Small Wind Turbines and Birds

By Paul Gipe

March 18, 2008


Portions of the following have been adapted from Wind Power: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business, published by Chelsea Green, 2004.

Despite the problem among the thousands of medium-size turbines in the Altamont Pass, there’s little data on the impact from single medium-size turbines, small clusters of machines, or small wind turbines. It’s reasonable to assume that small wind turbines or clusters of larger machines kill birds in proportion to the turbine’s size and number.


Birds and small wind turbines. Bird perching on an anemometer boom beneath a Marlec 910F at the Wulf Test Field. As this scene illustrates, small wind turbines are not immune to concerns that they pose a hazard to birds.