Vermont, USA: mercury poisoning birds


This video from the USA is called Bicknell’s Thrush Feeding Nestlings.

From the Google cache of Dear Kitty ModBlog:

Mar 10, 9:05 PM EST

High Levels of Mercury Found in Vt. Birds

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Scientists have found high levels of mercury in songbirds on Vermont mountaintops.

Researchers at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science announced this week that mercury was found in the blood and feathers of the rarely seen Bicknell’s thrush on Mount Mansfield and Stratton Mountain.

In some birds, the level of mercury was high enough to harm their ability to reproduce, conservation biologist Kent McFarland said Wednesday.

The findings were unexpected, but matched evidence VINS and Canadian researchers gathered from high-mountain birds in other parts of northeastern North America.

Until now, mercury was thought to be a threat primarily to fish and fish-eating birds — and to humans who eat too much mercury-contaminated fish.

“Biochemists had predicted we wouldn’t find much mercury in the birds, and that it wouldn’t be methylmercury,” the form toxic to humans and animals, McFarland said.

Hear the Bicknell’s thrush sing.

And let’s fight so that not soon the Internet will be the only place where that song can be heard.

Only recently discovered to be a separate species, and already maybe on the way to becoming extinct … what a shame …

Endangered status considered for Bicknell’s thrush: here.

Alliance for Zero Extinction: here.

Review from 2006 of recently discovered bird species: here.

Mercury is polluting streams across the country with alarming frequency, according to a study published last month by US Geological Survey: here.

Bicknell’s Thrush gets a conservation action plan: here.

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