Author Topic: News: About Birds  (Read 26618 times)

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Offline dupre501

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2014, 13:22 »
The thought of all of this is a bit disturbing.

The BrightSource solar plant in Ivanpah Dry Lake, near the California-Nevada border, uses mirrors to focus and concentrate the suns rays and direct them to boiling towers to generate steam and turn turbines to generate power. Birds which fly through these concentrated rays have feathers ignite and fall to their deaths. They theorize that insects are drawn to the light, and birds hunting the insects follow them into these concentrated rays.

BrightSource is proposing building another LARGER site located along a flight path for birds between the Colorado River and California's largest lake.


BrightSource solar plant sets birds on fire as they fly overhead
CBC News / AP 11 Aug 2014

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/brightsource-solar-plant-sets-birds-on-fire-as-they-fly-overhead-1.2739512

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2014, 14:20 »
For the birds (and the bats): 8 ways wind power companies are trying to prevent deadly collisions
by Roger Drouin for The Grist

Hundreds of thousands of birds and bats are killed by wind turbines in the U.S. each year, including some protected species such as the golden eagle and the Indiana bat. That’s only a small fraction of the hundreds of millions killed by buildings, pesticides, fossil-fuel power plants, and other human causes, but it’s still worrying — especially as wind power is experiencing record growth.  Both the wind industry and the federal government have been under intense public scrutiny over the issue in recent weeks. In late November, the Obama administration fined Duke Energy Renewables $1 million for illegally killing birds, the first time a wind company has been prosecuted under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. (read more)

Here are eight things the industry is trying or considering in an effort to reduce bird and bat mortality.

1. Smarter siting - It’s all about location, location, location. The No. 1 way to prevent bird deaths is to do a better job choosing sites for wind energy development, said raptor researcher Richard Gerhardt: “It’s an issue of where you put the turbines.” (read more)

2. Radar - The industry is also turning to radar technology that could detect when eagles and other birds are approaching. Turbines could be slowed or shut down when the radar, along with employees monitoring the horizon, determine birds are within a certain zone. (read more)

3. GPS tracking - Thus far there have been no reported California condor deaths caused by wind turbines. And at least one company is trying to ensure the endangered birds can coexist with the growing wind energy presence in the state. (read more)

4. Ultrasonic acoustics - Most birds killed by wind turbines die because they get hit by spinning blades. Many bats seem to die for a different, even gorier reason: the lower wind pressure near the blades causes their lungs to explode. Because birds and bats react differently to turbines, scientists are pursuing different methods to protect them. (read more)

5. Leaving turbines off when wind speeds are low - The second strategy that has been shown to help reduce bat deaths is waiting longer to turn on the turbines, until wind speeds are higher.  “Bats like to travel in very low-wind conditions,” Hein said. (read more)

6. Painting turbines different colors - Some research has shown that migratory tree bats are attracted to turbines, but the reason isn’t known, Allison said. One study found that they may associate the turbines with a body of water. (read more)

7. Designing new turbine shapes - Earlier designs were found to attract roosting birds, which would perch and nest inside the turbines’ lattice-style structures, but newer designs discourage roosting. (read more)

8. Strike detection - If a turbine could recognize when it has been hit by a bird, it could potentially slow itself down or shut off to minimize the risk to other birds in the area.  (read more)

Morgan is hopeful that the research at Mesalands and elsewhere will eventually lead to a notable reduction in bird and bat mortality. “Man is good at solving problems when someone is willing to invest in the science,” he said.  Reducing wind development’s impact on endangered species and other wildlife would help the industry avoid problems with the federal government and boost wind power’s public image.

Allison believes there is also another motive: “They want to do it because they are conservation-mined, too. Many people in the wind industry work in the industry because they believe they’re doing something to reduce the impacts of climate change, which many believe is the single biggest threat.”



I encourage everyone to read the full story!!
http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2014/01/02/2-bald-eagles-found-shot-to-death-in-montgomery-county/

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #51 on: January 01, 2014, 19:51 »
How wonderful to hear that Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was able to acquire this piece of land and prevent a private owner from purchasing & developing it! ;D

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #50 on: January 01, 2014, 19:45 »
A fellow birder sent me this link and I thought I would pass it along as a new year's present to you all as I will be shutting down the forum in a few days to start the upgrade.

BirdWatching Magazine has just published its annual list of the year's most important stories about birds, bird conservation, and birding.
2013 in review: The 42 most important stories about birds and birdwatchers - http://bit.ly/1dPj3SL

Thanks, TPC! :-* Added this link to my favourites for when the Forum is down for maintenance. Hope it won't be for too long. ;)

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #49 on: January 01, 2014, 01:02 »
Hawk Mountain to buy land bordering trail
by Stephen J. Pytak / Republican Herald
26 Dec 2013

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary plans to buy land bordering the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Jerry Regan, president of the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Association, said Thursday.  It is 25.3 acres of woodland which will become part of the sanctuary, a roughly 2,500 acre wildlife protected habitat in Schuylkill and Berks counties, Mary Linkevich, Hawk Mountain's director of communication and grants, said Thursday.

