Fascinating and depressing article in the NYTimes about the fairly
recent discovery of mercury poisoning in NE songbirds, most notably
Rusty Blackbirds, Saltmarsh Sparrows and Wood Thrushes. It also affects
the poor bats, as if they needed more trouble, because they're so
long-lived that they can accumulate more of it.
Two of those three mentioned bird species are in serious decline, and
you have to wonder whether mercury is at least partially responsible.
As far as I remember, the reason for the decline of those two species
has been a bit of a mystery, hasn't it? I haven't heard that wood
thrushes are, but maybe somebody here knows more?
Reading this article about the effects of mercury poisoning is SO
reminiscent of the things DDT did to birds neurologically.