Friday, August 20, 2010

Loose Feathers #252

Spotted sandpiper chick / Credit: Brette Soucie/USFWS

Birds and birding news
Birds in the blogosphere
Oil spill
  • A senior scientist from NOAA admitted that the government's report on the fate of the oil was overly optimistic. Instead, it is likely that 75% of the oil remains in the Gulf in some form.
  • Meanwhile, a new paper in Science reported that a 22-mile oil plume remained in the Gulf at such a depth that natural decomposition would act very slowly. Toxic residue from the spill could create dead zones that harm commercially important fish species that spawn in the area. According to one estimate, the dead zones are likely to last two years.
  • Oil buried under Gulf of Mexico beaches may have a detrimental effect on sand fleas, a food source for birds and crabs and bait for anglers.
  • The bottom kill of the Deepwater Horizon's well has been put off until after Labor Day. Federal officials want BP to remove, preserve, and replace the blowout preventer as evidence for future court cases.
Environment and biodiversity