"There are all types of wildlife that use it, amphibians, mammals, birds, and it's stop-over habitat for raptors," Linkevich said.

It will cost Hawk Mountain $210,000 to buy the property. Earlier this month, the sanctuary received a $100,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources toward the purchase, Linkevich said.  "We've been awarded the grant, which means the state made the announcement," Linkevich said. The sanctuary will buy the property in early 2014, she said.  

It's one of three DCNR grants the sanctuary recently received, Linkevich said in a press release Thursday. The other two are:
- $250,000 to help build a fully-accessible walkway which connects the Outdoor Amphitheater, Visitors Center, Native Plant Garden and Hawk Mountain Road.
- $200,000 for upgrades at the Irma Broun-Kahn Education Building.

These three grants, which total $550,000, were made available through the Pennsylvania Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, the Environmental Stewardship Fund and federal funding sources, Linkevich said in the release.

"We are very grateful to state Sen. David Argall and state Rep. Jerry Knowles for their assistance and leadership, and to the Berks and Schuylkill County commissioners, as well as the supervisors of Albany, and West Brunswick supervisors, all of whom wrote letters of support," Linkevich said.

On Thursday, Linkevich said the sanctuary owns: 1,407.8 acres in Berks County and 1,046.3 in Schuylkill County. This doesn't count the 25.3 acres of woodland in Kempton, Albany Township, Berks County, which the sanctuary plans to buy in early 2014, she said.  That 25.3 acres is privately owned. Linkevich and Regan would not release the name of the landowner Thursday.  It borders the Appalachian Trail and Hawk Mountain Road, she said.

"It's forested with 120-year-old maple woodlands with hemlock groves which provide important lower-elevation mixed forest habitat. Biological inventories completed by Hawk Mountain show the area is used by the pileated woodpecker, black bear, wild turkey, wood thrush, chestnut-sided warbler, scarlet tanager, the state-threatened timber rattlesnakes and many other Appalachian forest species, as well as migratory raptors who use it for stop-over resting and feeding," Linkevich said.

The sanctuary worked hard to acquire the property to prevent a private landowner from buying it and developing it, she said.

"A possible private sale and development on this parcel presents the highest risk to the character of Hawk Mountain's gateway experience and for hikers along the Appalachian Trail, and would certainly degrade its outstanding wildlife values," Linkevich said.  "And this was a matching grant from the state. Since the project was estimated to be $200,000, we had to come up with $100,000".

To acquire that $100,000 match, the sanctuary took a zero-interest loan from Norcross Wildlife Foundation, she said.  Meanwhile, Linkevich said the sanctuary is looking to invest in 59.8 acres of riverside property in West Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County.

"It's immediately below the North Lookout at Hawk Mountain. We continue to raise funds in hopes to purchase development rights. We continue to raise funds in hopes to purchase development rights. We are not buying the property, but a conservation easement," she said.  

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #48 on: December 31, 2013, 13:57 »
A fellow birder sent me this link and I thought I would pass it along as a new year's present to you all as I will be shutting down the forum in a few days to start the upgrade.

BirdWatching Magazine has just published its annual list of the year's most important stories about birds, bird conservation, and birding.
2013 in review: The 42 most important stories about birds and birdwatchers - http://bit.ly/1dPj3SL

Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #47 on: December 02, 2013, 18:36 »
OK.  A settlement was reached.  I don't see where there are any guarantees that wind farms will not be put in the migratory paths, or did I miss something?  Also, are they going to dismantle the ones that are already in these paths?  Still a lot of questions needing answers.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2013, 10:47 »
First Prosecution of Wind Company for Killing Birds
American Bird Conservancy News Release
22 November 2013

(Washington, DC) The Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced a settlement on the prosecution of Duke Energy’s wind developments in Wyoming in connection with the deaths of 14 Golden Eagles and 149 other protected birds, amounting to $1 million in fines and mitigation actions. This is the first prosecution of a wind company in connection with bird mortality.

“This is a welcome action by DOJ and one that we have long anticipated,” said Dr. George Fenwick, President of American Bird Conservancy (ABC), one of the nation’s leading bird conservation groups and a longtime advocate for stronger federal management of the wind industry. “Wind energy is not green if it is killing hundreds of thousands of birds. We are pro-wind and pro-alternative energy, but development needs to be Bird Smart. The unfortunate reality is that the flagrant violations of the law seen in this case are widespread.”

“Today’s enforcement action is the first and only time a line in the sand has been drawn by the government,” said Dr. Michael Hutchins, Coordinator of ABC’s National Bird Smart Wind Energy Campaign. “The boundaries for the wind industry are voluntary, meaning that companies have been able to pay lip service to bird protection laws and then largely do what they want. Poorly sited wind projects exist or are being planned that clearly ignore the advice of federal and state biologists who have few, if any, means of preventing them from going ahead.”

