“Birds covered in oil” appear on American beaches “Birds covered in oil” appear on American beaches

“Birds covered in oil” appear on American beaches

“Birds covered in oil” appear on American beaches
A "suspected" oil spill may have caused tar slicks and "oil-covered" birds to appear on US beaches, according to reports.

Hundreds of tar stains were found less than a week after local officials received reports of oiled birds found along the stretch from Long Beach, Washington, to Lincoln City, Oregon. These spots are approximately 2 to 4 inches in diameter.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) confirmed that the tar was “petroleum-based,” indicating that the material came from an unknown oil spill.

The US Coast Guard also searched for the source of the oil off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, but was unable to officially locate the source.

Beachgoers found, for the first time, tar spots at Cannon Beach last week, which typically form when wind and waves extend from the sea and break up oil from a larger spill into smaller pieces.

Both Washington and Oregon state agencies conduct beach surveys, as well as flights over the Pacific Ocean as they search for evidence of oil spills or oil wildfires.

Officials sent samples of the tar to a lab for analysis, and some photos show evidence of an oil sheen off the coast of Cannon Beach.

ODFW received about 10 reports of birds covered in oil, and recovered 4 of them.

It turns out that all the oil-covered birds were common murres, which stay close to land when not breeding, but travel offshore when breeding.

The breeding season for the murres has not yet begun, and two of them died shortly after being rescued.

The oil can cause birds' feathers to become tangled and lose their protection from water, making it difficult for them to fly or stay afloat, and can make them seriously ill.


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