Modeling Species-Specific Collision Risk of Birds with Wind Turbines: A Behavioral Approach

Anne Cathrine Linder*, Henriette Lyhne, Bjarke Laubek, Dan Bruhn, Cino Pertoldi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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The increasing number of wind energy sites developed globally, has consequently resulted in a green-on-green predicament, due to an increase in avian mortality caused by collisions with wind turbines. The proportion of collision-related fatalities is not evenly distributed across species, indicating that some species groups are more prone to turbine collision. Such differences between species have been proposed to be affiliated with species-specific foraging and flight behavior. The aim of this study is to investigate how the flight behavioral traits; head position, active flight, track symmetry, and track tortuosity can be used to model collision risk along with other influencing factors i.e., weather variables (temperature, wind speed, and cloud coverage) and temporal variables (time of day and time of year). The study also sought to investigate the species-specificity of the four traits in relation to the phylogenetic relatedness of the study species. This was achieved through a case study at a wind farm on the Swedish island of Gotland in which the behavior of birds from 11 different genera was studied. The flight behavior of these species was assessed using data collected by the IdentiFlight system, e.g., flight trajectories and images of the birds throughout their flight track. The results confirm the species-specificity of the four flight behaviors and indicated that all four traits can be used to predict collision risk along with species as a categorical factor. The framework provided in this study along with the results of the case study can be used to identify risk-prone species based on phylogenetic relatedness and flight behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2493
Issue number12
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Collision risk
  • IdentiFlight
  • Wind turbine curtailment
  • Phylogentic signal
  • Flight behavior
  • Flight symmetry


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