Avian collision risk at an offshore wind farm

Mark Desholm, Johnny Kahlert

Abstract

We have been the first to investigate whether long-lived geese and ducks can detect and avoid a large offshore wind farm by tracking their diurnal migration patterns with radar. We found that the percentage of flocks entering the wind farm area decreased significantly (by a factor 4.5) from pre-construction to initial operation. At night, migrating flocks were more prone to enter the wind farm but counteracted the higher risk of collision in the dark by increasing their distance from individual turbines and flying in the corridors between turbines. Overall, less than 1% of the ducks and geese migrated close enough to the turbines to be at any risk of collision.

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