Baseline Avian Use and Behavior at the CARES Wind Plant Site, Klickitat County, Washington: Final Report

NREL, Karin Sinclair (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


This report presents a literature review on avian-wind turbine interactions and the results of a one-year avian baseline study conducted in 1998 at the proposed Conservation and Renewable Energy System (CARES) wind development site in Klickitat County, Washington. Avian use of the site ranged from 1.11/survey in the winter to 5.69/survey in the spring. Average use by passerines in the study plotsranged from 1.15 minutes/survey in the winter to 40.98 minutes/survey in the spring. Raptors spent much less time within plots than other groups, ranging from 0.05 minutes/survey in the winter to 0.77 minutes/survey during the fall. Thirteen percent of all flying birds were within the rotor-swept height (25 to 75 m); 41.6% of all raptors were flying at this height. Raptors with the greatestpotential turbine exposure are red-tailed hawks and golden eagles. Passerines with the highest turbine exposure are common ravens, American robins, and horned larks. Spatial use data for the site indicate that avian use tends to be concentrated near the rim, indicating that placing turbines away from the rim may reduce risk. Avian use data at the CARES site indicate that if a wind plant isconstructed in the future, avian mortality would likely be relatively low.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages75
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc., Cheyenne, Wyoming and IBIS Environmental Services, San Rafael, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-500-26902


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