Friendly Wind

Baturday News is a weekly blog written by Rachael, a middle school student and Save Lucy volunteer. Rachael’s interest in bats was sparked by the big brown bats that used the outside of her former home for a winter roost. Her family cheerfully hosted the wild colony for years.

A photogra[h f a hoary bat rescued after hitting a wind turbone.
A migratory Hoary Bat rescued from a wind turbine strike and rehabilitated at Wild Things Sanctuary in New York.
Hi everyone! I hope you all had a nice week. I read an interesting article today. I am sure some of you saw it because Save Lucy posted it on its Facebook page. We also discussed the topic at bat fest Arlington. The article is about wind turbines and bats and I have some great news! The wind turbine industry is going to turn off the turbines when there is low wind when the bats are migrating! Isn’t that awesome?!

By turning the turbines off when there is low wind, tens of thousands of bats could be saved! When bats fly too close to the spinning turbine blades, they are killed. This is particularly bad to the migratory bats. They fly great distances during the spring and fall and are the bats most often found dead around the turbines. People have been trying to solve the problem for over a decade, but it’s an expensive problem to fix. It became a more important problem when the Northern long-eared bat was listed as “threatened” by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Even though the Northern long-eared bat isn’t migratory, they have been found dead around the turbines. Something had to be done! The industry has agreed to new guidelines that will have the turbines turned off during the fall migration period from mid-July through mid-October when there is low wind. Most of the bat deaths occur during that period of time. If you would like to read the article, you can read it here.

So, on behalf of all the bats that fly near wind turbines, I would like to thank the people in the wind industry and all the people who worked on these new guidelines. The bats and I appreciate all you are doing for them.

In other news, the bat pups of Fairfax County are quite sad. It seems that Fairfax County bat schools start next week. They want to sleep in and play games. I am not happy either. My school starts then too! L

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