Bird watchers know where sea ducks like the surf scoter breed — across Canada and Alaska — and exactly where they devote their winters — along the U.S. coasts, in bodies of water like the Chesapeake and Delaware bays. Exactly where they go in among is a bit of a mystery.
But with wind turbines possibly dotting the horizon off of Ocean City beaches by the finish of the decade, potentially developing a new obstacle on the birds' migration routes, answers are needed.
Teams have spent three years in waters from Long Island to the Carolinas in search of surf scoters and two other sorts of sea birds, capturing them and releasing them with tracking devices. Scientists completed their tagging final month and have begun collecting information on their movement patterns, planning to continue following the birds as extended as attainable.
The study aims to additional clearly map the routes the birds take involving seasons, and to learn whether or not they cross a 125-square-mile zone established for possible wind farms. Early information suggests the birds keep closer to the coast than the wind farm zones, but a lot more nonetheless requires to be learned about how the turbines could impact wildlife, scientists stated.