Bats Interacting with Wind Turbines
The video clips on this site are presented to support a study that appears in the Journal of Wildlife Management. This study deals with the recent finding that forest-dwelling bats are often found dead beneath operating wind turbines at wind energy facilities. We used thermal infrared video cameras to record the flight behavior of bats at night near these turbines in an attempt to understand the cause of these fatalities. We encourage you to read the study so that you will have a context as you view the clips.
Investigating the Turbine Tower and Nacelle (power generating unit)
One or more bats repeatedly investigate the turbine blades and tower
A bat investigates the turbine tower (monopole), showing typical ‘touch-and-go’
A bat repeatedly investigates and briefly lands on the turbine tower
while the rotor spins slowly.
A bat investigates the nacelle.
A bat investigates moving blades.
Investigating and Chasing Turbine Blades
A bat investigates and lands on a still blade.
Bats chase blade tips (1) or are possibly caught in tip vortices.
Bat chases blade tip (2) or is possibly caught in tip vortex.
A bat performs ‘touch-and-go’ behavior on the turbine tower, then a
Bat Avoidance Behavior
A high-flying bat narrowly avoids being struck by moving blades.
A bat reacting to the movement of (and perhaps avoiding) turbine blades.
A bat narrowly avoids being struck, or receives a glancing blow from
a passing turbine blade
Contact with Blades
A bat is struck on the downswing of a blade.
A bat is struck by a rotating turbine blade in the lower portion of
the rotor-swept zone.
A bat is struck by a rotating blade from below as the blade swings upward.
A bat is struck by a fast-moving blade.
A bat is struck by a downward-moving turbine blade.
A flock of birds flies high overhead in a V formation.
A bird flies high above the turbines.
Three bats flying low and close to the camera.
Multiple bats fly near an operating turbine.
The altitude of bats relative to
the height of moving turbine blades
Height example: A bat within the area swept by moving turbine blades.
An insect also flies low and close to the camera.
Height example: A bat flying above the reach of moving turbine blades.