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Broken Birds

A licensed bird rescuer gave a talk before a showing of Pelican Dreams in Rhinebck and presented some of her patients…

A Red Tailed Hawk with a broken left wing, just out of its bandage:

Red Tailed Hawk - in hand

Red Tailed Hawk – in hand

A Barred Owl who, despite having a left eye that no longer dilates, rapidly acquired weapons lock on my camera’s focus assist light:

Barred owl - eye contact

Barred owl – eye contact

And a pair of insanely cute Screech Owls, both with eye damage, atop their padded perch:

Screech Owls - on stand

Screech Owls – on stand

Most of her patients arrive after collisions with automobiles; it seems carnivorous birds don’t look both ways before pouncing on prey near the roadside.

Contrary to her impassioned claims, however, wind turbines kill essentially zero birds, at least compared to windows, HV power lines, and cats. Some reports with actual numbers that, obviously, won’t convince anybody who already knows what the results should be:

Low light, no flash, long zoom, handheld, good-looking subjects.

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  1. #1 by Red County Pete on 2015-02-22 - 11:25

    That paper had much more on the errors and lack of common mortality estimation for me to draw hard conclusions either way. Going to Bing had the usual Byrd Killah!!!ELEVENTY111!! stuff, and on the first page, a link to one paper–trying to develop that common estimation method. On the gripping hand, we’re subsidizing wind power, and paying to remove our local hydroelectric dams. Sigh.

    Lots of variables, though the common studies show that guyed towers are far worse than unguyed turbines, and location of the windfarm has a huge effect.

    • #2 by Ed on 2015-02-22 - 13:03

      paying to remove our local hydroelectric dams

      Because fish!

      I’d wager big money that few in the audience believe their pet cat could possibly kill that many birds and zero would dispose of the cat for that reason. It’s roughly the same cognitive dissonance that accounts for all the cars in the parking lot at Sierra Club meetings… but that’s another rant.

  2. #3 by Raj on 2015-02-22 - 22:29

    So you give a hoot!

    • #4 by Ed on 2015-02-23 - 05:12

      Well played…