Raptor acuity and wind turbine blade conspicuity

  • Published source details McIsaac H.P. (2001) Raptor acuity and wind turbine blade conspicuity. Proceedings of National Avian-Wind Power Planning Meeting IV, 59-87.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Paint wind turbines to increase their visibility

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Paint wind turbines to increase their visibility

    A randomised, controlled ex situ experiment on an American kestrel Falco sparverius (McIsaac 2001) found that it could discriminate between a control stimulus and an image of rotating wind turbine blades better if the blades were painted with two thick black bands running across the width of the blade (a visibility ratio of 2.4 in bright light, decreasing to 1.5 in low light, no difference in very low light). Blades with narrow black bands running across the width of the blade were less conspicuous in bright light (ratio of 0.1) and were indistinguishable in low light. A pattern of three stripes running the length of the blade were not significantly more or less conspicuous than plain white blades. Both the control (grey blade rotating in front of a grey background) and experimental stimuli rotated at 30 rpm.


Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust