Birds are being killed by solar plants

Written by World Council for Nature (WCFN)

“The concentrated sunshine of tens of thousands of reflecting mirrors heats liquid on towers to drive steam turbines and create electricity, but also singes the wings of birds flying through the power plant’s footprint.”   USA Today – The Desert Sun

swallow with fried wings - Mojave desert solar farm

Courtesy of: the Desert Sun, Palm Springs, California

From the article of K. Kaufmann, The Desert Sun, Nov. 10, 2013

“A small bird, barely the size of a human hand, had its wings reduced to a web of charred spines. No longer able to keep aloft, the bird was found on the ground after it had flown through the intense heat of a solar thermal project soon to go online in the California desert.”


solar furnace

Above: mirrors from solar thermal plants converge their heat towards a central tower.

“Of 34 birds reported dead or injured at Ivanpah in September, 15 had melted feathers. Dozens of other bird carcasses, not singed but with critical injuries, have been found in recent months at two solar projects about to go online on public land between Joshua Tree National Park and Blythe, Calif.” Below, a picture of the world’s largest solar thermal plant, in the Mojave Desert, California. 

solar thermal plant

Even “classic” solar plants, of the photovoltaic kind, kill birds:

“Along with radiation injuries, scientists are concerned about bird deaths linked to confusion because of the shimmering expanses of solar panels in the desert. At photovoltaic projects such as Desert Sunlight, dark, flat solar panels are spread out over hundreds of acres in what may look like a big lake to migrating birds flying overhead.

“Water or shore birds attempting to land on the panels either could hit them with enough force to injure themselves or, stranded on dry land, be unable to take off again.

“Autopsies have shown the cause of death for many birds at Desert Sunlight has been blunt force trauma when the animals collide with panels mistaken for water…”



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Comments (4)

  • Avatar

    Judy ryan


    Also, I have just checked on the net and all the links to the youtube video of the vulture accident with a wind turbine have been disconnected somehow.

    It highlights the corruption involved in hiding the truth.

    I have a copy of the vulture accident so it will come back to haunt them again and again and again

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    Only a tiny fraction of birds would fly close enough to the focal point of these green meanie scheme towers to be singed. Magnitudes more would fly thru the lower parts of the focus cone and receive magnitudes greater solar radiation causing partial blindness and a reduced survivability. This coupled with the trauma death by impact and sonic deafness from giant bird shredding wind mills point to the stupidity of ‘sustainable’ energy scams.

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    Once upon a time, many years ago, one could have expected organisations such as Greenpeace and WWF to hold massive protests about this problem. It seems that since they made the fight against dangerous man-made global warming their primary mission, the problem effects of solar power on birds is just collateral damage to them… a necessary consequence of having green energy.

  • Avatar

    Judy ryan


    We need to send this to every local bird club and local government body etc etc in our respective countries. Get busy on your email lists. Then for exercise, print it out and go and stick up in your local bus shelter. Not very scientific, i know, but a practical way to get the info out to the public.

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