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NatForWINSENT: Nature conservation research on the wind energy test site

Flight behaviour of birds in the surrounding of wind turbines and collision protection based on technical mitigation measures

As a subcontractor of the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) we investigate the flight behaviour of birds in the surrounding of wind turbines (WT). We use radar to register the general flight activity and a laser-range finder as well as GPS-transmitters to collect data on the individual flight activity of Red Kites. Based on that we develop measures for the mitigation of bird collisions at WT (e.g. colouring of WT, control of rotor speed) and test their effectivity on the test site. Tests of the effectiveness of technical anti-collision systems are also part of the project.

Domain Research
Unit Bird Migration
Topic Birds and Human Beings
Habitat alpine habitats, farmland, forest, meadows and pastures, rivers & streams, rocky terrain, semi-open farmland, settlements, wasteland, wetlands
Project start 2019
Project status ongoing
Project management Janine Aschwanden
Project region Europe


Project objectives

The main goal is the test of technology-based measures for an effective mitigation of bird collisions at wind turbines.


Data on the flight behaviour of birds in general and of individual Red Kites is collected pre- and after the construction of wind turbines using radar, a laser-range finder and GPS-transmitters to compare the use of airspace in both situations. Meteorological parameters (e.g. horizontal and vertical visibility) which are measured on the test site are also included in the analyses. Based on the same data, anti-collision systems are tested, and experiments are carried out to investigate the effectivity of mitigation measures like e.g. the colouring of wind turbines or control of rotor speed.


One of numerous causes of death in birds are collisions at wind turbines. For the mitigation of conflicts, techniques based on demand solutions are wanted to avoid blanket curtailments (e.g. during the whole breeding season of a bird species). The project NatForWINSENT uniquely allows intervening into operation and appearance of wind turbines to conduct systematic experiments. Furthermore, the test site offers an optimal environment for systematic tests of commercial anti-collision systems which promise to be suitable for protection against bird collision.


In phase 1 (pre-construction), data on the current state of local flight movements (habitat use) and of flight parameters (e.g. altitude and speed) depending on weather were investigated. The mean speed of Red Kites was 27.2 km/h (± 12.6 km/h) and increased with flight altitude. The influence of weather was weak. The flight activity decreased with increasing bad weather conditions (rain, fog). Flight altitudes were lower during strong wind/wet conditions compared to weak wind/dry conditions. Two different anti-collision systems were tested (BPS of Bioseco und IdentiFlight®).

Project partner(s)

Financial support


Other resources
external link
Projektsteckbrief BfN (in German)
external link
Projektseite BfN (in German)
external link
Projektseite Testfeld (in German)
external link
Projektseite ZSW (in German)
external link
Bericht IdentiFlight (in German)
Bird Migration link

Bird Migration

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