Insects, Bats and Wind Turbines

Katydid

Bat Eating a Katydid
Photo: Marco Tschapka

Wind towers for energy generation can kill birds and bats with their moving blades although they are low on the list of causes of mortality. Unlike birds that mostly encounter wind towers by chance, bats seem to be attracted to them. A recent study* found that bats are feeding on insects that alight on the towers. The smooth surface of the towers makes a suitable background for bats to detect resting insects by echolocation. Bats can swoop in at a low angle and capture resting insects. Bats feeding near wind towers consume some day flying insects that otherwise are not part of their diet.

*Jens Rydell, Wiesław Bogdanowicz, Arjan Boonman, Stefan Pettersson, Ewa Suchecka, Jan J. Pomorski. Bats may eat diurnal flies that rest on wind turbines. Mammalian Biology – Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mambio.2016.01.005

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Insects, Bats and Wind Turbines

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