Thanks, Jenette, for being the only one to acknowledge the skunk at the garden party (the terrible pun in the last post.) Additional thanks to Jenette for alerting us to a troubling discovery in the fishing port of Gloucester, MA.
Accomplished birder Richard Heil observed at least 40 gulls (mainly Great Black-Backed Gulls) coated in what appeared to be some sort of oil. While the birds could fly and swim, they appeared very bedraggled, and are likely suffering substantial loss of waterproofing–especially fatal in the frigid temperatures currently gripping New England.
SEANET is attempting to facilitate a response by the appropriate agencies, and we are hopeful that the cause of this event will be determined. The SEANET blogger is struck by the similarities to an oiling event in Ohio earlier this year. In that incident, cooking oil spilled out of a sewage treatment plant into the Cuyahoga River killing hundreds of Ring-Billed Gulls.
There is currently no indication of the source of the substance in Gloucester, but these gulls were certainly in the wrong place at the wrong time.