Loss of Rare Red Kite Threatens UK Wind Farm Plans

The first major study into a potential problem, carried out in northern Spain, found 6,000 birds were killed by turbines in a year.

Published: 25-Jan-2004

At first, it was dismissed as another routine, if tragic, death. The dismembered body of one of Britain's rarest birds, the red kite, had been found on a remote hillside, its right wing efficiently severed.

Local enthusiasts, saddened by the loss of the bird they had christened Filled Heart, launched an investigation. Now their findings have triggered a rebellion among ornithologists which threatens to derail Tony Blair's attempts to tackle climate change. It could thwart a £1 billion investment in building wind farms across Britain.

The death of Filled Heart is also blamed for a series of impending lawsuits against planned wind turbines, which some believe could reduce bird populations to the extent that internationally recognised nesting sites lose their global importance.



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