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123 birds die at Fort Hills oilsands project

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123 birds have died at a Suncor Energy oilsands project north of Fort McMurray. The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is investigating reports of the dead and euthanized waterfowl and songbirds at the Fort Hills Energy mine.

A Suncor spokesperson tells CBC News the birds were horned larks, which aren’t native to the area. The company says deterrent systems like canons, radar and scarecrows were in the area and active at the time.

Suncor is still collecting the birds and monitoring the situation, according to the AER.

Their deaths are the latest in a string of bird fatalities in the Alberta oilsands. Syncrude Canada was charged in August after 31 blue herons were found dead at their Mildred Lake oilsands mine two years earlier. Also in 2015, 122 birds were killed after landing on three tailings ponds in the area.

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Going further back, more than 550 birds died when they landed on waste ponds belonging to Syncrude and Suncor. Syncrude was also fined $3 million when more than 1,600 ducks died after landing on a tailings pond in 2008.

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