Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Here’s an intriguing video describing affordable and bird-friendly windmills that are competitive with more traditional windmills, and are designed to be used in urban and suburban areas as well as out in the countryside [2:02]


  1. #1 kevin
    March 16, 2009

    Nice, um, “framing”, implying that regular wind turbines are not bird friendly. I’ve seen estimates as low as 2 birds/year killed by a typical regular wind turbine.

    I don’t know if that is a reasonable estimate, but it seems as if the bird-vs-windmills stuff is just a smoke screen: I’ve seen lots of “windmills kill birds” stuff, but almost always in the context of frothing, nimby, grasping at straws conservatives.


  2. #2 Markk
    March 16, 2009

    Having helped with dead bird count surveys under turbines and under TV towers I can say the TV towers were way more deadly (hundreds of times more deadly) in the upper Midwest. Migration plus low clouds/fog plus lights on towers = 100’s of deaths. Turbines in the same period maybe a dozen max. The ornithologists around here are a lot more worried about tall buildings, towers and lighting in general then than turbines anymore. Now bats are worse. More research needed there on what kind of impact we are having!

  3. #3 Pierce R. Butler
    March 16, 2009

    Dunno anything about this particular design, but usually vertical-axis windmills, having lower velocity and higher torque, are more efficient at functions like pumping and grinding than they are at electrical generation.

    As for birds & bats, isn’t the question more about whether a given windmill is located in heavily used flight corridors?

  4. #4 Molly Thompson
    March 16, 2009

    Much more aesthetically pleasing than the typical windmill. And if it is safer for birds and bats, that works for me. After all each additional bird or bat killed by a windmill does count. After a while those numbers add up.

  5. #5 John Del Rio
    March 16, 2009

    Hey Kevin!

    Why the smart ass remarks? Everyone else appears to appreciate that Devorah has shared this news report on her blog. Clearly the trend in wind turbine power generation is a good thing in many respects but IF it kills wild animals then it must be improved. I think any logical person would feel that way. Why do you feel the need to be snarky with Devorah and then make some sort of bigoted comment about conservatives?

    I am a conservative, I am for new wind power generation and I am highly passionate about animals and their conservation. I am NOT “frothing”, “nimby” nor do I “grasp at straws”.

    So why don’t you keep your pissy comments to yourself and come join the rest of us if you have anything positive or informative to say.- John Del Rio

  6. #6 Laurella Desborough
    March 16, 2009

    I like the look of these new wind turbines. Far more pleasing to the eye and IF they are better for wildlife, than that is a very big plus. Since our native birds are under assault from many different sides now, from feral cats to loss of habitat to pollution problems, then a wind turbine that does not kill birds is a God send. Thanks Devorah for sharing.

  7. #7 Alf Rider.
    March 16, 2009

    Kevin it is very mean to talk that way.

    Alf Rider.
    Forest. Ont. Canada.

  8. #8 Reid
    March 16, 2009

    I also really like the ‘new’ windmills, and if they do work out to be more bird-friendly and they are suitable for the urban/suburban neighbourhoods then we will be further ahead.
    To Kevin, the people who know what they are talking about are the ones mentioning about the problems, the people who do not know what they are talking about do the complaining.

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