First published:Thu, Mar 12, 2015, 01:00
What do swans, golden plovers, hen harriers and geese have in common? Aside from being able to fly, they are all to be found on a list of the 22 bird species most affected by the positioning of wind turbines.
Sometimes it is a flight risk, for example with swans that often fly at a height that leaves them at risk of the whirring blades.
For others, the turbines represent a hazard to habitat, closing off space that previously would have been ideal for nesting.
It is a real challenge to find a way around this problem, says Dr Shane McGuinness, a member of the policy and advocacy team at BirdWatch Ireland. “Ireland must adhere to the Birds and Habitats Directive, which protects bird habitats but also has international obligations to fight climate change,” he says.