Sea bird surveys

Seeing as our new microsite,, has gone live this week, it seems like an appropriate time to talk seabirds.

Concern for seabirds is growing continually, especially with the growth of wind farms in the coastal zone.

The effect of wind turbines on seabirds is mostly unknown, but possible effects include habitat loss or mortality from collisions. If placed in migration paths, wind farms also have the potential to form barriers and interrupt migration routes, which in turns results in increased energy use due to avoidance of farms. Research that has been carried out shows that the potential for wind farms to affect seabirds varies with species, for example, low flying species are less likely to collide with turbines than high flying ones.

Three methods, land-based, ship-based, and aerial, are used commonly to study sea birds; the decision of which to use will depend upon survey objectives and budget. Surveys are often carried out in conjunction with marine mammal surveys.


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