Birds who reside in regions where they interact with a water based environment are also extensively affected by oil spills. They generally end up getting horribly covered with oil. In their attempts to preen themselves, they more than often end up consuming the crude oil that is stuck to their skin and feathers (Tietenberg and Folmer). While the sticking of the crude oil to their skin and feathers plays a hazardous role for the birds to begin with, the ingestion of the crude oil serves to add to the complexity by causing the birds to suffer from health disorders such as hormonal imbalances, damaged liver and kidneys, and irritation in the digestive tract. The crude oil also impairs their ability to fly effectively and makes them much less buoyant than they naturally are.
As a result of the combined effect of these implications, it has become commonplace for a bird victimized by a crude oil incident to die. Unless human intervention takes place on a serious note, there is very little chance that such a bird can survive. Considering the fact that the bird only occasionally comes into contact with the oil spill, the consequences become increasingly damaging for marine life that is directly exposed to the oil spill on a continuous basis once it occurs.
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