Burners located in favorable habitat can be problematic to birds. Birds perched on, or flying near, a stack can be seriously injured or killed when a flare suddenly ignites. In some cases, birds may fly over or even through an almost invisible burner flame. If a bird survives such an encounter, its burned feathers may render it unable to fly. In such situations, the bird is likely to die from starvation, infection, exposure, or predation. Species known to be injured or killed by methane burners include the Red-tailed Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Kestrel, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, and crows, as well as numerous songbirds. At one Wisconsin rehabilitation facility, most birds suspected of sustaining injuries from methane burners were juvenile Red-tailed Hawks and owls.
Project Report: Methane Burner Impacts on Raptors