This morning Arthur and I are walking our Rescue & Recovery route to look for fallen injured or dead birds that have struck buildings in Chicago during the night and early morning. This is our eighth week volunteering for R&R this spring. During these weeks, I’d like to highlight some of the perils birds face on their migration by sharing a website or information about migratory birds.
I had big plans to write up something on International Migratory Bird Day, which is celebrated each year on the second Saturday in May, but I’m so bummed about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster — which also happens to be the big story in migration right now. So here are a few things about the situation that pertain to migratory birds.
First, if you haven’t read Nathan’s commentary Complete and Utter Disaster from last week, go read it now.
There’s an excellent roundup of pertinent links in this Round Robin post from Cornell: Bad Place, Bad Timing for an Oil Spill
The first oil-coated bird to be treated was a Northern Gannet picked up late last week. The second bird, a Brown Pelican, was picked up on Tuesday. Pelicans dive into the water for their food so are expected to be hit hard by the disaster. These two birds are just the first ones; many more won’t ever even be found by rescuers.
To keep up with bird-related oil spill news, the Audubon Magazine Blog is an excellent resource. Don’t miss these recent posts: Oil Spill Answers from Bird Conservation Expert on the Ground in Louisiana; FAQ: How Oil-Covered Birds Are Cleaned; and from late yesterday, Oil Reaches First Important Bird Area.
We saw these Northern Gannets in a recovery enclosure at Ecomare in 2008.