PPM Atlantic Renewable (PPM) has proposed the construction of a wind project to be located in Clayton, Orleans, and Brownville, New York (Figure 1). The project would include up to approximately 54 2.75 megawatt (MW) wind turbines that could generate up to 150 MW of power annually. Turbines would have a maximum height of approximately 150 meters (m) (492') and would be located predominantly in active agricultural fields being used for hay and crop production, as well as for pasturing.
Birds are known to collide with tall lighted structures, such as buildings and communication towers, particularly when weather conditions reduce visibility (Crawford 1981; Avery et al. 1976, 1977). Depending on their height and location, wind turbines can also pose a potential threat to migrating birds because they are relatively tall structures, have moving parts, and may be lit. The mortality of migrating and resident birds and bats has been documented at wind farms as a result of collisions with turbines, meteorological measurement towers (met towers), and guy wires (Anderson et al. 2004; Erickson et al. 2000, 2003; Johnson et al. 2003; Thelander and Rugge 2000).
PPM undertook bird and bat migration studies in the spring and fall of 2005 as well as a breeding bird survey during the early summer of 2005. Fifteen rare bird species were observed in the Clayton project area during the original 2005 field surveys. This included five state Endangered species, three state Threatened species, and seven state Species of Special Concern. As a result, additional surveys were conducted during 2006 and are reported here. The surveys for this project were conducted to provide data that will be used to help assess the potential risk to birds from this proposed project.