Because methane is colorless when it burns birds can fly into it. Hilary DeVries, a wildlife rehabilitator at the center, located in Española, New Mexico, described a hawk after encountering a methane flame. DeVries told National Geographic, “It kind of looked like it ran through fire.” The hawk had been so badly burned he looked skeletal and had scorched his neck and chest.
Methane is disposed of by burning, a federally mandated practice. Landfills use a device to convert methane into water and carbon dioxide, which is less harmful. However, the burner’s flames can shoot 30 feet in the air. And they’re colorless, which means birds can fly into the without realizing it.
Because of the large number of landfills in the United States, and the fact that they’re located in rural areas, bird injuries can go undetected. Some landfills have put cages or nets around methane flumes to keep birds away. Bird rescuers are still working on a solution to this problem. “The unfortunate thing is we don’t have a great solution to it. We just understand the problem,” Gary Siftar, director of the Oklahoma Raptor Center told National Geographic.
Source: NJ Spotlight News/Youtube
Read more news about birds in One Green Planet, including NYC’s new law to protect birds from glass, Audubon Society’s warning on climate change and birds, and the scientists that studied climate change’s effect on birds.
Sign this petition to demand that conservation officials in Spain, the UK, and any other European countries with wildlife-dense beaches enact leash laws during nesting season to save ground-nesting birds!
For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Also, don’t forget to download the Food Monster App on iTunes — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!