24 Jan '12, 12pm

Green Blog: Sounding an Alarm on Birds and Mercury

Tests on birds like this wood thrush in the Catskills found disturbing levels of methylmercury. It was in 2005 that I first accompanied David Evers into the cool dampness of a Catskills forest. At the time, Dr. Evers , a biologist and director of the Biodiversity Research Institute in Gorham, Me., was hunting for some pretty small game. He had draped a net between several trees in a section of the forest in upstate New York and, with the help of a portable cassette player that replicated the sound of songbirds trilling merrily away, was luring tiny wood thrushes into the trap. It was a benign trap, part of a scientific study. Once he gently disentangled a bird from the net, Dr. Evers would stretch out its wing and count down to the 11th flight feather. With a quick tug, he would remove the feather and save it for analysis along with a sampling of the thrush’s blood. What h...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/sounding-an-ala...

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Sounding an Alarm on Birds and Mercury

green.blogs.nytimes.com 24 Jan '12, 12pm

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