Is last week’s oil spill near Galveston, Texas bad for birds? As the guys on SportsCenter say, it’s not good, according to conservationists and wildlife officials, since spring migration is just heating up.

Many birds flying toward their nesting sites pass over where the spill occurred (on World Water Day, ironically). If they rest or feed in the affected area, they’re at risk for contamination. That goes for resident birds, too. (Oiled Laughing Gull photograph above by Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle)

Here’s the outlook from the folks on the ground, namely Houston Audubon.

What can you do to help? The ABA offers its POV, based on lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon disaster almost four years ago.

And to learn more about how oiled birds are cared for and rehabilitated, check out the comprehensive resources at International Bird Rescue, including their poignant look back at the Exxon Valdez spill 25 years ago this week.

Written by Meredith Mann
The lowly Red-winged Blackbirds in suburban New York triggered Meredith Mann's interest in birds. Five years later, she's explored some of the the USA's coolest hotspots, from Plum Island in Massachusetts to the Magic Hedge in Chicago to the deserts of Fallon, Nevada. She recently migrated from the Windy City (where she proudly served as a Chicago Bird Collision Monitor, rescuing migrants from skyscrapers and sidewalks) to Philadelphia, where she plans to find new editing and writing gigs; keep up her cool-finds chronicle, Blog5B; and discover which cheesesteak really is the best. And she will accept any and all invitations to bird Cape May, NJ.