Under poor weather conditions these lights have been known to attract and confuse nocturnal migrating birds, with the result that many collide and are killed. Although the structure and lighting height limits necessary for this effect were not discussed at the meeting, the issue may become of more concern since turbine size has been increasing to heights that now legally require lighting to meet aeronautical regulations. Will it be necessary to totally avoid nocturnal bird migration pathways?
Although much study has been directed at reducing bird strikes at existing wind turbine installations, there is now just as much (or more) emphasis on scientifically rigorous site selection studies, with added importance given to avian issues. (The NWCC Avian Subcommittee is currently preparing the "Standard Metrics and Methods for Monitoring Avian/Wind Energy Interactions" ).
Still, public education is required regarding misinformed perceptions and the biological significance of the low number of bird strikes (seen so far) in wind power stations. Looked at in perspective, other potential hazards (cats, power lines, communications towers, lighted city buildings) kill birds on much larger (seemingly accepted) scales.