Birds suffer burned feathers flying through invisible flame at a Meadowlands landfill

As evidence continues to accumulate showing that raptors and other birds are being seriously burned by an invisible flame used to flare off gas at a landfill in the Meadowlands, the agency that oversees the site says it is searching for a way to fix the problem.

Just last week a member of the Bergen County Audubon Society took photos of a red-tailed hawk unable to fly because of singed feathers at the Kingsland Landfill in North Arlington and Lyndhurst. The bird was later captured and brought to the raptor Trust in Morris County, which will try to nurse it back to health.

The hawk is the latest in a string of birds spotted at the landfill in recent years with singed tail and wing feathers, from threatened species such as American kestrels, to smaller birds attracted to the landfill’s grassland habitat.

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which maintains the closed landfill, has been in contact with officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as several consultants, about how to address the problem.

They have been stymied in part because, as a Fish and Wildlife official put it, there isn’t a national standard for how to protect birds from being injured or killed by such flames.

That has frustrated Don Torino, president of the Bergen County Audubon Society. “It’s just sad. It frustrates the heck out of me,” Torino said. “Nobody is giving the sports authority answers. It’s not like they’re not trying. This is a national problem that should be worked on at the national level. Letting the authority fend for itself to solve this is crazy.”

Torino said he feels like issuing an…