Monday, October 26, 2009

International Bird Rescue Research Center aids slimed seabirds

Almost 150 seabirds -- including grebes, murres, loons and scoters -- began receiving help from International Bird Rescue Research Center this weekend after being covered with an "unusual sea slime." The birds traveled by van from Portland, Ore., to San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center in Cordelia, Calif.


According to IBRRC:
In this case, a particular species of phytoplankton, typically seen off the coast of California, was found in the northern waters in extraordinarily high numbers, potentially linked to warmer-than-usual water temperature. Stormy weather churned the phytoplankton bloom into a soaplike foam. For aquatic birds, this can be deadly.

It is the structure of a feather and their alignment that insulates a bird from water and wind – like shingles on a roof. When something disrupts this, whether it is oil, dirt, or a surfactant such as this, the bird is exposed to the elements and will quickly become saturated and cold. If they do not get to land, they will drown, as many may have.
Photo courtesy of P. Chilton/Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team

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3 Comments:

Blogger OpposableChums said...

Yikes...never heard of this...

October 27, 2009 9:29 AM  
Blogger Term Papers said...

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December 16, 2009 4:44 AM  
Blogger Term Papers said...

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December 31, 2009 4:34 AM  

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