Avian Research in Nantucket Sound

The proposed wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound would be the first offshore wind farm in North America. Mass Audubon staff ornithologists conducted hundreds of hours of boat and aerial surveys of Nantucket Sound and the project area. The results of these surveys were provided to the Federal Agencies and the applicant as a contribution to the environmental review.

Surveys of avian distribution and abundance in Nantucket Sound began in Summer 2002, and were completed in Winter 2005-2006. Surveys were conducted over multiple years because bird behavior and resource availability can change from year to year.

Mass Audubon's long-tailed duck satellite telemetry research link to longtailed duck began in winter 2007-2008, tracking the movements of this species into and out of Nantucket Sound, particularly in relation to the proposed Cape Wind project area.

Our results are available in numerous reports prepared at the end of each survey season. A comprehensive synthesis of the results of the plane and boat surveys played a significant role in the development of Mass Audubon's Cape Wind Challenge link to cape wind challenge.

Our avian research was generously supported by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, Foundation M, Island Foundation, Nuttall Ornithological Club, A. J. Stout Foundation, Minerals Management Service, Sea Duck Joint Venture Program, and the Wild Waterbirds Conservancy.