Friday, August 14, 2009

high flying bird

If a man does not know what port he is steering for, no wind is favorable to him.
Seneca (mid-1st century AD) philosopher

this photo was taken from the grounds of the great lakes science center and shows the center's wind turbine in the foreground and the cleveland skyline in the background.

soon after I took this photo, f and I went off to attend the monthly science cafe. the topic was on bird migration in our changing world. it was a wonderful program and we learned a great deal. not surprisingly we learned that the greatest threat to birds, and to all wildlife, continues to be loss and/or degradation of habitat due to human development and disturbance. for migrating birds that require multiple areas for breeding, wintering, and stopovers, the effects of habitat loss are complex and far-reaching.

coincidentally, the subject of wind turbines and bird mortality was also raised. wind turbines are just one of the many potential threats to migrating birds that exist. however, if wind turbines are placed in areas outside of bird migration routes, if there is coordination between people and communities using wind technology, and if adopters of wind technology use the new (bird friendly) designs for wind turbines, the risk that wind turbines present to birds can be greatly reduced, in not almost eliminated. according to dr. mabey, who was one of the speakers at monday's science cafe and some things I've been reading this week (like this and this) there are much bigger threats to birds than wind technology.

richie havens performing his song high flying bird on bbc tv in 1969. as everyone knows today is the 40th anniversary of the woodstock music festival, what you might not know is that richie performed this song on day one of the festival. richie's iconic woodstock song of course is freedom - which coincidentally is one of the 10 songs from woodstock in the new york times poll "what is your favorite song from woodstock?" I did vote, but it was difficult as all the songs they listed are GREAT! for all you curious cats, if you want to see the day-by-day play from woodstock, check out this site.


mum said...

That Richie Havens song is one of my all time. favorites.

I'll be checking out the links for sure but the Havens is my special treat for now.

Best, kim.

Roy said...

That song certainly brings back memories!

We seem to be getting the best of both worlds here on Aquidneck Island - we just completed a habitat restoration project (the Gooseneck Cove and Salt Marsh Restoration, which has already improved the situation in just a few months) and we have 2 functioning wind turbines which don't seem to be in anyone's migration path. There's a third turbine installation being planned.

Tom said...

glad to hear windmills and birds can coexist! Good for the birds, because nothing stands in the way of progress, you know.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

yeah to risk free flying routes.....and kudos to the gooseneck and salt marsh restoration projects!

Baino said...

I never thought about the impact of wind turbines on birds. We have zillions of species who winter here from as far as Siberia! One of our biggest wind farms is actually adjacent to a bird sanctuary near Canberra, Lake George so I hope they've taken flight paths into consideration.

sukhchain said...

Nice! Shadow