Angus King’s presentation in Bethel (Oct. 12) of “information” about industrial wind turbines was more than a little self-serving. Several errors have already been pointed out. I’d like to address another, namely his assertion that “house cats kill more birds than wind turbines do.”
His statistic is drawn from wind industry records – as an employee drives around the facility, he’s supposed to collect and record any dead birds he sees. If that was one per turbine per day, that could, indeed, be less than the typical cat.
But most birds aren’t killed outright. They’re knocked to the ground, often with one wing broken but able to hide in nearby vegetation. They are then killed and removed by local ground predators (coyotes, rats and so on), populations of which go way up with the food bonanza.
Research published in the Journal of Wildlife Management used motion-sensitive cameras and other techniques to show very clearly that for every dead bird recorded by industry personnel, 60 more were killed.
I would say to Mr. King that even the most committed house cat is hardly likely to kill 60 birds a day.
Sally McGuire, Carthage
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