Consider the Effect Of Wind Power on Birds
Monday, May 24, 2004; Page A22
Like Mike Tidwell of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network [Metro, May 14], I favor alternative sources of energy, especially for this region.
But before we jump on the wind-power bandwagon and beat our chests about how green we are, let's look at the bigger picture.
These massive wind towers -- as tall as 380 feet -- require a constant wind source, so many are being built along the ridges of the Eastern mountain ranges.
These mountain ranges are used by migratory birds, especially eagles, hawks and falcons. Studies have shown that these birds are at risk when migrating through a wind farm.
It is ironic that this agreement was reached about the time of International Migratory Bird Day, an annual day -- May 8 this year -- when we celebrate the amazing feats of these birds.
In a time when bird populations have suffered huge declines from West Nile virus and habitat destruction, we need to reexamine wind power and the ramifications of the criteria used to permit these power plants.
The writer is the owner of the Wild Bird Center in Rockville.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company