Dead birds killed by an oil spill at sea.

Dead birds killed by an oil spill at sea.

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Credit: SIMON FRASER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Oiled birds. Pile of dead, oiled birds on a sand dune with a warning sign. The brown colour of the oil on the bird suggests that it comes from a slick that was treated with detergent to disperse it. Sea birds are killed by oil spills at sea as their feathers become contaminated with the pollutant. They are poisoned by the oil because they ingest it whilst cleaning their feathers with their beaks. The detergents used to disperse the slicks are also poisonous to wildlife. These birds were contaminated by a spill of about 70,000 tonnes of crude oil from the Sea Empress off the coast of Milford Haven, Wales, in February 1996. Photographed at Freshwater East, Wales.

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Keywords: beach, bird, dead bird, dune, environment, environmental, killed by oil spill, oil, oil pollution, oiled birds, pollution, sand, sand dune, sea pollution, sign, wales, warning

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