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Scores of Birds Killed During Test of Nevada Solar Death Ray

On January 14, during tests of the 110-megawatt Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project near Tonopah, Nevada, biologists observed 130 birds entering an area of concentrated solar energy and catching fire.

The test started at 9:00 a.m. on January 14. By 10:30, biologists working on the site began noticing what have become known as "streamers," trails of smoke and water vapor caused by birds entering the field of concentrated solar energy (a.k.a. "solar flux") and igniting.

[...] at least one of the birds injured was a common raven, which -- in the words of our source -- "turned white hot and vaporized completely." Asked to confirm that report, the BLM's Evenson said that his office didn't have a list of the species affected, but added that "that's what streamers are."

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13 Responses:

  1. Jered says:

    I think the best part is really the quote from the CEO: "[T]here were a number of incidents, estimated at under 150 avian safety issues". That's like saying, I dunno, the Ferguson police chief noting that Michael Brown had unfortunate hemoglobin containment challenges due to unanticipated acceleration.

    Also, "Avian Safety Issues" is the name of my new punk band.

    • relaxing says:

      I push buttons. I turn dials. I read numbers. Sometimes I make up little stories in my head about what the numbers mean."

  2. Fritz Mueller says:

    Probably smells like chicken.

    • mattyj says:

      Thank goodness, but there's still way too many birds.

    • James says:

      Why are they even bothering with it in the first place? It's only a third as efficient as commercial photovoltaic and will give the fossil idiots more ammunition. But they can't counter this:

  3. gryazi says:

    Always mount a scratch raven.

  4. So what you're saying is, the birds departed from controlled flight and experienced negative structural coherency.

  5. UnlikelyLass says:


  6. John Kodis says:

    A colleague who worked on the development of a military aircraft tracking radar claimed that by tweaking the tracking parameters and cranking the radar power up to max they were able to microwave small birds in mid flight. Not quite as dramatic as a solar beam death ray since the birds didn't go up in flames, but it was the best they could do thirty some odd years ago.

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