Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Back to Work

It was a good weekend but now it's back to getting rid of the invasive species. We've done a lot of spraying already this week now that things are back to normal. It goes much slower than it did a couple of months ago because there are so many petrel burrows to watch out for.

There are two people out here now that are doing some work on our lead paint problem. They are sampling the ground near the buildings and checking the blood levels of lead in albatross chicks. They've been finding that there are very high lead levels within 5m of the buildings. Some of the chicks have such high blood lead levels that their analyzer can't even measure it. The chicks aren't old enough to really see the developmental problems yet, but many of them will get "droop wing", where their wings will droop and scrape the ground when they walk. Most of those die. They don't try to eat the lead paint, but when they pick up sand to make their nests or just pick up little pieces to play with, they end up ingesting it. That's another one of our big problems out here besides the plastic, marine debris, invasive species, coral bleaching, etc. It's another thing that we are just waiting for the money to take care of it.
Dasha and I were putting this little albatross out of Greg's backyard all the time. It kept on getting back in and the parents couldn't feed it. It looked like it was too big for the holes, but I found out otherwise.

Now we have blocked all the holes so it stays out where it can get fed.


slune said...

I can't belive he fits! I think with cats - where their head fits they fit, but that shouldn't be true for an albatross who has a belly many times bigger than their head. You have to give him a credit for being so inventive and getting out of the wind and other birds' way, even though he didn't realize that his food wouldn't be able to come. Hopefully he has a nest outside the fence, too. Dasa

Anonymous said...

It's sad that the FWS has neglected to maintain the buildings, thus causing the paint to flake from the building and contaminate the ground. The Navy never would have let this happen.

Anonymous said...

And droop wing has been around longer than lead based paint has been around.

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