This thesis is the result of a 2½ year PhD study on bird-wind farm collisions and was carried out at the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Biodiversity, National Environmental Research Institute, Kalø and at the Institute of Biology, University of Copenhagen.
My thesis consists of a synopsis, five published papers, one submitted manuscript and one manuscript nearly ready for submission. The papers describe the findings from the visual, radar and thermal imaging studies (1999-2006) of migrating birds at the Nysted offshore wind farm in the Baltic Sea, Denmark. In addition to the strictly scientific output from the study, the project involved a strong developmental component which necessitated innovative approaches towards the choice of equipment, study design and framework for the analyses. The offshore marine location of the studied wind farm prohibited the use of standard carcass collection procedures normally associated with the study of wind farm-related mortality in birds on land and forced me to apply a modelling orientated approach.
Data were collected from visual observations, short-range surveillance radar and thermal imaging equipment and was analysed using GIS and standard statistics. The main aim of the study was the development of a bird-wind farm collision prediction model that incorporates the avoidance rate of birds at multiple scales. This thesis shows the added value of the modelling approach by not only providing an estimate for collision rate but also by helping the ecologist to understand the factors and processes governing the severity of wind farm related mortality.