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Effects of No. 2 fuel oil on hatchability of marine and estuarine bird eggs

June 16, 2010

Oil spills and discharges may kill birds directly by destroying the insulation that their feathers provide so that they die of exposure; by poisoning them if they ingest oil; and by stressing them so that they starve to death. But oil pollution has more subtle effects, too. Nesting birds exposed to sublethal quantities of oil may transfer the oil to eggs in their nests, thereby causing failure of the eggs to hatch (RITTINGHAUS 1956). Laboratory studies have shown that very small quantities of oil, when applied to eggs of waterfowl, significantly reduced hatchability (HARTUNG 1965, ALBERS 1977a, SZARO and ALBERS 1977). The objective of this study was to determine the effects of external applications of No. 2 fuel oil on embryo survival of naturally and of artificially incubated eggs of marine and estuarine birds.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1979
Title Effects of No. 2 fuel oil on hatchability of marine and estuarine bird eggs
DOI
Authors Donald H. White, Kirke A. King, Nancy C. Coon
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Series Number
Index ID 5221452
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center