During Late 1970 and early 1971, 229 woodcock (Philohela minor) were collected from 23 Eastern and Midwestern States. Analyses for chlorinated hydrocarbons and mercury in these migratory birds showed generally low levels which are not considered dangerous to human consumers. In this survey, Louisiana woodcock had lower residues of heptachlor epoxide and DDE than those tested in a 1965 survey. PCB levels, however, may have increased. Mirex levels were greatest in Mississipi and Louisiana woodcock. Pooling of birds and averaging of individually analyzed birds did not provide equivalent estimates of equivalent residues; pool values tended to be larger and more variable. Levels of six chlorinated hydrocarbons and mercury were negatively correlated with the latitude of the collection site. However, this relationship seemed weakest for PCB's. Among eight chemical residues, PCB levels were most often correlated with levels of the other seven. Levels of chlorinated hydrocarbons in wings were correlated with levels in breast muscle and in carcass; however, mean levels of certain residues differed significantly among wing, muscle, and carcass even when compared on a lipid basis.
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Chlorinated hydrocarbon and mercury residues in woodcock in the United States, 1970-71