Controversies abound when it comes to wind turbines. There are constantly issues having to do with the placement of wind turbines, the sounds wind turbines make and wildlife issues, just to name a few. In terms of wildlife, many raise concerns over bird and bat deaths due to wind turbines. Scientists have been studying the parallel between wind turbines and bird and bat deaths and one set of scientists have decided it might just have something to do with color.
One recent study has concluded that birds and bats are getting killed by wind turbines due to insects flocking to the turbines due to the color of the turbines. The scientists started with the color hypothesis due to former studies having proven that such deaths increase at night and in the summer months. These are the times which insects are the most active and therefore if insects are more greatly attracted to turbines, so will be their predators.
The majority of wind turbines are either white or a light grey. The scientists studied what colors insects were most attracted to and therefore would be drawn to while drawing predators with them. They studied white, both light and dark grey, yellow, red, purple and sky blue. Yellow attracted the most insects, however, white and light grey were close behind. The color which attracted insects the least was purple.
The scientists concluded that the color of the turbines themselves are in fact increasing the number of insects found near the turbines and subsequent bat and bird deaths. The scientists also noted that ultraviolet and infrared aspects of the colors were also influencing the insects. However, they do not propose that painting wind turbines will solve the problem altogether. The scientists noted that the heat from the wind turbines are most likely playing a major role in the attractiveness of wind turbines as well. The total findings of the study is found in the European Journal of Wildlife Research.