May 6, 2011

Offshore Gulf of Maine Birds - Are new studies good news or bad for DeepCwind?

A symposium of bird researchers came together recently to compare and share the results and data mined from ongoing field studies documenting migratory bird movements in the Gulf of Maine.  It was was described in a March 2011  news article The significance of this flocking together of avian eggheads is that it has become clear that many more birds of many more species than suspected  are using Maine's offshore islands like Monhegan to migrate north and south each year. Like this redbellied woodpecker on Monhegan.

Certainly not what the DeepCwind folks wanted to hear. Now we'll see who much they respect the work of these university researchers.

UMaine ornithologist Rebecca Holbertson is quoted in the article “We found the islands had more brush and scrub habitat and a greater number and diversity of birds that we didn’t expect.....We easily, conservatively estimated over half a million birds were coming through the Penobscot Bay area alone. We had no idea of the magnitude of this."

.Image:Black scoters off Monhegan.

 Remember this USFWS Cape Wind bird study excerpt? (the aerial and boat surveys mentioned in it were done by windpower environemental consultants:
"[T]he Cape Wind project aerial and boat surveys resulted in the observation of approximately 210 birds flying at turbine height while the [US Fish and Wildlife Service's] radar surveys conducted for the same project resulted in the tabulation of over 127,697 targets within the proposed rotor swept zone...."

That's what they're discovering up here now.
Will Ocean Windpower developers  find sections of the Gulf of Maine never visited by birds? I can't think what else would be a happy discovery for Dagher and company. One can't help but worry that there aren't many places like that out there.
Stay tuned

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