Rare bird flies into turbine on Harris

wtnAround 30 birdwatchers travelled to Harris this week to view a very rare white-throated needletail, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia.  One enthusiast who went to the Western Isles to view the bird told of his “dismay” after watching it fly into a wind turbine and die.  The bird has only been recorded five times in the UK since 1950.

A spokeswoman for the RSPB said: “Whilst the collision of this unusual visitor with a small domestic wind turbine is very unfortunate, incidents of this sort are really very rare. Careful choice of location and design of wind farms and turbines prevents, as much as possible, such occurrences happening on a large scale.”
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5 thoughts on “Rare bird flies into turbine on Harris

  1. We have to ask what the role of the RSPB is, if not to be outraged at ANY bird being either injured or killed in this way, never mind such a rare one. If they know the real story behind wind energy, then what incentive do they have for ignoring such an atrocity?

  2. Not so much of the royal society for the protection of birds, more the protection of vested interests! The cuckoos which visit Straiton had better look out. They may be on the endangered rspb red list but they’ll do nothing to keep them from harm.

    • There was news recently about swallows in the USA adapting to avoid traffic – by classic Darwinian selection. Shorter-winged swallows were being favoured (they can turn more quickly) and longer-winged ones were being hit by cars and so were dying out. The same might apply to turbines in due course (or it might not, as turbine threat is not exactly the same as vehicle threat), but only with species which are very numerous and are rapid breeders (this applied to the swallows in the US study). Slower breeders will not have a chance to adapt. Slower breeders of course include all the raptors. They simply don’t see the turbines as a threat in broad daylight (see my two photos of raptors flying close to the turbines at Whitelee on the gallery page), so have even less chance of spotting any risk in cloudy or misty conditions. The RSPB says that raptors will re-locate away from turbine areas. I can’t see why they would do that if they do not perceive the turbines as a threat.
      I learned recently that there are golden eagles nesting at the south end of Loch Doon, and also ospreys. There is apparently a secondary peregrine nest with 850m of the proposed single turbine on Loch Bradan.

  3. I have just had a conversation with an RSPB officer about yet another death of a rare bird. I said that the RSPB comes out with the same statement after every incident.The officer then replied that my house didn’t used to be here, the road that I live on didn’t used to be here, my car didn’t used to be here, and that we all contribute to the death of birds. Just about sums up the RSPB of today Then they wonder why some people think they are no longer fit for purpose.

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