CALIFORNIA BAY, La. – CALIFORNIA BAY, La. (AP) — Louisiana's state bird was already vulnerable before last month's oil rig explosion sent millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Now it's in an even more precarious state.
The brown pelican was only just removed from the federal endangered species list last November. It's particularly at risk because it dives beneath the surface to forage. That puts it at risk of eating fish tainted by oil, feeding it to their young.
It also means their feathers could become soaked in oil, causing hypothermia or drowing.