Condors versus Wind Turbines

Forbes Magazine, not a very pro-environmental or pro-renewable energy publication, seems to take great glee in the suggested collision between the California Condor and wind turbines being built in the Tehachapi Mountains.  But what the author fails to mention is that Bird/Wind Turbine Collisions account for a miniscule number of avian fatalities each year and brings up a new electrical transmission corridor as a benign part of the landscape (bird/electrical line collisions are the 2nd highest cause of avian deaths) per the US Forest Service.  The article admits that no condors have been killed – yet. So, it ends up reading  like a hatchet job against renewable energy wrapped up in faux concern for the condor.  What’s next – an article about birds being cooked by reflected sun light at solar thermal power plants in the Mojave?

Altamont is the first generation of wind farms, and historically has a significantly higher level of avian kills than all other wind power sites.

Not that any of these schemes will fool the birds…

Research shows that most birds fly around wind farms instead of through them.

One more thing about return of wild condors to the sky, hunters no longer can use lead bullets – something that benefits everybody/everything (except the lead ammo manufacturers).


Just in from the CA Energy Commission (1/11/12):

Technical Staff Workshop on Software for Estimating Fatalities of Bats and Birds at Wind Energy Facilities

A technical workshop will be presented demonstrating the use of new free software to estimate bird and bat fatalities at wind energy facilities in California and beyond.

2 – 5 p.m.
1516 Ninth Street
First Floor, Hearing Room B
Sacramento, California

Presentations and audio from the meeting will be broadcast via our WebEx web meeting service. For additional details on how to participate via WebEx, please see the notice at:

Computer Log-on with Telephone Audio:
1. Please go to and enter the unique meeting number: 928 237 457
2. When prompted, enter your name other information as directed and the meeting  password: meeting@2

For more information:
(If link above doesn’t work, please copy entire link into your web browser’s URL)

4 thoughts on “Condors versus Wind Turbines

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