Aim of this sub-study was to investigate possible relations between the construction of wind turbines and the development of populations and breeding success of birds of prey and especially of red kites. Long-term monitoring data for areas with and without wind turbines were compared (data: MEROS, http://www.greifvogelmonitoring.de). For a total of 225 monitoring areas of a size of between 30 and 2000 km2, data collected between 1991 and 2006 for at least one the following species could be analysed: red and black kite, white-tailed sea eagle, common buzzard, European honey buzzard, Eurasian hobby, common kestrel, Eurasian sparrowhawk, northern goshawk or marsh harrier. Statistical analyses (ANOVA with repeated measures; linear mixed effect models adjusted for maximum likelihood) showed no significant relations between the development of wind energy use and bird of prey populations or breeding success. It was remarkable however that high densities of red kites could only be observed in areas without wind turbines. To date (data as from 2006) wind energy use seems to have no extensive influence on the bird of prey populations in Germany. The spatial distribution of wind turbines within the monitoring areas could not be included in the analyses requiring further research.
This is a chapter in the book Birds of Prey and Wind Farms