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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.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/24/science/study-finds-mercury-in-more-northeastern-bird-species.html?ref=science

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.

Jane