This report summarizes results of an avian monitoring program associated with the near completion of the first phase (25 MW) of the Kenetech Windpower 100-MW Buffalo Ridge Windplant in Minnesota. The purpose of the research was to conduct a systematic avian monitoring program to measure seasonal movements, relative abundance, temporal flight patterns, and incidence of nesting and bird mortality associated with Unit 2 of the Buffalo Ridge site, the unit encompassing the Buffalo Ridge Windplant (Units 1 and 3 comprised lands under easement for potential future wind turbine sites). Unit 2 had 73 wind turbines located in 10 turbine strings varying in length from 3 to 20 turbines per string. During roadside, site specific, and raptor surveys, 66 bird species were observed. Bird numbers were higher during spring and fall migrations than during summer. No threatened or endangered birds were seen. Eighty-four percent of birds seen during site-specific surveys flew at heights above or below the height range of wind turbine blades (70-170 ft). Three dead birds and five dead bats were found during mortality searches in wind turbine plots. No bird deaths were attributed to collision with turbines, but all bats were presumed to have died as a result of collision with turbines.
Monitoring of Seasonal Bird Activity and Mortality on Unit 2 at the Buffalo Ridge Windplant, Minnesota
Title: Monitoring of Seasonal Bird Activity and Mortality on Unit 2 at the Buffalo Ridge Windplant, Minnesota
January 31, 1995
Higgins, K.; Dieter, C.; Usgaard, R. (1995). Monitoring of Seasonal Bird Activity and Mortality on Unit 2 at the Buffalo Ridge Windplant, Minnesota. Report by South Dakota State University and US Geological Survey (USGS). pp 42.