Birds and the Gulf-More Data

We know the Gulf Oil Spill disastor will impact nesting birds that feed in the spill area, but our next chance to look at some of the impacts of the Gulf Spill on a lot of birds will be a snapshot of fall migration birds that will migrate through the area
in fall 2010.

I do not think we will be able to look at the impacts of oil on this large subpopulation of birds until they come back through the gulf in the spring of 2011; by then the impacts may be hard to gauge…again snapshots. During the winter we will be able to gauge the impact of the oil spill on Gulf Coast Wintering birds. My only thought is that these gulf coast impacts on birds will be complicated and coming in for a long time…It is one thing to see and react to a photograph of an oil-slimed pelican, its an entire different and complicated problem to determine how oil has impacted a disappearing Snowy Plover population that feeds on a distant Texas sandy beach. What seems obvious is not so obvious;if I have learned one thing in a very long while its that sometimes nature does not make the obvious so or entire suites of birds like the wading birdsbvious. Get ready widlife schools for a lot of complicated data analysis. Keystone bird species to look at include species like the American Snowy Plover, the Perigrine Falcon and others, or entire suites of birds such as the waders.


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