Posted by: WCFN | November 17, 2013

Birds killed by solar plants

Birds are being killed by solar plants

“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…”

Full article:


  1. […] Birds killed by solar plants. […]

  2. […] Artículo (en inglés): […]

  3. I had not heard of this threat before! That is a terrible revelation!


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