Lead in piscivorous raptors during breeding season in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland and Virginia, USA

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Sources of lead exposure of many bird species are poorly understood. We analyzed blood lead concentrations from osprey (n = 244; Pandion haliaetus) and bald eagles (n = 68; Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and documented potential sources of lead they may encounter. Adult bald eagles had higher blood lead concentrations than did adult osprey. However, blood lead concentrations of nestlings were similar for both species. Although 62% of osprey had detectable lead concentrations (x ̅ = 1.99 µg/dL ± 4.02; mean; ± SD), there was no difference in the detection frequency or lead concentrations between osprey adults and nestlings. Likewise, we found no differences in the detection frequency or lead concentrations in osprey adults and nestlings from high and low salinity areas. Of the bald eagle samples tested, 55% had detectable lead levels (x ̅ = 6.23 µg/dL ± 10.74). Adult bald eagles had more detectable and higher lead concentrations than did nestlings or pre-adults. Among environmental samples, paint had the highest lead concentrations, followed by sediment, blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus), and gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum). There was no correlation between blood lead concentrations of osprey adults and their offspring. Our work indicates that, in the Chesapeake Bay region, there are multiple sources by which piscivorous raptors may be exposed to lead.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Lead in piscivorous raptors during breeding season in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland and Virginia, USA
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI 10.1002/etc.4376
Volume 38
Issue 4
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 862
Last page 871
Country United States
State Maryland, Virginia
Other Geospatial Chesapeake Bay