Thousands of Dead Birds Collected Off the Gulf of Mexico

As of Tuesday, 3,634 birds collected off the Gulf of Mexico were dead. Of these dead birds, 1,226 were visibly oiled. This is according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For the first time the wildlife service is breaking down the species of oiled birds collected, either alive and dead, in the Gulf of Mexico since the April 20 BP oil spill.

The largest number of dead birds were laughing gulls (1,591), followed by brown pelicans (376) and northern gannets (182).

Those birds fortunate enough to have been rescued alive are taken to rehabilitation centers in Hammond, Louisiana; Gulfport, Mississippi; Theodore, Alabama; and Pensacola, Florida where they undergo several washings, feedings, and the collection of vital health information.

According to the Fish and Wildlife Service the birds stay at the rehabilitation centers until their natural body oils are replenished and they have sufficiently recovered to be fit for release.

The rehabilitated birds are banded and released into suitable habitats along the coast where they are not likely to get oiled again.

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