November 9, 2011
The NY Times Green Blog reports: Almost 500 birds found dead at Laurel Mountain West Virginia wind farm.
But not from what you think.
Between Oct. 3 and Oct. 18, 484 bird carcasses were found from over twenty-eight species, including blackpoll warblers, thrushes, cuckoos, and one heron.
The Laurel Mountain facility converts wind power between direct current and alternating current for grid output. The facility consists of a large collection of containers surrounded by utility poles, each with a 250-watt floodlight.
“No dead birds were found near the wind machines themselves,” inspectors reported. Experts think the birds were migrating at night during a low cloud ceiling and in high wind and fog.
These conditions are believed to have driven the night migrants closer to the ground, where they either collided with substation structures or “circled to the point of exhaustion”.
The recommended solution? Turn off the lights.
It’s worked so far.