We, the undersigned, are writing you today to bring to your attention a problem which is occurring across the United States. It concerns the needless deaths of raptors, or birds of prey, at landfills.
Landfills are a treeless landscape which attract rodents, a favorite food source of raptors. The height of the methane burners are a perfect perch for raptors hunting for rodents and other prey. Methane burners, unfortunately, usually have an igniter which causes a sudden flame that can scorch or even kill anything perched atop them. Typically landfill areas are in low traffic areas and most birds will painfully succumb to their injuries. Melted feathers, beaks and talons are just some of the injuries these birds endure. In January a red tailed hawk was found in Wisconsin, its legs and lower body burned off.
A very few are brought to rehabbers for treatment. How many birds are not so lucky? At some landfills, bird skeletons have been littered around methane burners.
The solution is simple. Spikes or other excluder devices can be installed on top of the burners to prevent perching. In addition, provide taller T perches outside the flame's reach, as the birds that are not aware of the spikes may still try and land on the stacks and will be burned on approach.
The ultimate solution? Reclaim and recycle the methane.
Landfills across the country need to address this issue immediately. Raptors are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and as such, it is illegal to harm them in anyway. The fine is $15,000 per bird.
These birds fill an important ecological niche in our environment and we encourage SWANA to bring awareness of this issue to their members. Lets partner together to solve this problem.
Thank you for your interest in this issue,