One of the UK’s best known seabirds birds faces a significant danger of crashing into wind turbines while migrating and during the winter months as well as in the breeding season, new research suggests. As part of the study, by scientists from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), lesser black-backed gulls breeding at three major UK colonies were fitted with state-of-the-art satellite tags to track their movements throughout the year. By combining data from the tags with information about onshore and offshore wind turbine locations, the researchers were able to establish how vulnerable the species might be to collisions. The tags recorded how fast and how high birds fly, as well as the time they spent in particular areas. The information was used to estimate the risk of birds colliding with wind turbines when flying at similar altitudes to turbine blades. The results showed the gulls are vulnerable during the breeding season, when they must stay close to their nests in order to feed chicks. Many colonies are also in the vicinity of wind farms.
Scotsman 11th Sept 2019 read more »