Bird Song vs. Industrial Wind Turbines

Industrial Wind Farm. Recorded near Lake Erie, at Low Banks, Haldimand, Ontario, Canada.  Warning: Bass heavy sound. Wear a helmet.
Note: According to Government regulations (A weighted sound levels), the Bird song “measures” higher than the Rumble of the turbines. I don’t buy it.

39 thoughts on “Bird Song vs. Industrial Wind Turbines

  1. That’s so loud maybe we should try sign language to talk……whoops….. my only knowledge of sign language
    consists of a second finger (‘wishing you all the best?) gesture!

    • I was told that the middle finger standing up like that, means “you’re number 1 with me!” damned driving instructor! LOL How could anyone compare the melodious singing and chirping of birds, to the nasty rumbling of turbines. It sounds like a terribly scratched record, playing with a dull needle, on a crappy sound system.

  2. What a load of crap.
    1. The loudest bird seems to be very close to the sound measuring equipment.
    2. Birds generally do not make that much “noise” the whole day.
    3. Birds are quiet at night.
    4. Not only that, if a bird is that annoying, one can go out and scare it away. Do THAT with a turbine.
    5. Much rather listen to chirping birds than the whoosh of turbines.

    Nice try, though, to government, to try to convince us that bird song measures higher than the rumble of turbines and therefore must be equally as annoying.

    Also, birds don’t cause tinnitus and a host of other health issues. Not to mention that home values are not affected by the presence of birds.

      • I ran the audio through an analyzer — it is almost useless — not quite — but it would prove nothing. (I stripped the audio off the flash video clip and dumped it to a “.wav” file — then translated it to a “vector stream” — much as I did for Richards recording. The Sony that Richard uses is excellent quality — and it shows at the analysis stage.

        By the way, the gear is: Bruel & Kjaer 4145 -> ACO Pacific polarization and preamp -> Sony PCM-D50 (consumer recorder).

        You need equipment like the Sony Audio Recorder Richard mentioned. Or, you can get or build the sensor systems of the type that I build with embedded processors — they work at the ultra low frequencies — even into the Seconds per Cycle range.

        If anyone knows of high quality recordings that could be linked to or passed on for testing — let us know.

        Maybe you should post an exact equipment list with links so people can get an idea of how they might get into this if they really wish to.


    • You need very good audio gear to get the low frequencies. What you’re hearing in that clip is likely from a consumer device that severely cuts off the low frequencies, where all rumble and vibration lives. But thanks for recording. The “audible” portion is still interesting, and more people should hear this.
      I’m not sure if this is true, but I recall hearing that during site visits by important people, the wind companies may remore/reduce the load on the turbines, therefore reducing the noise and vibration.
      Anyway, as a “sound guy” I’m out there recording to expose the true noise and vibration.

      • Or even spin the blade by turning the generator/alternator into a motor temporarily and spinning the blade quietly– yes it can be done.

        Not that noble upright honest citizens would do that…

        Just sayin’

  3. Landsman told my neighbour that the turbine wouldn’t be any louder than his voice. My neighbour responded, “I don’t think I’d want to listen to your voice all day, either.”

  4. Great post.
    And this is just the “audible” content.
    The inaudible (infrasound) is a whole ‘nother nasty ballgame…and it travels much farther…and is not even addressed in assessment / approvals process.

  5. These IWT developers and investors have all kinds of money to dream up excuses in an attempt to persuade the public that IWTs don’t have “noise” issues that can badly affect people.
    Then they also have all the “foot” soldiers to sell this kind of nonsense to the public.

    Would anyone believe that the UK PM would cut his father-in-law off from his lavish IWT income stream?
    This whole IWT scam is the doings of some of the world’s richest people for their own financial benefit and not to save planet earth.

  6. The audible sound from the wind turbines in the background got on my nerves within seconds! I found it aggravating and very annoying. Who wants to be out in their backyard, relaxing or gardening and listen to that industrial sound??? People, there is a reason we have zoning for industrial, commercial and residential and RURAL AGRICULTURAL RESIDENTIAL. The bird song? Oh yes love it but not in the middle of the night. In fact if the birds start chirping too early, I jump up and close the windows but with wind turbine noise, the house acts as a conduit and AMPLFIES the sound! Feeling a vibration in your bedroom floor is nothing short of trespassing and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
    If someone ran their transport truck next door to your house or bedroom wall you would make a formal complaint wouldn’t you? BTW, is their anyone out there other than the wind industry that still believes wind turbines are doing anything for the climate? Surely by now the news of the failure in Europe has been reported here. When will the madness stop? Vote PC and rid ourselves of this outrage and stupidity. Remember, politicians are not business people. When they enter into business propositions they never pick winners and it ends up costing us , the public to pay for the folly.

    • The failure of the IWT scam in Europe has not been reported by the MSM but has been in the financial media which is not read or viewed by many people.

