Oil is still sticking to the plumes of herons, dirtying the vests of pelicans and will likely remain bothersome to our local bird colonies for a long time.

Birds are so very vulnerable to oil spills because their feathers soak up the oil like a sponge. The oil weighs the birds down and makes it harder for them to fly. When the birds clean and preen their feathers, they ingest the oil, often poisoning themselves.

It is important that contaminated birds get help, but it is just as imperative that the capturing and cleaning be done the right way, because using the wrong methods and materials may be fatal as well.

Oiled birds are stressed and often forget to eat. They get dehydrated and lose resistance. They need to be handled expertly. The oil is hazardous to humans as well, so direct skin contact should be avoided.

The best way to help is to alert the experts.

Texas Wildlife Center: 713-861-9453

Houston Audubon Society: 713-932-1639 

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.