The effects of noise pollution by wind-turbines on songbird population and communication dynamics

Project Details


Israel is a major migratory pathway for millions of birds each year, and a critical stopover site in their journey. At a stopover site, birds must minimize their exposure to risk and maximize their food intake in order to get to their destination on time. To achieve this, many birds arriving to a new site rely on social information — information already gathered by other individuals (like arriving to a new town and asking a local where the nearest place to eat is). However, we know that man-made noise can reduce the ability of animals to collect information on their surroundings, and this may reduce the ability of birds to efficiently use stopover sites. Wind turbines are a rapidly growing source of such noise, but so far, studies investigating the effects of the noise generated by the turbines are scarce. We propose an innovative study that will evaluate the effects of wind turbine noise on the population and communication dynamics of both resident and migratory songbirds during stopover. We will employ the most recent cutting-edge GPS technology to track migratory individuals moving within two major stopover sites in Israel, and combine the movement data with detailed recording of the soundscape at the site, creating comprehensive and unique maps of the movement and communication dynamics of songbirds at a stopover site. We will then test the effects of noise on these dynamics by playing wind-turbine's noise to the birds in the field and recording their responses. The proposed study is expected to greatly expand our understanding of animals respond to large-scale environmental changes (such as noise pollution), as well as to add an important aspect to risk assessments aimed at evaluating the environmental impacts of wind farms.

Effective start/end date1/01/19 → …


  • United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF)


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