The study, by scientists from the RSPB, the British Trust for Ornithology and Scottish Natural Heritage, examined densities of 10 breeding bird species (including curlew, snipe, skylark, red grouse and golden plover) at 18 unenclosed upland sites.
While the research showed potential positive impacts on populations of skylark, stonechats and meadow pipits, the report?s authors noted that: ?high levels of activity and disturbance are likely to cause birds to vacate territories close to the turbines?.
This was particularly the case with curlew and snipe, with a predicted 48 per cent decline in abundance of snipe within 500m of turbines.
?The study shows that there can be serious species-level impacts in the construction phase, so construction in the right place is absolutely key,? said Martin Harper, the RSPB?s UK conservation director, adding: ?But what the study hasn?t shown is that windfarms are ?bird blenders?. There is no impact from the turning of the blades.?