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Jim Wiegand — The Truth about Wolfe Island bird mortality rates

Jim Wiegand — January 18, 2013

Here is a little more proof about how the Wolf Island Mortality studies were designed to find only a fraction of the birds killed by their huge turbines. This information is very important so the public can understand the true character of the wind industry.

Mortality studies years ago at Altamont pass showed that large bodied carcasses like ducks, hawks, and eagles were found at an average distance of 57 meters from much smaller turbines. These turbines had a tower or hub height of 32 meters with a rotor diameter of 33 meters. The huge 2.3 MW turbines at Wolf Island have a tower or hub height of 80 meters with a blade diameter of 101 meters. The placement of hundreds carcasses found under different sized turbines, showed an increase in distance from turbines with an increase in their size.    

By using mathematical formulas derived from these studies, the average distance of a large bird carcass found under the 2.3 MW turbines at Wolf Island would be 101 meters from their towers. The Wolf Island mortality studies used search areas of only 60 and 50 meters. These studies missed most of the carcasses.

Everybody needs to understand that the big lie has been the wind industry’s game plan for over 28 years when headless eagles first started falling out of the sky around their turbines. Regardless of how one feels about wind energy, lying about turbine impacts should not be part of the process. It stops the public from making informed decisions.

I have looked over the mortality studies for Wolf Island and there are some glaring problems and inconsistencies. The slaughter from the turbines has actually been much higher than what has been previously reported and the follow up study was designed to find even fewer victims.

Search areas should have had a radius 200 meters in both studies under these huge turbines.  Instead, searches were conducted with a 60 meter radius  in 2009 and an even smaller search area radius of 50 meters was used 2011. There are also other flaws. There are seasonal use differences between the two studies, the searches were not conducted often enough and there were interval inconsistencies in mortality searches.

The absolute truth about Wolf Island is that the turbine slaughter at this site is far worse than what is being reported.

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Jennifer O’Meara — Northumberland News — January 18, 2013

Lake Ontario island off the coast of Kingston home to second largest wind farm in Canada

Bird kills

Wolfe Island has a high number of waterfowl that gather offshore during the spring migration and supports important landbird populations, including wintering raptors and tree swallows. BirdLife International considers the island an important bird area.

Since the wind turbines became operational, third party surveyors run a monitoring program to see what impact the turbines are having on the birds and bats.

In 2010, 6.5 birds were killed per wind turbine on Wolfe Island. From Jan. 1 to June 30, 2011, there were 31 bird carcasses (and seven bat carcasses) found near the turbines, which translates to 1.72 birds per turbine.

(To read full article in the Northumberland News, click here)

Jim Wiegand has no affiliations with any business, industry, or groups except Save the Eagles International.   He receives no funding for any of this from any outside source.    His research and articles are his gift to wildlife and an ignorant society.

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6 Comments on “Jim Wiegand — The Truth about Wolfe Island bird mortality rates”

  1. Greg Schmalz January 19, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    The CAW /CEP union have failed to respond to questions on how they intend to protect the bald eagles that are frequently spotted on the beach 500 meteres from their 325 story wind turbine.
    An eagle census showed 36 eagles living in the area within 2 km of the CAW’s machine.

    Wind projects are being shut down in Ontario by first nations due to bald eagle abuse.

    Is it time we heard from our first nation friends in Saugeen Shores?

  2. Jim Wiegand January 25, 2013 at 12:05 am #

    Here is why the eagles and others species are not being protected. The logic of the turbine builders and their supporters goes something like this; we (the world) are going to lose so many species because of climate change that the destruction from our turbines and infrastructure is the lesser of two evils. We should be able to kill off bird populations across the world because it is really in our best interests. According to them they have taken a higher road that will lead to our salvation.

    What nonsense, all of this is in their best interests. If one buys into this twisted logic then why should we have any wildlife protection laws, wildlife agencies or conservation groups? According to them most of these species are going to die off anyway. This same logic is being used to ruin communities with turbines and run off with profits. Or maybe we take it even further and use this logic to start killing whom ever we want, after all people are going to die anyway.

    Climate change may alter bird life in places but these turbines will absolutely slaughter off many rare protected species to extinction. Climate Change also means shifting precipitation patterns and changing ecosystems. Birds can fly and adapt, but not if they are killed off by turbines. And what about biodiversity and the important role birds play in our world? Where are the voices of reason? Where are the studies that will expose the hell we will have to pay for a turbine infested world?

