A 2016 study found that large solar farms in the US accounted for the death of almost 140,000 birds every year. For a while, we only had our best guess as to why solar farms were killing birds at such a scale — for instance, they may have mistaken the reflective panels as the surface of water.
These theories are far from confirmed. But we may soon know a lot more, courtesy of an artificial intelligence-powered birdwatcher, as Wired reports.
The thinking is that an algorithm can pick out avian behavior and analyze their flying patterns near solar panels. The Department of Energy recently signed a contract with Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois to develop a tailor-made AI solution.