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Bureau Waardenburg

How MAX® is helping to reduce bird collisions at Eemshaven wind farm

Each spring and autumn, millions of birds migrate over the Eemshaven seaport in the Netherlands. But large numbers of them collide with turbine blades as they pass through the Eemshaven wind farm.

Bureau Waardenburg, a research and advice consultancy, set out to study how bird mortality could be reduced at Eemshaven. They needed accurate, detailed data on local bird movements, including size, position, altitude, and flight speed. 

So, in 2018, they became the first ecological consultancy in the world to use MAX®, our fully 3D mobile radar. 

MAX® records the 3D position of all birds within its range. It tracks their movement every second and records it to a database. It also uses continuous data from a local weather station to record local conditions. 

This gives researchers valuable, in-depth insights into the intensity of nocturnal bird migration, which isn't visible to the naked eye. They can measure height and migration patterns over time with a high temporal and spatial resolution.

Bureau Waardenburg has used radar to study bird flight behaviour for over 25 years. But now, with the power of MAX®, it has the crucial information it needs to accurately model collision rates at planned wind farms and help minimise bird mortality.  

“With MAX we are now able to study flight movements in much more detail and full 3D. This will help us a lot with better understanding the true number of collisions as well as avoidance behaviour in and around wind farms.”

Jonne Kleyheeg-Hartman

Senior Researcher, Wind and Wildlife Interactions, Bureau Waardenburg