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Potential Effects of the Deepwater Oil Spill
on Birds in the Gulf of Mexico

Which birds could be affected by the spill?  At this point, no one knows the extent in time and space of the effects of the oil spill on birds.  The list below includes many of the species most likely to be affected by the spill, although some species on the list won’t occur in Florida in numbers until next winter and some species are more common than others. 

Which habitats will be most affected?  Open waters offshore, beaches, coastal marsh and bays, and salt marsh. 

Negative effects to birds:  Toxic effects of direct contact with oil during foraging and nesting; secondary toxic effects through scavenging; loss of coastal vegetation; loss of food (fish, invertebrates); and disturbance of beach-nesting bird nesting areas by clean-up crews and others.

To report oiled or injured wildlife, please call 1-866-557-1401.

To record bird observations visit the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology eBird website

Learn more about Florida’s Important Bird Area program.


Common Name

Scientific Name

 Wood Duck  Aix sponsa
 Gadwall  Anas strepera
 American Wigeon  Anas americana
 Mottled Duck  Anas fulvigula
 Blue-winged Teal  Anas discors
 Northern Shoveler  Anas clypeata
 Northern Pintail  Anas acuta
 Green-winged Teal  Anas crecca
 Canvasback  Aythya valisineria
 Redhead  Aythya americana
 Ring-necked Duck  Aythya collaris
 Greater Scaup  Aythya marila
 Lesser Scaup  Aythya affinis
 Surf Scoter  Melanitta perspicillata
 Black Scoter  Melanitta nigra
 Bufflehead  Bucephala albeola
 Common Goldeneye  Bucephala clangula
 Hooded Merganser  Lophodytes cucullatus
 Red-breasted Merganser  Mergus serrator
 Ruddy Duck  Oxyura jamaicensis
 Red-throated Loon  Gavia stellata
 Common Loon  Gavia immer
 Pied-billed Grebe  Podilymbus podiceps
 Horned Grebe  Podiceps auritus
 Cory's Shearwater  Calonectris diomedea
 Greater Shearwater  Puffinus gravis
 Sooty Shearwater  Puffinus griseus
 Audubon's Shearwater  Puffinus lherminieri
 Wilson's Storm-Petrel  Oceanites oceanicus
 Leach's Storm-Petrel  Oceanodroma leucorhoa
 Band-rumped Storm-Petrel  Oceanodroma castro
 White-tailed Tropicbird  Phaethon lepturus
 Masked Booby  Sula dactylatra
 Brown Booby  Sula leucogaster
 Red-footed Booby  Sula sula
 Northern Gannet  Morus bassanus
 American White Pelican  Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
 Brown Pelican  Pelecanus occidentalis
 Double-crested Cormorant  Phalacrocorax auritus
 Magnificent Frigatebird  Fregata magnificens
 Great Blue Heron  Ardea herodias
 Great Egret  Ardea alba
 Snowy Egret  Egretta thula
 Little Blue Heron  Egretta caerulea
 Tricolored Heron  Egretta tricolor
 Reddish Egret  Egretta rufescens
 Green Heron  Butorides virescens
 Black-crowned Night-Heron  Nycticorax nycticorax
 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron  Nyctanassa violacea
 White Ibis  Eudocimus albus
 Glossy Ibis  Plegadis falcinellus
 Roseate Spoonbill  Platalea ajaja
 Wood Stork  Mycteria americana
 Osprey  Pandion haliaetus
 Merlin  Falco columbarius
 Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus
 Black Rail  Laterallus jamaicensis
 Clapper Rail  Rallus longirostris
 Virginia Rail  Rallus limicola
 Sora  Porzana carolina
 Black-bellied Plover  Pluvialis squatarola
 American Golden-Plover  Pluvialis dominica
 Snowy Plover  Charadrius alexandrinus
 Wilson's Plover  Charadrius wilsonia
 Semipalmated Plover  Charadrius semipalmatus
 Piping Plover  Charadrius melodus
 Killdeer  Charadrius vociferus
 American Oystercatcher  Haematopus palliatus
 Black-necked Stilt  Himantopus mexicanus
 American Avocet  Recurvirostra americana
 Spotted Sandpiper  Actitis macularius
 Solitary Sandpiper  Tringa solitaria
 Greater Yellowlegs  Tringa melanoleuca
 Willet  Tringa semipalmata
 Lesser Yellowlegs  Tringa flavipes
 Whimbrel  Numenius phaeopus
 Long-billed Curlew  Numenius americanus
 Hudsonian Godwit  Limosa haemastica
 Marbled Godwit  Limosa fedoa
 Ruddy Turnstone  Arenaria interpres
 Red Knot  Calidris canutus
 Sanderling  Calidris alba
 Semipalmated Sandpiper  Calidris pusilla
 Western Sandpiper  Calidris mauri
 Least Sandpiper  Calidris minutilla
 White-rumped Sandpiper  Calidris fuscicollis
 Pectoral Sandpiper  Calidris melanotos
 Purple Sandpiper  Calidris maritima
 Dunlin  Calidris alpina
 Stilt Sandpiper  Calidris himantopus
 Short-billed Dowitcher  Limnodromus griseus
 Wilson's Snipe  Gallinago delicata
 Wilson's Phalarope  Phalaropus tricolor
 Red-necked Phalarope  Phalaropus lobatus
 Red Phalarope  Phalaropus fulicarius
 Black-legged Kittiwake  Rissa tridactyla
 Bonaparte's Gull  Larus philadelphia
 Laughing Gull  Larus atricilla
 Franklin's Gull  Larus pipixcan
 Ring-billed Gull  Larus delawarensis
 Herring Gull  Larus argentatus
 Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus
 Great Black-backed Gull  Larus marinus
 Brown Noddy  Anous stolidus
 Black Noddy  Anous minutus
 Sooty Tern  Onychoprion fuscata
 Bridled Tern  Onychoprion anaethetus
 Least Tern  Sternula antillarum
 Gull-billed Tern  Geochelidon nilotica
 Caspian Tern  Hydroprogne caspia
 Black Tern  Chlidonias niger
 Roseate Tern  Sterna dougallii
 Common Tern  Sterna hirundo
 Arctic Tern  Sterna paradisaea
 Forster's Tern  Sterna forsteri
 Royal Tern  Thalasseus maxima
 Sandwich Tern  Thalasseus sandvicensis
 Black Skimmer  Rynchops niger
 Pomarine Jaeger  Stercorarius pomarinus
 Parasitic Jaeger  Stercorarius parasiticus
 Long-tailed Jaeger  Stercorarius longicaudus
 Belted Kingfisher  Megaceryle alcyon
 Marsh Wren  Cistothorus palustris
 Common Yellowthroat  Geothlypis trichas
 Nelson's Sparrow  Ammodramus nelsoni
 Saltmarsh Sparrow  Ammodramus caudacutus
 Seaside Sparrow  Ammodramus maritimus
 Boat-tailed Grackle  Quiscalus major
 Red-winged Blackbird  Agelaius phoeniceus



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