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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Methane Burned Hawks in Oklahoma

Newswires have been picking up the story of Red-tailed Hawks burned by methane burners at landfills in Wisconsin (see more and links to story at Audubon Birdscapes). This morning I had a good conversation with Gary Siftar of OKRaptors.org. Here's some photos of burned birds from his area:






Looks like the birds are usually young Red-tailed Hawks.

Here's the culprit in Oklahoma--a 60 foot tall stack, unlike the smaller burner in Wisconsin (see photo at Audubon Birdscapes).



May be tougher to retro-fit this larger stack to make sure birds can't land on it or fly through the flare. But should still be doable.

Photos: Gary Siftar

4 comments:

Wendy Perrone said...

These pictures of the feather burn-off problem are very helpful. Thank you for posting them, and thanks to the originating web sites for allowing it.
-Wendy Perrone
Executive Director, Three Rivers Avian Center
Brooks, WV 25951
www.tracwv.org

Born Again Bird Watcher said...

Good heavens! I'd not previously heard of this but I will be sure that others do going forward. Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention who might have, like me, missed it elsewhere.

Nick Papadopoulos said...

I have had a call and a few emails back and forth with the EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program. They are going to check into this problem at their next conference and connect with flare manufacturers and engineers.

One question they have is whether most of the harm to birds is through perching or flying through the flare or mixed. Does anyone have any input on this? It seems from reading this and other articles that it's a bit of both?

birdchaser said...

Thanks Nick, keep us posted. I think its probably both flying through and perching that burns the birds. I just heard yesterday of a falconer who had a bird burned by flying over a landfill.

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