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This solar power plant accidentally incinerates over 6,000 birds

This solar power plant accidentally incinerates over 6,000 birds

A solar power plant in California is accidentally killing as many as 6,000 birds per year thanks to its concentrated beams of sunlight.

Most people would agree that solar power is only going to grow in reach and importance over the years. For the majority, that is good news. The less dependent we are on fossil fuels the better, and it’s also a clean source inexhaustible energy. Most people celebrate solar power – probably because most people aren’t birds.

The Ivanpah Solar Plant in California’s Mojave Desert is estimated to accidentally incinerate as many as 6,000 birds. Each year. Flaming birds have become so common that people at the plant even have a name for them: streamers, because according to Science Alert, the birds leave tiny wisps of white smoke behind as they burn.

The birdpocalypse is a result of the plant’s design and location. It uses five square miles of giant mirrors, all of which focus beams of concentrated sunlight onto three, 40-story tall towers. Birds fly between the mirrors and the towers and poof – flaming bird.

The problem isn’t going away anytime soon either. The light from the plant attracts birds and insects. Think of it like heroin that instantly kills. Maybe the birds that fly around the plant without going in make some sweet music before eventually succumbing to their flaming fate. To make matters even worse for the animals and insects, the plant is located near the Pacific Flyway, a frequently used migratory route birds use every year.

The whole area is something like a horror movie for animals. In an effort to keep other, ground-based animals out, the plant erected fences all around the area. The goal was to keep out an endangered desert tortoise, which it did, but it also had the added effect of making it easier for coyotes to kill roadrunners that found themselves forced into a dangerous, predator-filled route around the plant. The team is working on ways to stop murdering local fauna, but so far there are no easy answers.

If pet cemeteries really are haunted, then the Ivanpah Solar Plant must be a crazy dangerous place to be.



Founder and DBP boss. Ryan likes the Kansas Jayhawks, long walks on the beach, and high fiving unsuspecting people.