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In the U.S., recent annual estimates of bird deaths due to:

Cats = 2.4 billion bird deaths

Collisions from building glass = 600 million bird deaths

Land wind turbines = <200,000 bird deaths

Some politicians claim wind turbines “kill all the birds.”

But… they’re not really worried about birds. Rather, they prefer we stick with oil & gas over renewable #energy.

https://www.statista.com/chart/amp/15195/wind-turbines-are-not-killing-fields-for-birds/ #climatechange

This entry was edited (8 months ago)
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

wind turbines aren’t … agreed! But your assessment on # of cats killing birds is exteremly over blown.
in reply to GeriAQuin

@GeriAQuin it’s not my assessment, it’s US Fish & Wildlife data (see link)
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

@GeriAQuin Thank you for providing the link to this dubious USFWS report. They admit the flaws in their report:
"Many additional human-caused threats to birds, both direct (causing immediate injury/death) and indirect (causing delayed negative effects to health or productivity) are not on this list because the extent of their impact is either not currently well researched or easily quantified. For instance, habitat loss is thought to pose by far the greatest threat to birds, both directly and indirectly, however, its overall impact on bird populations is very difficult to directly assess."
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

@lisamelton even then this is only counting deaths by direct physical cause. The amount bird populations have dropped due to habitat loss and failed nests due to intensive farming and fishing destroying nest sites and decimating their prey, probably dwarfs even the toll from cats (who are mostly an urban phenomenon) and is the background that makes these other causes significant at all.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

apparently you can also lower the number a lot if you paint the blades. I think the idea was that painting one blade red and the rest white would make birds realize there were a solid object to avoid.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

great summary. I'm always mesmerized by the fact that even within the academic community in ecology and ornithology, people who don't study this issue directly keep repeating this fallacy planted by the fossil fuel interests
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

ok, this is going to sound cruel at first, but hear me out, Cat Turbines!
I’m not clear on the details, but if there is any relationship between the amount of energy produced, and the number of birds killed, a little cat discomfort seems a small price to pay for massive increase in power output… 🤔
Do we attach them to the propeller or the hub? 😇
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Popping on the visualization (also linked above) bc there were a few questions about the data.

This chart displays the US Fish & Wildlife estimates of annual bird mortality in the U.S. from several human causes. /2

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

while agreeing with the basic premise (wind turbines kill a suprisinglow number of birds) I do wonder if we are ignoring the "quality" when we just look at the quantity. I would imagine that cats mainly catch small, very common birds (sparrows, etc) while the wind turbines may kill a larger proportion of the bigger and more endagered species (birds of prey and the like).
Would be nice if there are numbers to back me up or prove me wrong.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Yup, and "Audubon strongly supports wind energy that is sited and operated properly to avoid, minimize, and mitigate effectively for the impacts on birds, other wildlife, and the places they need now and in the future. To that end, we support the development of wind energy to achieve 100% clean electricity." https://www.audubon.org/news/wind-power-and-birds

Also, awhile ago Benjamin Sovacool did a lot of work contextualizing bird kills per GWh generated across various technologies. https://grist.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/contextualizing-avian-mortality.pdf

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

This would be more readable if shown in millions. 2,400 vs 0.23 instead of uncountable zeros.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

So frustrating that a meta analysis from a decade ago that was mostly guess work and approximation is still being sited as an accurate rate of cat caused bird deaths. They even state in the appendix that while most bird deaths are attributed to feral cats "no empirically driven estimate of un-owned cat abundance exists for the contiguous U.S."

Here is a break down of why the data is essentially intentional misinformation from the NIH

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9794845/

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

yes bit wind turbines is killing big birds such as eagles and condors, a cat cannot harm an eagle. Eagles are really common up north where solar power doesn't work and they want to use huge wind turbines that are ugly.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Humans have removed most predators from our landscapes allowing small birds to flourish in a way they would not naturally be able. Despite the cat predation, we don't see any small birds in danger of extinction.

Cats pose no danger for condors, and condors are unlikely to be flying into glass buildings. So we would want to know what kind of birds are flying into the wind turbines. If condors ... that's a problem. If seagulls ... not so much.

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

The thing is (and I'm not going to even attempt to engage with the numbers as a lot of replies are, since I don't have the backing), it's never been about the 'reality', just the perception.

Saying 'This kills birds', they're hoping for a visceral emotional reaction, like when it was discovered that 'cute baby seal in oil' got a stronger reaction than 'billions of animals dead'.

Of course, I -personally- hate birds viscerally, but I support keeping them alive. Away from me.

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

It shouldn’t need to be said, but given some comments, let me be clear: This is not a post about harming cats.

The point is that special interests have been framing the narrative around renewables in ways that aren’t evidence based to influence public opinion away from supporting wind turbines & other technologies.

But we need to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels to address #ClimateChange. /3

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

(But one should also keep one’s cats indoors, both for bird health and their own.)
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

So are you saying Cats are cool? Unless I see that in your comments, I would not know what to think 😾
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Saludos desde Venezuela, Norte de Sudamérica!
Quisiera disfrutar de los paisajes de tú hermoso País!
Será posible?
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Jokes aside… we should be talking about making the cat owners to take responsibility and tackling the stray cat problem.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

I adore cats & have 4, but I don't think we can avoid a discussion about all the meat they require. And I go through so many aluminum cans I feel like an Alcoa subsidiary. Spay/neuter!
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

I made this chart in 2019 and included error bars where available to might help with some questions.

from 10/08/2019 and this tweet https://twitter.com/honesthypocrite/status/1181673095637155846

#Bird #deaths annually by hazard. #Cats kill 10,000 times more birds than #wind #turbines. Even oil pits (!) kill three times as many. Improved visualization inspired by @1a story today using @Tableau and data from https://www.fws.gov/library/collections/threats-birds

