how many birds are killed each year

How Many Birds are Killed?

True estimates of mortality are difficult to determine. Nonetheless, recent research has combined the best available information to estimate the ranges of mortality to North American bird populations from some of the most prevalent human-caused causes of bird mortality. These are listed in the table below. This list addresses only human-caused sources, not natural sources. There are numerous other human-caused threats to birds that are not included on this list because it is difficult or impossible to determine how much of an impact they have, either directly (causing injury or death right away) or indirectly (causing health problems or productivity over time). For example, habitat loss is considered to be the biggest threat to birds, both directly and indirectly, though it is very difficult to determine the exact impact of habitat loss on bird populations overall. Various entanglement and entrapment threats, as well as other common human-caused and natural threats to birds, are known, but are not included below. g. , exposed pipes and nets); predation by animals other than cats, such as people (e g. , poaching); weather events; starvation; and disease.

How many birds do wind turbines kill?

Measuring bird kills from turbines is hard. One obvious way to accomplish this is to have people count the number of bird carcasses in the area. Many studies have done that.

The issue is that people frequently overlook tiny birds, like songbirds. That’s where dog searches come in.

The estimates I discovered in the literature differ significantly. partly because of difficulties with measurement, but also because risks differ depending on the location: certain places will be more arid than others, and some will be major hotspots for wildlife

There were estimates ranging from 4 to 18 birds killed annually per turbine. More than four times the difference. I’ve detailed some of these studies in the table below.

Though unsatisfactory, the wide range of these estimates at least provides us with a sense of scale. What does this imply for the overall annual mortality toll of birds?

Let’s apply these figures to the US, as that is the country from which the majority of the research were conducted.

In 2022, the US produced 434 TWh of wind power. Taking the numbers above, that gives us a range of 200,000 to 1.2 million. The upper figure seems more likely since it tries to correct for the under-detection of smaller birds. Let’s call it around one million birds per year.

Assume that these risks exist everywhere and that there are likely more than 5 million deaths worldwide.

We can reduce bird and bat deaths from wind power

We’re not completely helpless in this dilemma. Even though death rates are not completely eliminated, there are many things we can do to lessen the impact of wind farms on biodiversity.

Here’s what we can do:


What is the number 1 killer of birds?

Min Range
Median/Avg. Estimated
Electrocutions Loss et al. 2014c
Burning -Solar Towers
Cats Loss et al. 2013a

How many birds are killed by cars every year?

Collisions with vehicles are believed to be among the top five direct causes of bird mortality in the United States. A recent study estimated that between 89 million and 340 million birds die annually in vehicle collisions on U.S. roads.

How many birds are killed by pollution each year?

Worldwide, it is estimated that up to 67 million birds are killed each year by pesticides. Selenium pollution in agricultural drain water was found at Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge to cause deformities and death in exposed birds.

How many birds are killed by predators each year?

The most devastating source of bird mortality is cat predation. Cats kill 2.4 billion birds each year in the United States!