      • In my opinion, the big problem is that people want to *believe* that “green energy” exists and therefore Wind and Solar are an “easy” solution. They want us to believe the the faux-green scientists (David Suzuki, etc) have solved the problem.

        As soon as you discover green energy is a *lie*, then you have to face reality and make *hard* choices, like conservation, using existing sources (nuclear, hydro, gas), which noone likes.

        I liken this to a “conspiracy theory”, where we claim something exists that does not. The “conspiracy” of Green energy allows us to avoid facing the complex reality of: global warming, environmental degradation, unchecked urban sprawl, etc. All the things we don’t want to talk about.

        By the way, if anyone asks you what to do *instead* of Industrial wind and solar, we should suggest *small scale* projects such as:
        – solar powered hot water heating
        – retrofit of houses, farms, and factories to use less energy
        – using water from Lake Ontario to cool office buildings in Toronto,
        – increase funding of public transport, especially to and from rural areas,

        All of these are *proven* technologies, and just need a little help to get going. These are all projects that *could* be funded by government instead of throwing money at Industrial Wind and Solar.

        OK, back to recording :).

      • The things you suggest don’t put the money in the right people pockets and don’t require much funding for university research grants.
        “Green” energy has created a whole food chain of people feeding off from this scam.

      • Sorry, my last message implied both wind and antiwind are corrupt. I’ve reworded there.
        To moderator: can you please remove my last message and replace with this. thanks.


        I believe there is corruption. Maybe 5% of the people. There is 5% on the anti wind side. Both sides are fighting like Hell. But the 90% of the people in the middle are just unaware of the situation. They know about the claim of “green energy”, but don’t understand the details. They think “everything is OK”. We need a way to reach these people.

        Even family members I have spoken to are reluctant to discuss this. I ask myself why. The problem is not the people, it is the situation the government and wind proponents have put them in. They have promised Green energy, a “quick fix”. But “green” solutions do not exisit, at least not as large industrial scale projects.

        What I am hoping is we (as a group) can find some way to reach these people.
        A quick “fact sheet” may help, such as:

        – Industrial scale projects are not green (they destroy rural and nature areas)
        – Wind turbines cause health problems for those nearby,
        – Wind and solar do not reduce C02,
        – Wind and solar will increase electricity rates… and all that money goes to the proponents
        – Farmers don’t make much compared to owners of wind farms. Most of that money goes offshore and to Liberal insiders,
        – etc.

        But more generally, we have to dislodge people from their (honest, but incorrect) belief in Green Energy.

        The most common reply I get back is, “If not Wind, what else should we do?”.
        That is why I listed some *concrete* suggestions for the average (non involved) person to latch on to.

        So here are some suggestions again (feel free to add):
        – solar powered hot water heating
        – retrofit of houses, farms, and factories to use less energy
        – using water from Lake Ontario to cool office buildings in Toronto,
        – increase funding of public transport, especially to and from rural areas,

        – conservation: reduce air conditioning, dry clothes outside in summer,

        This is as much a problem of (social) psychology as it is one of (failure of) technology.


      • The problem with air conditioning is that many people live and/or work in buldings where the windows can’t be opened. Those who live in apartments or condos can’t dry clothes outside. In many ways this is a disadvantage for urbanites as they need to consume more electricity for some things than those who live in single dwellings.
        How do you overcome the renewable energy brain- washing that people have been subjected to for so many years? And people think renewable energy will solve all the energy problems and they don’t need to cut back on their use of electricity.

      • I am doing something substantive.

        I have save up enough Carbon Credits to open my Air Guitar manufacturing plant. We will be using only eco-friendly materials.

      • This is Money, Aug.9,2013
        “Plans to build more wind farms are ‘deluded’ : L&G Boss arns the government”
        Wilson said, “But he said he would not put a single penny into wind farms because they are too ‘inefficient’ and ‘expensive’.
        “The comments are a blow for the government, which is trying to persuade insurance companies to invest in infrastructure projects, including renewable energy”.

      • Barbara:

        Good catch:
        This is Money, Aug.9,2013

        However due to the sensible nature of the advice it has been “shelved”. Please do not adjust your wallet — the drain hole is permanent.

      • The results of the recent election shows that people don’t care about the scandals of the present government.
        They don’t care how much money this present government has wasted. As long as the public is promised more from government that’s all that counts.
        Take the gas plant fiasco as an example. Then elect more of the same?

  7. I think I would rather listen to the wind turbines than noisy birds..

    Wuh.. Wuhhh Wuhhh Wuh Wuhhh Wuh Wuh

    — all day long, so soothing!

    • As it has been all the way through this IWT affair citizens have had to do the work that needed to be done.
      It’s amazing what rural Ontarians have able to accomplish!

