Solar power facility kills large numbers of birds

Solar power facility kills large numbers of birds

“It’s a bird, it’s aflame:”

But once the birds enter the focal field of the mirrors, called the “solar flux,” injury or death can occur in a few seconds. The reflected light from the mirrors is 800 to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Either the birds are incinerated in flight; their feathers are singed, causing them to fall to their deaths; or they are too injured to fly and are killed on the ground by predators, according to a report by the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory…

Once ignited, the birds plummet to the ground like tiny meteors; workers at the Ivanpah facility have taken to referring to such events as “streamers.” Observers witnessed “an average of one streamer event every two minutes.” The flare-ups also occur when dust or insects are ignited, but birds cause an alarming number of them. Last October, researchers from the US Fish and Wildlife Service collected 141 bird carcasses from Ivanpah over the course of just three days.