Chillax, Bird Watchers! Those Dead Shearwaters Are Not BP's Fault. | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Broward News

Chillax, Bird Watchers! Those Dead Shearwaters Are Not BP's Fault.

For those fretting about the effect of the Gulf spill on seabirds, fret not for the greater shearwaters. Yes, some 35 of those majestic birds have been found dead along the South Florida coast, from Delray to Cocoa Beach, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assures us that they weren't slain by that big unnatural disaster to the west.

From a news release about the dead shearwaters:


"These birds are generally juveniles with empty stomachs, with no fat stores, and are severely underweight," said Daniel Wolf, the FWC's avian influenza coordinator. "We are certain that these are not oil-related casualties."

Juvenile greater shearwaters are not as able as adults at putting on enough fat stores to make the long trip from their breeding grounds on Tristan da Cunha Island off the coast of South Africa to their summer home in New England. They are often spotted where whales are feeding or behind fishing boats as they clean fish. Storms at sea can cause dehydration and eventual death.
The release says that some 800 greater shearwaters perished in 2007, when the Deepwater Horizon wasn't belching oil into the ocean.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Thomas Francis