Bernd Atzenroth of central Germany’s online Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung (MAZ) reports on how a stork had its beak and main feathers chopped off by a wind turbine blade. So severe were the bird’s injuries that the animal had to be euthanized.
According to the online news site, the town of Struck is the location of a wildlife rescue center where injured animals are brought in for care. Sadly the MAZ writes: “On Friday it was a stork, but it could not be treated – that’s how bad the injuries were.”
The site features a photo of the gruesomely injured bird. If you’re looking for a poster-child for depicting the hazards of wind turbines to wildlife, this is it.
The MAZ describes the reaction of the directors at the wildlife rescue center:
Angie and Uwe Löblich of the wildlife rescue center in Struck are used to seeing a lot. But the appearance of a stork that had been delivered to them on Friday left them speechless. We were struck with horror to see that the white stork was missing almost half of its beak, likely it had been chopped off by a nearby wind turbine.’ Also the left main feathers were missing. ‘The beak and the main feathers had been cleanly chopped off, and there is no doubt that it must have flown into a wind turbine,’ Angie Löblich is certain.”
Nature conservation groups playing down the hazard
One might think that nature conservation groups would be alarmed and outraged by the incident, especially in view of the fact that worldwide wind turbines kill an estimated millions of birds and bats annually. But this is hardly the case. For example Germany’s flagship nature conservation group NABU plays down the problem, maintaining that it is small compared to the hazards created by automobiles. According to the MAZ, NABU continues its staunch support of wind energy and believes the problem can be solved with planning.
Rare, protected species falling victim
The MAZ writes that this stork was hardly the first victim and describes a crane having part of its head chopped off, and of multiple birds dying at the rescue center or having to be euthanized shortly after their arrival. Included among the victims of wind turbines are rare and protected birds such as the honey buzzard, goshawk and Red Kite.