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From one of our correspondents.

Windmills in the Netherlands are often on the migratory path of birds. But where is the risk of collisions greatest? UvA scientists from the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) have mapped this in the northern Netherlands. It turns out that migratory birds do not always fly over windmills. From research conducted by UvAIn fact, about 40 to 80 percent of birds fly at an altitude of between 50 and 200 meters, exactly at the height of the rotating blades of wind turbines. For the first time, researchers have identified exactly where and at what altitude migratory birds fly in the northern Netherlands..

Large numbers of wind farms will be built along bird migration routes, on land and at sea. You can imagine that some bird species that are already doing poorly will have problems.

UvA PhD candidate Bart Hoekstra in Volya:

“If I had to give an estimate, the average loss would be between 5 and 20 birds per turbine per year.”

With this new information, governments could choose to shut down wind turbines during bird migration, relocate wind turbines or remove them. Hoekstra:

“This is ultimately up to the government and the wind farm owners. Our research is just a small piece of the puzzle in an incredibly complex issue. Exactly how wind turbines are positioned has to do with noise pollution, shadows, infrastructure, flight paths to Schiphol, you name it.

The PhD candidate sees it all against the backdrop of the enormous scale on which wind energy is now being developed around the world. Huge numbers of wind farms will be built along bird migration routes, on land and at sea. Hoekstra:

“You can imagine that some bird species, which are already doing poorly, will have problems. Climate change is also a big problem for birds, so it is important to make wind energy as bird-friendly as possible.


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