Well it helps if you have a striking profile and qualify as a bit of a looker.

Rarity value is also a very definite plus. So when hirundapus caudacutus, aka a white-throated needletail swift, fed the wrong co-ordinates into his on-board computer and, several thousand miles off course flew into a Hebridean wind turbine, his untimely death brought forth some unlikely mourners to these pages. Not least Struan Stevenson MEP, citing the collision as another example of "reckless" wind energy policies.

Among those not getting in much of a flap about one winged visitor's sad demise was the Royal Society for The Protection of Birds (RSPB) who noted that the greatest hazard facing the avian population comes from climate change, a clear and present danger renewable energy policies were trying to address before our carbon footprint saw off human and wild life.

Besides, the RSPB had a more pressing concern on its radar this week; our chronic inability to stop more indigenous rare species such as the golden eagle and red kite being trapped, shot, or poisoned on our sporting estates. After all, if you can't stop raptors killing other feathered friends there'll be damn all left to shoot. They pronounced themselves happy that Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse had just promised a cull of nocturnal human assassins via the courts.

However the shortened life and times of our luckless swift does illustrate the extraordinary volume of hot air engendered by wind energy in Scotland, a land more than blessed in the stiff breeze department. One of The Herald's correspondents this week even suggested wind farm operatives spend their early mornings collecting bird carcasses so the public will never see them.

A man in possession of more fevered imagination than empirical evidence, I fear, certainly in the case of small-scale community developments. By coincidence a small crofting community, also in the Western Isles, has just managed to button down the finance for a three turbine project. They reckon even with the first one up and running, a year down the line their 2000-strong population strung along the north-west coast of Lewis should be looking at an income stream of £100,000 a year.

Resident Carola Bell, who became so impressed with Community Energy Scotland's track record that she now finds herself its chairwoman, told me the hoops they went through to ensure minimum interference with bird life in an area which enjoys the company of golden and sea eagles and the somewhat camera shy corncrake.

A year-long survey of bird population, flight patterns and habits was undertaken by independent ornithologists working to Scottish Natural Heritage guidelines. Their planning demands that further surveys are done every May and September. They also sought advice from pre-existing projects on Lewis and Tiree, none of which reported rare bird casualties. To everyone's sadness they have lost an osprey chick, says Ms Bell. Found in a ditch, hit by a car.

The fact is that community energy projects have been a huge and continuing success story all over Scotland, success often overshadowed by debates over the large-scale commercial variety.

Community Energy Scotland has helped 1400 projects get up and running in eight years, some of them micro schemes where affordable forms of renewable energy have kept schools, church halls and other vital local resources warm and usable, often making popular village hubs out of semi-derelict freezing husks.

But others, some of which grew out of the confidence generated by micro schemes, are now sources of serious income for communities who use profits from selling green energy to build capacity and resources. The earliest ones like Ghigha and Westray are shining examples while £100,000 annual profit from the Shapinsay project has funded a local transport system and an out-of-hours ferry service. Slightly bigger schemes, though still involving a handful of turbines, can treble that income for 25 years. Seems to me it's a win-win. Unless you're a chookie burdie with a poor sense of direction.

The beauty of all of this is that local people determine local priorities, having planned and built small local wind energy schemes to their own specifications and spent the proceeds according to their own priorities.