per day per windmill (1/0.043 = it takes 2326 windmills to kill one bird per day)
0.136 / 7000 = 1.94e-5 raptors per day per windmill (1/1.94e-5 = it takes 51471 windmills to kill one raptor a day)

44 posted on 12/08/2003 12:04:45 PM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: bwteim
Interesting numbers. Thanks!
45 posted on 12/08/2003 12:05:34 PM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: Willie Green
Rush on yr ping list??
46 posted on 12/08/2003 12:07:33 PM PST by larryjohnson (USAF(Ret))
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To: Willie Green
There's a lot of wind in using wind power for generating electricity. One problem is that they are either on or off. To meet varing needs one needs lots of windmills to bring on and off to meet demand. They aren't pretty and without question chop up some flying critters particularly if you have lots of them in one place.

While the wind is always blowing someplace it might not be at the wind farm location when there is a demand. I've driven by those vast wind farms in SW Minnesota as well as out here on the SD tundra on blistering hot summer days and haven't seen nary a blade turning while the air conditioners in Minneapolis are panting for power. I'm sure the windmills are also humming along at 2am when a cool early summer breeze drops temps to the 60's and the only lights on are street lights.

Face it windmills just aren't cost efficient as a means of generating electric power.

47 posted on 12/08/2003 12:14:41 PM PST by The Great RJ
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To: newgeezer
Willie pung me to this one, it really is about windpower.
48 posted on 12/08/2003 12:18:06 PM PST by biblewonk (I must answer all bible questions.)
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To: Willie Green
I don't see the problem as long as the parts are made in America.
49 posted on 12/08/2003 12:20:27 PM PST by Protagoras (Vote Republican, we're not as bad as the other guys.)
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To: The Great RJ
Face it windmills just aren't cost efficient as a means of generating electric power.

Your conclusion doesn't follow from your argument. Cost effective is a measure of the price of the windmill and supporting equipment vs the value of the electricity. Using that measure and allowing the 1.8 penny ptc, they are quite cost effective.

50 posted on 12/08/2003 12:22:27 PM PST by biblewonk (I must answer all bible questions.)
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