Wind energy developments can be responsible for negative impacts on birds, including displacement. In this study we performed a systematic review of the literature available on bird displacement due to wind turbines, both onshore and offshore, to: (i) assess overall trends in scientific research; (ii) review the existing knowledge; and (iii) outline recommendations for future studies on this topic in order to overcome the major gaps and limitations found. Our results are based on 286 trials extracted from 71 peer-reviewed studies. The literature on this topic has increased in the past decade but is concentrated in Europe and United States, despite the fact that the wind industry has worldwide coverage. Open habitats—as agricultural fields and grasslands—were the most represented and Accipitriformes, Galliformes, Charadriiformes, Anseriformes and Passeriformes were the most frequently studied taxa. Displacement was recorded in 40.6% of the trials, and Gaviiformes, Anseriformes, Suliformes, Accipitriformes and Falconiformes were the most affected groups. Pelecaniformes, Passeriformes and Charadriiformes were the groups for which no significant effects were more often observed. We provide a list of recommendations, focused on study design, reporting and result dissemination, that should contribute to more robust conclusions of future studies on this topic.
Wind turbines can affect bird populations by causing mortality when birds collide with turbine blades or displacement when the individuals move permanently to other areas. While mortality is well documented, displacement has only been studied more extensively in the last decade, and it is important to summarise the current knowledge and research trends. We reviewed 71 peer-reviewed studies on displacement and compiled: (1) information on the geographical areas, type of wind farm, study design and bird groups studied; and (2) the evidence of displacement effects on different bird groups. We found that most studies have been conducted in Europe and North America, particularly in agricultural areas. About half of the studies did not find any effects, for wind farms both on land and at sea, while many studies (40.6%) found displacement effects, and a small proportion (7.7%) detected attraction, i.e., an increased abundance of birds around the wind farms. For future studies, we recommend a robust and standardised study design, and highlight the importance of reporting and disseminating results, whether effects are positive, negative or absent.