Friday, June 04, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Affecting Newfoundland Birds


The far-reaching oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is affecting one of my favourite places in the world - Cape St. Mary's, Newfoundland - where I spent my last few birthdays with my family. Cape St. Mary's in the spring hosts millions of sea-birds that winter in the Gulf of Mexico, the most famous being the gannets. I've written about them here.

Bill Montevecchi is a bird researcher and professor at Memorial University in St. John's. (CBC)Montevecchi and other bird scientists are planning to attach satellite tags to some birds in Newfoundland this summer in order to track them and see how they fare when they return to the Gulf next fall.

"You know, we can feel the long reach of that oil spill in Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico, here in Eastern Canada. What we do know is that some of our gannets are being oiled and the birds I've seen [pictures of from the Gulf of Mexico] are so heavily oiled that they are going to sink in a day or two."

"It seems to me it's just responsible to find out what's happening to our birds that are going back there from eastern Canada."

He worries birds that head south from Canada will land in oily water in the Gulf and die.

"The birds I've seen already, the most humane thing to do would be euthanasia. They are so covered with oil there is no way they are going to survive. It's a total assault on their body. It shuts down their oil glands. They ingest it. You can clean them on the outside but they are dying on the inside," said Montevecchi.

He said there is also fear that the oil spill in the Gulf may harm marine mammals, such as humpback whales, that come to Eastern Canada annually.


Read more here

My heart is breaking.

13 comments:

  1. This whole thing is utterly tragic. It's the innocent wildlife that suffers along with the rest of us. The sooner we find viable and less-polluting alternatives to oil the better.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear WWW, I came to your blog because of your nice note to me on The Elder Storytelling Place. I feel I've found a friend and your I MUST STAY DRUNK ON WRITING SO REALITY DOES NOT DESTROY ME will accompany me at least for a while. I've been wondering about my need to write at this point in my life, and I think that just might be it.
    You are bookmarked. Thanks so much for being out there.
    Marcia Mayo

    ReplyDelete
  3. it just makes me sick, I can barely look at the images in the news. It is such an impotent feeling watching the destruction.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Will we ever know the extent of the damage caused by this tragedy?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nick:
    Hear hear. We've been sleeping at the switch for the last 25 years held captive by the oil companies. Where is strong leadership? I don't see it anywhere. Like I've said before, we're really on our own and need to create our own worlds.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  6. Marcia:
    Hi and welcome, your story of siblings and the 'little man' resonated so much with me.
    Stay drunk on it my dear!
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  7. Twain:
    I'm gone from completely enraged to heartbroken in the last few weeks.
    Those poor animals and birds are suffering so.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  8. GM:
    Between the outright lies and the incompetent and corrupt politicians 'needing' the kickbacks we are doomed. We will never know.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  9. We watched about 15 mins of Rachel Maddow's show last evening (all we could stomach). Apparently the oil companies have ploughed billions and billions of $$$$$$ into research and technology for drilling deeper and deeper without putting any money into discovering what to do when a tragedy like this occurs.

    The lot of 'em should be thrown into jail. Obama should gather the world's best experts, from Dubai and the Arab Emiriates and get their help. He won't though - he's too keen to please BP and the corporations involved.

    ReplyDelete
  10. T:
    It is sickening isn't it? Any politician (and I include Canada too) these days just dances with the one who 'brung' him to the ball and in Obama's case it is the powerful oil lobbies who were de-regulated by Bushco and are untouchable for prosecution - as are the Bushco bastards.
    Can anyone spell Haliburton?
    This is a global catastrophe and no one is accountable and BP are paying off massive dividends to their shareholders this week.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  11. And how will BP compensate for the gannets?

    ReplyDelete
  12. 20CW:
    There will be nothing left in the pot for the fishers of Louisana. much less the poor birds.
    We only have to look at Exxon Valdez who are still off the hook.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  13. It leaves me speechless, there are no words for the leaden feeling in my gut. It's awful.

    ReplyDelete

Some of you are having trouble, I've removed captcha and verification so we'll see how that goes. My apologies. Blogger is putting up far too many roadblocks. Thanks for the emails alerting me.
wisewebwomanatgmail.com