More songbirds found with high mercury levels

Capital News Service
LASNING — Scientists are finding more Great Lakes birds with high levels of mercury in them. A recent report by the Biodiversity Research Institute says the increased levels are found particularly in songbirds that rely on insects for food. Aquatic birds still face the greatest risk for mercury exposure, said Joe Kaplan, a researcher with Common Coast Research & Conservation, a nonprofit loon research group based in Hancock. Two factors impact how mercury affects a bird, he said: the amount of mercury it’s exposed to and the bird’s sensitivity to the metal. Loons will always be exposed to more mercury than songbirds because of their fish diet, Kaplan said.