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PARENT SESSION

HP2 Wildlife as Ecological Receptors at Hazardous Waste Sites
Ballroom F, Level 4
2:10 PM - 5:30 PM, Thursday, 13 November 2003
Chair: Reynolds, Kevin ,
Co-chair: Rattner, Barnett ,

(577) Egg PCB Contamination of Various Avian Feeding Guilds from the Upper Hudson River Valley.

Steinbacher, J1, Balk, C2, Jahn, K3, Brosnan, T1, 1 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA2 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Gloversville, New York, USA3 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cortland, New York, USA

ABSTRACT- Natural resources of the Hudson River have been contaminated through past and ongoing discharges of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). As a means of evaluating regional avian contamination, a screening level survey of avian eggs was conducted from April through June, 2002. The investigation entailed collection of eggs from six primary species: belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon), American robin (Turdus migratorius), Eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe), spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularia), red winged blackbird (Agelaius phoenicius), and American woodcock (Scolopax minor), along a contamination gradient in the Upper Hudson River Valley, from Hudson Falls to Lower Schodack Island, New York. Active nests of these birds in and near the Hudson River and its floodplain were identified and eggs were collected for PCB analysis. The collection of egg samples from five additional avian species was based solely on the opportunities for survey team members to locate the nests of these species and consisted of: Eastern screech owl (Otus asio), common grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), northern rough-winged swallow (Stelgidopteryx serripennis), barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), and Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis). A total of 168 egg samples were analyzed. Total PCB concentrations ranged from 20 parts per billion (ppb) to about 56150 ppb (wet weight) and varied by species and collection location. Inter- and intra-species and regional assessments of PCB totals, homologues and congeners were compared and related to the spatial contamination gradient of the study site.

Key words: PCBs, Hudson River, Wildlife, Avian


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