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Wind is way better than coal or oil, but still has issues like how much land it uses and how it disrupts local wildlife. Nuclear supplemented with solar is the ONLY future.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

I see US Fish and Wildlife left off humans (hunters) from their chart.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

there’s a great chapter on cats and their role in bird deaths in The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman. Simply put, they’re remorseless killing machines, who hunt for the fun of it.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

The same lies here in #Germany. No windmills back in the 70ies, when I started with #birding as hobby. Three breeding pairs of #WhiteTailedEagle in the state of #SchleswigHolstein, where I lived. Now more than 120 pairs. The same with other large birds, #Osprey, #RedKite, #BlackKite, #Spoonbill, #WhiteStork, #GreyHeron well increasing. #GreatEgret and #LittleEgret as new breeding species. The same tendency in #Denmark. Lots of large windmills now, great birds increasing.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

When does "retaining captive consumer markets" become just slavery?
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

I understand that cats kill birds, it is a part of nature, but how many birds would the average cat have to kill a day to reach that number? Many cats never even get a chance to hunt a single bird. So 2.5 billion is either way wrong, or there is a small contingent of cats in the US killing birds with assault rifles in the thousands every day
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

I would love to see the number of deaths due to pollution. I would not be surprised if it were higher than cats.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

People worried about cats seem to forget that this is mostly about wind turbines, who's against them, and why.
Now, as much as I love cats, hear me out: Your precious kitties surely aren't being blamed, and your subjective experiences aren't relevant to the discussion at hand.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Your cat killing stat is bogus. Just an excuse to kill them
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

It’s not cats. It’s loss of habitat and loss of food sources (see loss of habitat) due to human activity that is decimating bird populations. I’m sure you knew that.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Does the average home fed cat kill 40 birds per year? I doubt that. That does sound a hell of a lot. Some percentage of cats are indoor ones, so that would push up the figure for outdoor cats even more.

I've had 14 cats in my life, none have killed that number per year. I would have known.

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Something that seems ( to me ) partly relevant to that issue:
There was a study recently in the EU regarding the main causes of the bird population collapse, and, even worse than cats, the use of pesticides in intensive agriculture appeared to be the main problem.

But yeah, lets blame windpower, it's so much easier than talking about people beloved pet or, worse, tackle a very real problem: the way our food production is set up.. :/

https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2216573120

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

This is one of the reasons I don’t let my kitten-cat Auriel MurderPaws roam freely outside. It’s a great reason to build your cat a catio if you can afford it or are handy!
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

And that’s one big reason we built a catio so our cats could be indoors while also enjoying fresh air. #greenenergy
This entry was edited (8 months ago)
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Cars should be mentioned. Somewhere between 100 and 300 million bird deaths (US only).

https://www.fws.gov/story/threats-birds-collisions-road-vehicles

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

When people talk about how many birds are killed by wind turbines, I always want to say How many are killed by global climate change?!?
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

from cats. 6 per person per year? say ~10 to 20 per family. or... how many of this is from feral cats. how may families have >1 cat? anyway... once a month. hmm... anyway.. how many birds are there?

oh this is about turbines.

carry on...

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

On the one hand, I almost kind of wish someone would evaluate just how many die due to oil-related reasons (including the sheer mess that oil spills create all across the environment...)

On the other hand, it's actually kind of bad to do as much as you did because, as you say, it was never really about that. The fact is it was a bad faith statement from the very start. I'm not even sure their claim should be so directly and accurately addressed as it was BS from the start.

This entry was edited (8 months ago)
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

at a guess, the newer (taller, slower) turbines cause a lot fewer bird deaths than the older ones, esp. since a new one replaces a bunch of old ones. (I live near the Altamont, so see a lot of wind turbines--but a lot fewer than a decade ago, and producing more power. I happen to find them attractive as well.)
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

The whole bird story started simply because Trump thought turbines would lower the property values of one of his golf courses. In the end he had to pay Scotland $290,000.

From The Washington Post:

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

so you’re saying we could “avian offset” the threat by reducing the cat population by just under 0.01%?
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Fun fact: be sure to put raptor silhouettes on the *outside* of the glass to prevent bird collisions (they can't see 'em if the stickers are inside)
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

looks like we should ban cats from that data (dog person) 😀
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

I will never forget one day that I was driving I saw this bird flying across the road that suddenly dropped from the sky. I'm guess it had a heart attack or died suddenly while flying. It was so sad to see. I even cried for it as it was a horrible scene.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

It looks like a post about the oil lobby got the attention of the cat lobby.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

also if I remember correctly, wouldn't the transition away from polluting coal literally reduce bird deaths due to pollution more than that are caused by turbines?
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

@YourAnonNews I remember when I had a cat that discovered a bird nest in bush and before I could even react was up in that test killing the babies. There was no force on earth that was gonna stop that instinct. if it's smaller than a cat, it's a cat toy.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Every. Single. Word!

If ever there was a need for a multi-boost function, this toot is where it starts! I may have to un-boost and re-boost every hour, on the hour, just to make sure it's seen as much as possible.

in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

a few years ago, I was speaking with someone who specializes in bats. Apparently, wind turbines kill a lot of bats. However, if the wind turbines near bat habitats are deactivated during the hours the bats are active, it’s fine. So having turbines operate on a timer seems like a good compromise.
in reply to Sheril Kirshenbaum

Hmm, I would be very careful using this data. How would one even count or sensibly extrapolate on which basis if a cat catches a bird or a bird is killed by a car? Without knowing the error bars, which I expect to be huge in this case, an interpretation is simply not reliable.

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