Proponents of wind energy in the U.S. have long argued that the overall impact of properly sited wind turbines on birds is extremely low compared with other human-related activities and structures. Now a congressionally mandated study released by the National Research Council (NRC) on Thursday offers new findings to support this argument -- and is recommending that implementing national-level policies to enhance the benefits of wind energy and minimize its harms would help guide state and local regulatory efforts.

"The report rightly concludes that our challenge is to design and locate wind-power projects to minimize the negative impacts on birds. It is essential that industry-wide environmental safeguards be developed so that each wind project can be considered on its own merits with appropriate studies before and after construction." -- Betsy Loyless, National Audubon Society, senior vice president