Friday, April 27, 2012

Osprey Study Looks at Bay Toxics

Osprey study yields clues about Chesapeake Bay's health

...Lazarus, a University of Maryland doctoral student and part-time federal researcher, and Rattner, a veteran ecotoxicologist, are collecting osprey eggs in bay-region waters to check for pollutants in them.

The work is part of a three-year, several-hundred-thousand-dollar study by the U.S. Geological Survey, their employer.

Their youth and experience make them a fascinating scientific duo. And they picked a majestic creature to study.

Sometimes called the fish hawk, the osprey is a brown-and-white bird with a 5- to 6-foot wingspan. It is so big it is often mistaken for a bald eagle.
You have to be pretty ignorant to mistake one for a Bald Eagle.

Toxic chemicals can seep into rivers, where they get into fish. Ospreys eat only fish, so the pollutants can build up in them.

Ospreys "are great sentinels for what's in the food chain," Rattner said...
 I like my Ospreys, and I'm glad that pollutant levels have declined to a point that they have become very abundant in our area.

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