Raptor surveys were conducted at the Buffalo Ridge Wind Resource Area (BRWRA) in southwestern Minnesota during the summers of 1994-95 to determine whether the nesting habits of locally breeding raptors were influenced by the presence of wind turbines. Red-tailed and Swainson's hawks, American kestrels, and northern harriers were the primary species recorded during surveys. Raptor abundance (raptors/10 km) was consistent between years of our study (2.08 in 1994, 2.07 in 1995) and was comparable to abundances reported for similar habitats in the region. Average raptor nest density (nests/100 km2) for the 2 years on lands surrounding the windplant was 5.94. All raptor nests (n=31) within the 293 km2 BRWRA were found on lands where wind turbines were absent (261 km2 ) despite the presence of abundant treebelt and riparian habitat within the 32 km2 windplant facility. We recommend that areas providing extensive raptor nesting habitat be avoided in future selections of windplant construction sites.
Effects of Wind Turbines on Nesting Raptors at Buffalo Ridge in Southwestern Minnesota
Title: Effects of Wind Turbines on Nesting Raptors at Buffalo Ridge in Southwestern Minnesota
January 01, 1997
Journal: Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science
Usgaard, R.; Naugle, D.; Osborn, R.; Higgins, K. (1997). Effects of Wind Turbines on Nesting Raptors at Buffalo Ridge in Southwestern Minnesota. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science, 76, 113-117.