Possible Solution to Birds Burned by Invisible Flame in New Jersey

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Red-tailed Hawk. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

It’s a story that has been making headlines for the past year. Raptors flying over the closed Kingsland Landfill in New Jersey have been burned, killed, or severely singed due to an invisible flame.

Birds Are Burning

The invisible flame is designed to burn off methane gas from the closed landfill. Methane gas is produced by waste decomposing underground and needs to be vented.

The birds flying over the Meadowlands wetland area, which is situated very close to the landfill, are impacted. The raptors that have been injured, or killed, include Osprey, American Kestrels, and Red-tailed Hawks.

American Kestrel

American Kestrel. Image Credit: Animal Perspectives.

All of these birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the landfill owners could face a fine.

The raptors that have been injured, or killed, include Osprey, American Kestrels, and Red-tailed Hawks.

Birds are attracted to this area because the closed landfill allows for good hunting grounds for raptors, and recently has attracted Snowy Owls, according to NorthJersey.Com.

USA Today reports that birds that have been injured and taken to rehabilitation centers will not be released for nearly a year, and birds that have been injured, but are still free might not survive their yearly migrations due to the damage done to their feathers.

The reason that the birds in the rehab centers will most likely need to stay for such a long period of time is that birds of prey, in general, take a long time to molt (produce new feathers) and they molt a feather a time.

The Solution to Stop Birds Burning

According to Phys.Org the solution is cage-like enclosure approximately 7 stories tall that will prevent birds of prey, and hopefully other birds, from flying into the invisible flame. The design was developed by workers at Public Service Electric & Gas.

You can see the image of the cage here.

While the construction will not include a top, as to discourage birds from perching near the flame, there was no mention of what will be done to prevent birds from perching on the edges of the cage.

Help Injured Birds

“Invisible flame” can now be added to the growing list of  “what kills birds?”. Already on that list are irresponsibly discarded fishing line, ocean plastic, climate change, and lead poisoning.

  • Visit The Raptor Trust and consider a donation to help them continue the work that they do to support injured birds of prey.
  • You can also visit the Bergen County Audubon to learn more about how you can help wild birds.

For more information visit watch this video.

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