  8. Whole companies and/or divisions of companies have been just paper creations with things like number of employees, inventory, expenses, sales figures, etc. all nicely done but didn’t really exist.
    This is what auditors are for is to expose scams.
    All these figures given out about IWTs and the number of jobs, the business created, the tax revenues and etc. can be “spit” out by computers but may not be real. The real part is what the fat-cats can make out of this scam. These are just computer projections that the public is expected to believe.
    Just because computer information says something doe not make it real and is just only theory.

  9. Please note that this recording was made *in the turbine field*, not in someone’s backyard. The point I am trying to make is: (1) turbines do make noise, and it is very “bass heavy” and intrusive, (2) if you use a standard “A weighting” of noise, the bird does in fact come out louder than the background. The reason for this is the “A weighting” severely down weights the low frequency.
    The best way to use this sample is to play it in headphones and see how it sounds. In fact, on a good system, some people will actually feel the vibrations.

    • The noise in someone’s backyard will have the same (bass heavy) character, but will be a bit quieter. All the bass/vibration is still there, though. The sound level will also fluctuate with wind conditions. I will post more examples soon. Last week I was recording around Selkirk/Fisherville ON. I will post some examples taken from various roadside locations. Oh, I should mention that while recording at roadside I was questioned by OPP. It seems security is pretty tense in those new turbine areas…

      • I will do that eventually (in the fall). Right now I’m just trying to learn about the sound, and also to get information out there. The problem is, there have been tons of measurements, sound studies, academic papers, etc. Yet uninformed people don’t even know they make noise. Proponents want to ignore it.

        We need to take this sound to the decision makers. Play it at Open houses, tribunals, wherever the Windies or faux-green energy folks go, this sound should follow them!

    • Your suggestion below, “We need to take this sound to the decision makers. Play it at Open houses, tribunals, wherever the Windies or faux-green energy folks go, this sound should follow them!”, is brilliant not just because we have already tried it but because when we did so, even with our poor equipment, it totally irritated the wind developers.

      Rick James had given us a sampler he had of different sound recordings at a noise receptor so it was a bit too complicated to be ideal and we had only a big sub-woofer for playback.

      The situation was pretty good though as we had rented the room adjacent to the developer’s public con to display our truth posters and we placed the speakers next to locked interconnecting doors. People who went to the public con first remarked that they had heard it in the other room.

      Can you get to the LTEP road show in Sudbury on the 13th? It would be the ideal place to try out your recording…the public and decision-makers a captive audience. Please do!

      • Wow, someone tried this already, that is great! We need more of that. Sorry, I cannot travel, nor can I get this closely involved. However, anyone is welcome to take this recording and use it. By the way, since this is online (via Soundcloud) anyone can stream this to their internet device (laptop, iphone, tablet), and from there, play through any available PA.

      • The recording — a copy of some graphs showing the ultrasound…

        Could be interesting…

      • Yes, Paul Thompson has done same at a number of meetings. While the total noise cannot be captured well, when he shut off the turbine noise everyone breathed a sigh of relief. It at least gave a bit of an idea of what it is like to have it going non stop.

  10. Just for some fun I also passed Richards recording through a FFT algorithm using Matlab. While somewhat useful the FFT picture (graph) is mostly hash and hard to analyze — and yes — I do know how to re-sample to a lower audio stream rate and use a low pass filter just in case someone feels compelled to offer advice. 😉

    While some of the peaks are clear and visible for whatever reason it just does not provide compelling information when using the FFT algorithms built into Matlab. I do know that some analysts designers and engineers acknowledge that this can be a weak point with FFT analysis.

    I am using a specialized routine developed for detection of long period waves — even running into months or years. The package is written in R.

    You can get the R package here:

    I started working with the analyzer (and re-writing it so it actually works) to use with the sensor systems I build — and in hopes of using it with the Turbine data. I kinda got distracted from that when I noticed how clear the audio clip was and thought I would look at it.

    There are only 3,080,202 points (per channel) to analyze — what could be simpler? Note to Richard: make shorter audio clips. 😉

    Did I mention those birds are really noisy? 🙁

  11. Correction:

    While some of the peaks are clear and visible for whatever reason it just does not provide compelling information when using the FFT algorithms built into Matlab. I do know that some analysts designers and engineers acknowledge that this can be a weak point with FFT analysis — when working with low frequencies!.

  12. I have various video and voice recorder recordings, some capturing the washing machine effect but am inept at processing them to distribute.
    No matter, the big missing component is the low frequency which contributes.
    The difference between recording it on this type of equipment and living in it is similar to listening to something on an old transistor radio and then on most advanced surround sound system.
    It just cannot fully capture it.

    • There is equipment that can capture the low frequencies easily. I know this because I have analyzed the signals from some of the equipment.

      Richard and I have different equipment but they clearly capture the low frequencies and the beat notes.

      I guess it depends on your willingness to buy the equipment or give access to someone who has it.

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