Photo via MoneyBlog
Things keep getting worse and worse for the bird populations around the Gulf Coast. First, experts revealed that once a bird is coated in oil, it's almost certain to die -- citing that less than 1% survive, even if they're thoroughly cleaned. Now, scientists are worried that oil-covered birds will literally be cooked alive by the heat-absorbing oil. This MSNBC video explains what's happening:
Here's the transcription of the pertinent bit (via Climate Progress:
As you know, a bird has a natural repellent in its feathers that keeps the water out. That's a little area -- a little cushion -- that keeps it cool. Well, this oil here gets on those feathers, and they lose that little insulation. And then, when you have this oil at 100+ degrees, the bird experts say, it begins to literally cook the birds.So before the birds even have a chance to die from organ failure from ingesting the toxic crude, or exhaustion from an inability to fly, some may literally be cooked to death as they're trapped in the oil. And remember, the bird rescue operations have been consistently frustrated by BP's preventing them from entering threatened areas -- meaning there may be birds cooking to death that never get a shot at being saved.
Can the situation get anymore tragic for the birds of the Gulf Coast?