- Man pleads guilty but mentally ill in 2013 murder
- Telephone, computer network outages at 22 Rockford schools
- Byron native selected as Sailor of the Year for Navy Band Southwest
- Illinois Tollway awards $337 million in contracts, sets budget
- 44 earn bachelor’s degrees at Saint Anthony College of Nursing
- Goodwill opens Donation Express site on Perryville
- Rock Valley College to manage TechWorks program
- University of Illinois at Chicago names chancellor
- Salvation Army to distribute food, toys to nearly 2,000 families
- American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act signed into law
Bird kill at wind facility triggers better practices
National Audubon Society
Courtesy of Boylan and RVC Professor Larry McPheron
Vice President of Sinnissippi Audubon Society
News of a recent bird kill of blackpoll warblers and other species at a wind facility in West Virginia spread quickly through birding lists and caught the attention of the birding community in the region. Audubon staff learned of this unfortunate event and contacted the facility owner, AES Wind Generation, to investigate the causes of the incident and to work toward developing solutions that will help ensure such an incident doesn’t happen again. From all indications, a combination of lighting and poor weather conditions were the primary causes of the bird kill.
AES representatives told Audubon they have taken immediate corrective actions to curtail excessive night lighting, replace equipment with preferable downward-shielded lighting fixtures, and will modify other site specifications. They will increase monitoring and take additional steps to reduce or eliminate lighting the facility during migration seasons to avert future bird kills of this type.
Now, actions need to be taken to minimize the likelihood of similar events in the future at other wind power facilities. Audubon is in discussions with AES and others about sharing the lessons from this event with the broader wind industry and emphasizing the importance of the lighting practices in the forthcoming federal wind guidelines. We hope that, as a result, new facilities will be written to specs that incorporate lighting practices that have been shown to minimize bird mortality during migration. This is a straightforward corrective action that will significantly lessen the negative consequences to birds, while delivering carbon-limited sources of renewable energy. We will be working to help make this a standard practice across the industry.
Read more about this incident and the actions taken: www.audubon.org/documents/audubon-summary-aes-bird-kill-incident. Contact Connie Mahan in Audubon’s Policy Office if you have any questions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Nov. 23-29, 2011, issue