The charges stem from the discovery of 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds, including hawks, blackbirds, larks, wrens, and sparrows, by the company at its “Campbell Hill” and “Top of the World” wind projects in Converse County between 2009 and 2013. The two wind projects comprise 176 large wind turbines sited on private agricultural land.

ABC has called for the prosecution of wind companies over violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act on numerous occasions, including requests to Congress and officials of both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and DOJ.

“All wind projects will kill some birds. It is sadly unavoidable, but some areas are worse than others, and we can predict where many of these will be,” said Hutchins. “The problem with the Duke Energy wind facilities in Wyoming is very similar to problems that exist elsewhere. Wind farms are being built without adequate plans to mitigate and compensate for bird impacts.”

ABC has developed a risk assessment map to provide general guidance on siting, though it is not a replacement for project-specific environmental assessments. Wind projects in lower-risk areas are likely to be less expensive to mitigate and compensate for through programs such as “habitat banking.”

The Department of Energy in 2010 published a renewable energy plan for the U.S. that called for a 12-fold increase in wind-generating capacity by the year 2030. In 2009, the wind industry was estimated to be killing about 440,000 birds. In 2012, a new estimate by Dr. Shawn Smallwood suggested that it was killing closer to 600,000 birds.

“Killing half a million birds by today’s wind industry is a significant figure, but how many more will be killed when the country has fully built out a program 12 times larger that operates without strong siting and operating guidelines?” asked Hutchins. “The wind industry should be treated like other for-profit energy industries. We believe it’s necessary to enforce development restrictions on wind, such as avoiding bird migration corridors and places where protected species and sensitive habitats are present.”

In March 2012, the FWS published voluntary operating and siting guidelines for the wind industry, following consultations with a Federal Wind Advisory Committee dominated by supporters of wind energy. Three months earlier, in December 2011, with the help of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal (MGC), a Washington, D.C.-based public interest law firm, ABC formally petitioned the FWS to establish a mandatory wind project permitting system—a process that would ensure that wind developments are well sited, operated, and mitigated, with paid permits to cover costs. Were it to be adopted, this system would prevent the most damaging wind developments while allowing ones less harmful to birds to proceed in conjunction with certain mitigations. This followed an ABC campaign that gathered support from more than 150 organizations and 20,000 concerned citizens asking the Department of Interior for mandatory standards, not voluntary guidelines. Included in this group were the Sierra Club, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, American Birding Association, and many state Audubon societies.

ABC’s work on Bird Smart wind is generously supported by the New York-based Leon Levy Foundation.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2013, 23:38 »
Is the use of anticholinesterase legal, TPC? ???

Yes, some.  The "reversible" forms are used in human medical treatments (glaucoma, Alzheimers, etc).  The partially or non-reversible forms include insecticides such as malathion (for mosquitoes) and aldicarb and carbofuran (aphids + more).  Aldicarb is to be completely banned in the USA by 2018 and carbofuran (aka Furadan) is banned in Canada & the EU and the USA is working on a ban as both of these are very toxic to, well, everything else.

There's a decent list with links on the Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acetylcholinesterase_inhibitor

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2013, 21:52 »
I also have many of the birds that you have named in my backyard, Jazz, & we too feed them all, including the Grackles. And our cats love to watch them too, from their indoor perch. Awful to hear that someone or some business would deliberately poison them. Is the use of anticholinesterase legal, TPC? ??? I remember several years ago some of the downtown businesses in Kingston, Ontario were poisoning the pigeons in the area. Consequently, a peregrine falcon who had dined on one of these pigeons was poisoned as well. Very sad. :(

Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2013, 17:27 »
It seems strange to me that only the grackles were affected by this poison.  It makes me think they were targeted.  I would hope not, but can't shake the thought.  By the way, I have lots of grackles in my yard, along with Blue Jays, Woodpeckers, Sparrow, Crows, once a Sparrow Hawk and both red and gray (grey) squirrels.  I love them all and feed them all.  My cats also love to watch them from both outside and inside my house.

Offline Doreen

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2013, 15:55 »
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Toxicology-results-determine-grackles-were-poisoned---224450531.html  :(


From TPC: For anyone wanting to refresh their memories of the original incident, here is Moonstar's original post
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 16:57 by The Peregrine Chick »

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2013, 00:05 »
Now that's a very interesting article about the behaviour of birds. Thanks for posting it, TPC. :)

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2013, 12:40 »
Birds obey the speed limit when it comes to keeping away from cars, study finds
Calgary Herald - 21 Aug 2013

It appears birds observe the speed limit — even if drivers don't.

A new study by two Quebec researchers has found that birds flee from the path of an oncoming vehicle based on the posted speed limit, and not the actual speed of the vehicle.


read the rest of the story - Birds observe speed limit when it comes to keeping away from cars, study finds

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: News: About Birds
« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2013, 22:20 »
Thanks for your very thorough & interesting reply to Moonstar's question, TPC. I had actually wondered about the safety of our Winnipeg peregrines as well.