    First and foremost in this climate change debate everybody has to keep in mind the character of those behind this green madness. They receive incredible profits and have their own tailored “credits” from taxpayers. These carbon credits and production tax credits are actually diverted funds or stolen tax dollars that could be used for real solutions. Why is all this supposed to be OK? Then we have these same people that believe it is perfectly fine to rig science, rig conservation groups and rig politicians with their donations. The we have all of their Wind studies that are routinely rigged for a desired outcome. Government agencies are rigged so these fine people get free passes for their activities, and of course they rig the media to keep the masses ignorant.

    Today we got to see another trick from their playbook, the parading of ignorant celebrities (Derek Jeter) in front of us from the World Economic Forum as their guest. All so they can muster support for their damn turbines and endear themselves to taxpayers.

    Folks, this is what is going on. Wake up. It is 100% complete insanity. It is even more insane that anyone would ever BELIEVE A WORD from these people.

    If readers remember nothing else, never forget this……. Climate change will never be solved with millions of wind turbines slaughtering off bird species and by robbing taxpayers, but it can be solved with ecosystem management.

  3. Bernal March 19, 2013 at 10:00 am #

    Yeah, I took a minute to look for the guy who stalked you in the comments of the Scientific American article. I think the title of the piece was Nothing to See Here Folks, Move Along. Mike Barnard is the guys name. Mostly he writes for a web-site funded by Giles Parkinson who seems to run the renewable energy investment thingy at Citibank.

  4. Delton June 24, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    Hi Jim, I am new to the topic of windmill-bird collisions and please excuse my ignorance, but could there be a technical solution to this problem? I assume that detailed research could identify a behavioural trait of birds, especially the larger predatory birds, that would lead to a technical solution. Perhaps the solution would involve a bird detection system and a repulsion system in the vicinity of the blades.

  5. Jim Wiegand June 24, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    Bird detection systems have great limitations. Are you going to key on small birds, large birds, or all birds because these turbines kill everything? Then there are diurnal and nocturnal species to consider. So it all depends on which species are you going to turn off the turbines for when detected. Some turbines in good habitat areas have so many birds and bats that they would be shut down most of the year so the best solution is to not build them.

    Think about it. How would any radar system ever know if it was looking at a sea gull, peregrine falcon, or red shouldered hawk? How would a system ever know if it detected a Turkey vulture, a golden eagle or bald eagle? It can not be done. Then one has to consider the human error factors in any decision and the time limitations in a turbine shut down. Eagles and falcons in pursuit of prey can travel over 200 mph. In this situation with one of these species traveling through a wind farm, it would be too late by the time most observers could pick up their binoculars.

    Then if there is an agreement to shut off the turbines for certain species …….Will they even do it? Why should they if there is no accountability?

    The only technical solution for this terrible problem is for new bird safe turbine designs or to put these turbines in the middle of the Saharan Desert where no bird or bat species would ever want to go. This is why the industry has been covering all this up for decades. There is no technical solution that will ever make the these propeller style turbines safe.

    With condors or whooping cranes that are fitted with radio trans­mitters, bird detection systems are useful. But this is still only a partial solution for the individuals being monitored. It does nothing for all the other condors, whooping cranes or all the other species being killed by these turbines.

    So as I said earlier bird detection systems around turbines have great limitations. Their primary function has been to grab media attention and help sell wind projects to the ignorant.

    • Jim Wiegand February 17, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

      A little more………….There is no way to ever make this turbine design safe. The industry is promoting non-solutions like radar, spotters, and biologists on site but the only answer is the development of bird safe wind turbines. But this corrupt industry will not put them in the forefront or even acknowledge that their turbines are slaughtering off bird species across the world. The reason is profits and they will not admit that either.

      The industry solutions all sound good but it doesn’t stop the slaughter. These damn things are killers and should never be built. Most of this problem is due to the fact that the industry has been lying about how deadly these turbines are for over 30 years.

      Radar has many limitations which I have written about. If radar were doing much good it would be in every wind farm located in eagle habitat. This would mean that most wind farms in the West would have it. The truth is that the primary purpose of radar is to sucker in the ignorant and to help sell new projects.

      Spotters also have many limitations as well, especially in bad weather and North America has plenty. The truth is that you would just about need one spotter at every single turbine, 24 hours a day to be effective. Of course if 24 hour surveillance cameras were ever allowed to document the killing power of turbines, the public would better understand why this many spotters is needed.

      I have a real problem avian biologists being hired to guard the turbines. Instead they should be working hard to protect the resident eagles and other species from having turbines installed in their habitat in the first place because this is the real problem.

      In California the golden eagle population has been decimated by wind turbines. In the last 20 years their numbers have declined more than 75%. While this slaughter has been taking place and eagle habitat abandoned at an alarming rate, where have all of these biologists been? Where has the FWS been?

      I will tell you. They have been hiding in the pockets of corporate America.

      . I wrote about one of these safe turbine designs in the article “The Bird Safe Wind Turbine.

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