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Gulf oil spill: Animals at risk

By: Sarah Hicks on May 1, 2010, 8:04 a.m.
Egret on shore

Photo: Matt May/ZUMA Press

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Large wading birds such as egrets and herons feed in marshes and along the coast and nest in large colonies called rookeries. They are vulnerable if oil comes ashore. The central Gulf Coast region hosts significant populations of many of these birds, according to Audubon.

Other birds at risk include marsh birds, ocean-dwelling birds and even migratory songbirds that must pass through the Gulf of Mexico to get to their breeding grounds.