Marine oil spills are a consequence of many things. They could be a result of accidents, collisions, and equipment failure. They could be a result of offshore drillings and tanker leaks. Worse, they could be a result of illegal dumping.
But whatever the reason for an oil spill, those who are responsible for the incident must take immediate action. Businesses or organisations must always have marine oil spill response equipment ready to deal with the outcome. The spill affects sea animals and, to a certain extent, birds as well.
Birds Inevitably Come in Contact with the Oil
Birds that live near the ocean may not be able to avoid contact with oil in case of marine oil spills and leaks. This is either because they regularly fly close to the contaminated water or because the oil trickles down to the rivers or marshes near their nest. As such, marine oil spills do not just affect the creatures that live in the sea but also those that live nearby it.
In the case of birds who hunt for food in the water, the oil that floats on the surface could potentially stick to their feathers and make them sick. They may also accidentally ingest it.
Birds May Get Sick Because of the Oil
Oil spills may lead to an unhealthy coat of crude oil or refined fuel oils on a bird’s body. This occurrence affects the health of birds in several ways.
Oil damages birds’ insulating abilities, causing them to catch hypothermia. It affects their ability to fly and can lead to drowning. It also causes irritation of the skin, eyes, mouth or other parts of the body that come in contact with the substance. Furthermore, birds that accidentally ingest oils may experience poisoning or intoxication.
Marine oil spills may involve different types of oil and each one has a different impact on the environment. Generally speaking, however, spills will inevitably affect nearby birds as much as it will affect the creatures and organisms living in the ocean. For this reason, those responsible for the occurrence must address the issue immediately.