OIL and waterbirds
The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico underscores the fact that oil is a major environmental threat to oceanic, coastal, and inland waterbird species.
Oil may be released during platform construction, drilling in wetlands and offshore, shipping and spillage, and chronic, low-level seepage from surface runoff or subsurface sources. Waterbirds are commonly injured by oil spills, chronic oil discharge in bilge water, and hazardous material releases. Birds affected annually can number in the hundreds of thousands in some areas. Injuries can lead directly to mortality or have indirect effects through habitat degradation, reduced reproductive success, or contaminated food supplies. As upper trophic level feeders, waterbirds rely on healthy aquatic environments to provide the food base necessary for reproduction, migration and general maintenance.
Fact Sheet: Effects of Oil on Wildlife and Habitat
Marine Ornithology - Journal of Seabird Science and Conservation has several articles on oil and seabirds.
U.N. Environment Program's Global Marine Oil Pollution Information Gateway
August 11, 2010