Canada’s Birds Feel the Impact of BP Oil Spill – Profile #3

This is the third bird profile in the series highlighting species that may be at risk from the BP oil spill during their fall migration from Canada through the Gulf of Mexico.

Yellow Rail (Special Concern)

Small, with buff, yellow and black plumage that mimics the tall grasses it hides in, the Yellow Rail breeds in isolated pockets across Canada’s boreal forest. This marshbird, the second-smallest rail in North America, is rarely seen and quite secretive, but depends on the coastal wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico during the winter.

If oil begins to accumulate in the marshes along the Gulf coast, recovery would be difficult or impossible since so little is known about this species.

Read more of Nature Canada’s commentary on the Gulf oil spill.

Photo by Dominic Sherony