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Massive Solar Power Plant Setting Birds on Fire August 22, 2014
Bird singed by focused light at Nevada's Ivanpah solar power plant.
Top: Carcass of a bird set alight by focused sunlight at the Ivanpah Solar Generating System (seen below) along the Nevada-California border.
Many thousands of birds are said to have caught fire in midair above a massive solar-thermal power plant near the California-Nevada border since it began operating in February.

Workers at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System call the dying birds “streamers,” because of the trail of smoke they leave behind after igniting.

Federal investigators say they counted an average of one bird catching fire every two minutes during their survey.

The $2.2 billion plant consists of three towers surrounded by an array of more than 300,000 mirrors, which some pilots say nearly blinded them as they flew past.

The California chapter of the Audubon Society calls the deaths “alarming,” and one of the three companies behind the plant, NRG Solar, said it is taking the issue “very seriously.”

Federal wildlife officials call the plant a “mega-trap” because its bright light attracts insect-eating birds that get lured to a fiery death.

Plant operators say they are looking at ways to frighten the birds away or redirect them from the plant’s glaring danger.

Top Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Bottom Photo: File