Wind Power’s Not for the Birds

The American Bird Conservancy has renewed concerns that wind power development could threaten several bird species, according to this report. (HT: NYT Green Blog)

Officials with American Bird Conservancy . . . cited data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that estimates 400,000 birds of various species are killed by turbine blades annually.

The conservation group’s concerns come as state and national officials push to expand wind energy development in the coming years.

“Golden eagles, whooping cranes and greater sage-grouse are likely to be among the birds most affected by poorly planned and sited wind projects,” said Kelly Fuller, a spokeswoman for the conservancy.

“Unless the government acts now to require that the wind industry respect basic wildlife safeguards, these three species will be at ever greater risk.”

Such concerns aren’t new.  (I wrote a piece for the Weekly Standard about such concerns over ten years ago). Nor do these concerns mean wind power is a bad idea.  They are nonetheless a good reminder that there is no “perfect” source of power, and even the “greenest” alternative energy sources have their environmental downsides.