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Infrared Video Clips of Bats Interacting with Wind Turbines  

Author:  | U.S., Videos, West Virginia, Wildlife

Bats Interacting with Wind Turbines

from: Horn et al. 2008 Journal of Wildlife Management 72:1 123-132

The video clips on this site are presented to support a study that appears in the Journal of Wildlife Management. This study deals with the recent finding that forest-dwelling bats are often found dead beneath operating wind turbines at wind energy facilities. We used thermal infrared video cameras to record the flight behavior of bats at night near these turbines in an attempt to understand the cause of these fatalities. We encourage you to read the study so that you will have a context as you view the clips.


Investigating the Turbine Tower and Nacelle (power generating unit)

Movie Clip

One or more bats repeatedly investigate the turbine blades and tower (monopole).

Movie Clip

A bat investigates the turbine tower (monopole), showing typical ‘touch-and-go’ behavior.

Movie Clip

A bat repeatedly investigates and briefly lands on the turbine tower while the rotor spins slowly.

Movie Clip

A bat investigates the nacelle.

Movie Clip

A bat investigates moving blades.

Investigating and Chasing Turbine Blades

0 Movie Clip

A bat investigates and lands on a still blade.

0 Movie Clip

Bats chase blade tips (1) or are possibly caught in tip vortices.

Movie Clip

Bat chases blade tip (2) or is possibly caught in tip vortex.

Movie Clip

A bat performs ‘touch-and-go’ behavior on the turbine tower, then a stopped blade.

Bat Avoidance Behavior

Movie Clip

A high-flying bat narrowly avoids being struck by moving blades.

Movie Clip

A bat reacting to the movement of (and perhaps avoiding) turbine blades.

Movie Clip

A bat narrowly avoids being struck, or receives a glancing blow from a passing turbine blade

Contact with Blades

Movie Clip

A bat is struck on the downswing of a blade.

Movie Clip

A bat is struck by a rotating turbine blade in the lower portion of the rotor-swept zone.

Movie Clip

A bat is struck by a rotating blade from below as the blade swings upward.

Movie Clip

A bat is struck by a fast-moving blade.

Movie Clip

A bat is struck by a downward-moving turbine blade.


Movie Clip

A flock of birds flies high overhead in a V formation.

Movie Clip

A bird flies high above the turbines.

Multiple Bats

Movie Clip

Three bats flying low and close to the camera.

Movie Clip

Multiple bats fly near an operating turbine.

Height Reference: The altitude of bats relative to the height of moving turbine blades

Movie Clip

Height example: A bat within the area swept by moving turbine blades. An insect also flies low and close to the camera.

Movie Clip

Height example: A bat flying above the reach of moving turbine blades.

This material is the work of the author(s) indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this material resides with the author(s). As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Queries e-mail.

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