Rescue teams ready to clean oil-slicked birds - - Jackson, MS

Rescue teams ready to clean oil-slicked birds

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FT. JACKSON, LA (AP) - Rescue crews are at the ready along the Gulf Coast, prepared to help and clean oil-slicked birds. But they haven't had many takers so far. A brown pelican is one of three surviving birds rescuers have helped at a center set up in Fort Jackson, Louisiana.

They'd expected many more at this point, and aren't sure why they're not seeing big numbers of birds covered in oil. But if they do, volunteers are ready with soap and hoses, to get every last drop of oil off.

"So when oil is on the feathers it disrupts that wetsuit and it clumps up the feathers, it breaks them up. So instead of a contiguous wetsuit there are holes in it," said Rebecca Dunne, Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research.

Three more birds cleaned at the center have died, it's not yet known if oil is to blame. BP is funding the efforts of the groups. Bird rescue centers have also been set up in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. The Florida center has had one oily bird.

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