Ontario wind turbine developers killing endangered birds and bats, with impunity

Posted on 07/18/2016

Bird Studies Canada quietly released a summary of bird and bat kills a few days ago. It doesn’t include last years toll on the avian population, but it gives you a good idea of where it’s headed; for a cliff. As you have probably noticed, this item hasn’t made the mainstream news in any way shape or form.

Even though the “Top 15 Hit List” consists of threatened swallows, tiny kinglets, scarce hawks and purple martins… not the common and introduced birds wind companies put on their open-house posters (i.e. house sparrows).

Even though Ontario avian mortality rates have skyrocketed for both bats and birds in recent years. 40,833 bat deaths. 14,144 bird deaths. 462 raptor deaths.


Even though bat kill averages grossly exceed the MNRF allowable limit. On average they are killing almost double the bats in Ontario then supposedly permitted (although who’s watching?).

  • Average # of bats killed by just one Ontario wind turbine: 18.52.
  • batmortality

  • Amount supposedly allowed by MNRF per wind turbine: 10.
  •  Bat mortality threshold

Think about that.

Even though the Barn Swallow (a threatened species) is one of the top 15 birds found killed by wind turbines.barn swallow

Even though the Red-tailed Hawk is the sixth most likely bird to be killed in Ontario by a wind turbine.


Even though three of the bat species killed by wind turbines are listed as Endangered. Does it count as a violation to kill an endangered species if you are a … wind developer? Apparently not.



More than 4777 endangered Little Brown bats killed by wind turbines in Ontario – who else gets away with killing that many endangered species in this province without even a slap on the wrist?


Even though the BSC chart shows that the recorded numbers are plenty lower than what the wind turbines kill is in reality. 

Actually the numbers in this BSC report only account for less than HALF of the carcasses that would be found if the search area was extended to a much more reasonable 85m radius instead of the currently inadequate 50m.

The mortality estimates presented here potentially underestimate true mortality as they are based solely on carcasses that fell within 50 m of the turbine base. It is expected that a certain proportion of birds and bats will fall outside of this radius, and there are several different approaches to quantifying this correction factor as can be inferred based on extrapolation of Figures 1 and 2. Zimmerling et al. (2013) reported that turbine heights were very similar (~80 m) for most turbines installed in Canada as of 2011 and estimated the proportion of carcasses expected to fall outside of 50 m to be up to 51.8% of birds, based on 4 studies that searched a radius up to 85 m.

So for starters, we apparently need to increase these numbers by 51.8% that Bird Studies Canada came up with for Ontario in order to get a semi-realistic amount. Pictures these numbers in your head:

61,984 bat carcasses.

21,470 bird carcasses.

701 raptor carcasses.

And before any supposed environmentalists tells me that “cats are worse”, I ask them to show me a couple pics of Tabby bringing down an eagle. And explain to me why it’s okay for a large (heartless) wind turbine corporation to kill thousands of endangered bats, but not some (heartless) person.

Because it’s not okay, any way you slice it.

~Esther Wrightman

PS: You may be wondering how the wind industry gets away with killing thousands of birds and bats that are endangered. After all there are penalties that the Endangered Species Act imposes, up to a million dollars, times however many they killed:


But that doesn’t happen. In fact there is NO penalty for a wind developer. Because they have a special Wind Turbine Exemption in the Act! They basically have to write a few more reports on how they tried to stop killing the endangered species and they are free go. You can’t make this shit up. No wonder nobody wants to talk about this, and NextEra doesn’t want their kill data released. What a tight little club they all belong to.