Wind Power and Bat Fatalities

windmills

“Nature stretches out her arms to embrace man, only let his thoughts be of equal greatness”.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson in “Nature

For every good thing that we come up with, there can be an opposing downside for nature or wildlife. As we search for ways to produce “greener” energy, researchers are combating some serious – although greatly fixable – problems.

One problemthat is being researched in the last many years is the devastating effects of Wind Farms on migratory birds and bats. Many more bats than birds are actually killed at Wind Farms, although the turbines have caused many deaths to eagles, cranes and others. Regulations limiting the amount of birds that can be killed have been passed, but with bats, it is very hard to put a number on the death rate. Bat carcasses are small and they blend in with the fields and landscape. Some estimates have put the figure around 600,000-800,000+ a year, but no one really knows for sure. And no one knows what % of overall bat populations that that figure equates to.

What is known is that most of these deaths, 80%, occur during migratory months; mid-July to mid-October. This is the time when many species migrate long distances in a group. The hoary bat, which is normally a solitary fellow, travels in huge groups at this time. Bats are attracted to turbines for unknown reasons. Could it be their height -like tall trees – or the noise the turbines make, bugs trapped in the wind currents, or is it something else?

Bats are not killed just by the spinning – which can turn at speeds of 160 miles an hour – acting much like a huge blender in the sky. Although these blades take out large numbers of bats, more than 50% of the deaths occur from “barotrauma”, the air pressure changes due to the sweep of the blades. The bats are unable to detect the invisible low pressure. This causes their internal air passages to rapidly expand, causing internal bleeding, or their lungs to explode. Many bats lying dead on the ground may look unharmed – they have had no blade contact. Also a hazard to the bats is the electrical infrastructure that surrounds some turbines, power lines being an additional hazard.

So what is being done? Wind and migration patterns are being study to determine wind farm placement. Wind Farm operations could be scaled back during migration months. Also, the tilt of the turbine axis can be of help in reducing death. Researchers are working on high frequency noise generators, ultraviolet light, and very importantly, when turbines are “turned on”, and when they are put to idling – known as “feathering” the turbines. When wind speeds are low, bats are most active. Therefore if turbines are put into a feathering flying-batsmode at this time, less bats will be killed. Likewise, bats do not like high wind. So if turbines are adjusted to kick in only once the wind reaches a higher speed, less bats will be out and about to suffer the consequences of flying through a wind farm.

Renewable energy sources are a wonderful thing and with a few adjustments can be even more so. But in our eyes, not many things are quite as wonderful as our pest controlling “King of the night skies”.

Affordable Bat Removal

Bat removal is generally very affordable. At Western Bat Specialists we know that bat removal is something that most people have not figured into their budget!  Because of that, we would like to make your bat problems as easy to remedy as possible.

We have been known for years to be one of the most reasonably priced bat professionals around, and many times are told we were the best price quote that someone received for bat removal. We try to keep your costs down by coming to your home prepared to do the work on our first visit.  That way we can save the expense of an inspection fee.  We do need to charge an *inspection fee if you just want or need us to look at your home to determine the situation with your bats and what needs to be done to fix it.  However, if you allow us to do the work on that initial visit, we will waive the inspection fee and only charge for our work.  And you can be assured that we will not charge an exorbitant fee for the exclusion; in fact, ours are some of the most fairly priced fees in the business.  Your exclusion may be much less than you expected! Let us remove bats from your home or business. You will be happy that you used Western Bat Specialists!

Our customers also have the satisfaction of knowing they can call us in the future with a question or a need because we have been in the bat business for many years.

We also accept major credit cards.  If you like, even if your bat removal was very affordable, you can make payment arrangements with our office – without interest!

Bat problems rarely go away on their own.  So even if you are reluctant to schedule the work now, be aware that as time goes on the problem usually becomes a more costly one.  The bat colony will continue to grow, and can lead to odor issues with your home.

*If you would like a free estimate, before we come to your home, that can also be done!  We need for you to take very good pictures of your home and up-close pictures of the suspected problem areas and e-mail them to us.  We will get back to you promptly with an estimate to remedy your particular bat issue.  Please take 2 – 3 pictures standing on the street or away from your house in order to capture the whole house, it’s elevations and the terrain around it.  Then take some pictures of the problem bat areas as well as you can.  You do not need to get on a ladder.  Stand on the ground and use your zoom or simply get as close as you can.  Once you have the photos – you can upload them to us on our “Contact” form.