Does the Lake Huron Shoreline Influence Distributions, Altitudes, and Flight Directions of Nocturnally Migrating Birds?

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Villeneuve, Thomas




Increasing numbers of wind turbines are being installed around the Great Lakes, but it is not known whether placement of turbines near shorelines might increase collision risks to passing bird migrants. I assessed numbers of nocturnal migrant birds and their flight behaviour using five marine radars at various distances from Lake Huron between April 18th and May 31st 2014. The numbers of birds detected varied greatly among nights ranging from a few thousands to hundreds of thousands per night. There were small differences in the numbers of birds detected among sites, but no consistent differences between shoreline and inland sites. The flight altitude and flight direction of birds detected also varied among nights but there was again no strong indication that they are influenced by the shoreline. Overall, I did not find evidence that locating wind turbines along shorelines would increase the risk of collisions to passing migrants.






Carleton University

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