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New Report Helps Wind Farm Planners Avoid Bird Flyways

Researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science recently evaluated techniques to design robust marine bird surveys to support offshore wind energy sites that are in the same location as sensitive bird migratory pathways. Spinning turbine blades can kill birds outright or divert them from their natural routes which disrupt their fairly inflexible behavior.

Knowing where the birds travel, coupled with knowledge of wind strength and seafloor depth, are critical parts of wind farm placement. Furthermore, maps of the migration routes and bird abundance evaluations help energy stakeholders build upon past surveys which reduces uncertainty about future survey requirements and costs while increasing efficiency.

The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management commissioned this report. They posted that study on their website, along with “Guidelines for Avian Surveys” revised to reflect the new information provided by NCCOS.

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