Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Heavy metal and selenium concentrations in black skimmers (Rynchops niger): Gender differences

  • 126 Accesses

  • 13 Citations

Abstract

Most studies of heavy metals and selenium have not examined or have failed to find differences in concentrations in the tissues of birds as a function of size or sex. Heavy metal and selenium concentrations were analyzed in breast feathers of adult black skimmers Rynchops niger, a species with marked sexual size dimorphism in which males average 35% heavier than females. Females had significantly higher concentrations of lead and cadmium than males, but there were no gender differences in mercury, selenium, chromium, manganese, and copper despite the marked sexual dimorphism in body size. There were no significant correlations of bird weight or wing length and metal and selenium concentrations, and few correlations among metal and selenium concentrations in the feathers.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Appelquist H, Askirk S, Draback L (1984) Mercury stability in bird feathers. Mar Pollut Bull 15:22–27

  2. Bache CA, Gutenmann WH, Lisk PJ (1971) Residues of total mercury and methylmercuric salts in lake trout as a function of age. Science 172:951–952

  3. Braune BM, Gaskin DE (1987a). A mercury budget for the Bonaparte's gull during autumn moult. Ornis Scan 18:244–250

  4. —, — (1987b) Mercury levels in Bonaparte's gull (Larus philadelphia) during autumn molt in the Quoddy region, New Brunswick, Canada. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 16:539–549

  5. Burger J, Gochfeld M (1990) The Black Skimmers: social dynamics of a colonial species. Columbia Univ Press, New York, NY

  6. —, — (1991) Cadmium and lead in common tems (Aves: Sterna hirundo): Relationship between levels in parents and eggs. Environ Monit Assess 16:253–258

  7. Dieter MP, Perry MC, Mulhern BM (1976) Lead and PCBs in canvasback ducks: Relationship between enzyme levels and residues in blood. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 5:1–13

  8. Erwin RM (1977) Black skimmer breeding ecology and behavior. Auk 94:709–717

  9. Eskildsen J, Grandjean P (1984) Lead exposure from lead pellets: age-related accumulation in mute swan. Toxicol Lett 21:225–229

  10. EPA (1981) Interim methods for sampling and analyses of priority pollutants in sediments and fish tissue, US Environmental Protection Agency, EPA 600/4-81-05 5, Cincinnatii, OH

  11. Evans PR, Moon SJ (1981) Heavy metals in shorebirds and their prey in Northeast England. In: San PJ, Whitton BA (eds) Heavy metals in Northern England: Environmental and biological aspects. Univ of Durham, England, pp 181–190

  12. Fimreite N, Brun E, Froslie A, Fredrichson P, Gundersen N (1974) Mercury in eggs of Norwegian seabirds. Astarte 1:71–75

  13. —, Brevik FM, Torp R (1982) Mercury and organochlorines in eggs from a Norwegian gannet colony. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 28:58–60

  14. Franson JC, Sileo L, Pattee OH, Moore JF (1983) Effects of chronic dietary lead in American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). J Wild Diseases 19:110–113.

  15. Furness RW (1987) The skuas. Poyser, Calton, England.

  16. —, Lewis SA (1990) Mercury levels in the plumage of red-billed gulls Larus novaehollandiae scopulinus of known sex and age. Environ Pollut 63:33–39

  17. Gochfeld M, Burger J (1987) Heavy metal concentrations in the liver of three duck species: influence of species and age. Environ Pollut 45:1–15

  18. Goede AA, deBruin M (1984) The use of bird feather parts as a monitor for metal pollution. Environ Pollut A 37:287–309

  19. Hahn E, Hahn K, Stoeppler M (1989a) Schwermetalie in federn von Habichen (Accipter gentalis) aus Unterschiedlich belasteten Gabieten. J Ornithol 130:303–309

  20. Hahn E, Hahn K, Ellenberg H (1989b). Schwermitallgenhalte in federn von elsterm (Pica bica) folge exogener Auglagening aus der atmosphere? In: Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft für Okologie. Essen, 1988, XVIII

  21. Hutton M (1981) Accumulation of heavy metals and selenium in three seabird species from the United Kingdom. Environ Pollut 26:129–145

  22. King KA, Cromartie E (1986) Mercury, cadmium, lead and selenium in three waterbird species nesting in Galveston Bay, Texas, USA. Colonial Waterbirds 9:90–94

  23. Lewis SA, Furness RW (1991) Mercury accumulation and excretion by laboratory reared black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) chicks. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 21:316–320

  24. Lock JW, Thompson DR, Furness RW, Bartle JA (1992) Metal concentrations in seabirds of the New Zealand region. Environ Pollut 75:289–300

  25. Maedgen JL, Hacker CS, Schroder GD, Weir FW (1982) Bioaccumulation of lead and cadmium in the royal tern and sandwich tern. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 11:99–100

  26. Phillips CR, Lenhart TE, Gregory PW (1980) Relation between trophic position and mercury accumulation among fishes from the Tongue River Resevoir. Environ Res 22:73–80

  27. Scott DP (1974) Mercury concentration in relation to size in several aspects of freshwater fishes from Clay Labs, Ontario J Fish Res Board Canada 31:1723–1729

  28. Solonen T, Lodenius M (1990) Feathers of birds of prey as indicators of mercury contamination in southern Finland. Holarctic Ecol 13:229–237

  29. Sprouk N, Hartog GC (1970) Mercury in birds of prey. Ardea 59:34–37

  30. Stock M, Herber RFM, Geron HMA (1989) Cadmium levels in oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus from the German Wadden Sea. Mar Ecol Progress Ser 53:227–234

  31. Tejning S (1967) Biological effects of methylmercury diacyandiamidetreated grain in the domestic fowl Gallus gallus L. Oikos Suppl 8:1–116

  32. Walsh PM (1990) The use of seabirds as monitors of heavy metals in the marine environment. In: Furness RW, Rainbow PS (eds). Heavy metals in the marine environment. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Burger, J., Gochfeld, M. Heavy metal and selenium concentrations in black skimmers (Rynchops niger): Gender differences. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 23, 431–434 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00203805

Download citation

Keywords

  • Copper
  • Heavy Metal
  • Waste Water
  • Mercury
  • Chromium