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Open-File Report 2009–1255

Assessment of Contaminant Exposure and Effects on Ospreys Nesting along the Lower Duwamish River, Washington, 2006–07

By Branden L. Johnson, Charles J. Henny, and James L. Kaiser, U.S. Geological Survey, Jay W. Davis, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Edmund P. Schulz, U.S. Geological Survey


We evaluated the effects of contaminants on osprey (Pandion haliaetus) nesting along the lower Duwamish River (LDR), Washington, and used the upper reach of the Willamette River (WR), Oregon, as a reference site. Osprey eggs and nestling blood (plasma) were collected at nests along the LDR (11 eggs, 7 plasmas) and WR (10 eggs, 6 plasmas) in 2006–07 and analyzed for contaminants. Additionally, hematology and serum chemistries were determined in the blood/plasma samples of nestlings (about 35–45 days old) and were used as potential indicators of stress induced by contaminant exposure. Detailed foraging information for ospreys nesting along the LDR was collected and evaluated to better understand contaminant profiles observed in the eggs and plasma. Additional residue data from 26 osprey eggs collected and analyzed in 2002–03 from nests along the LDR, Snohomish River Estuary (SRE) and Lake Washington (LW) in the Puget Sound (PS) region also were evaluated.

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Suggested citation:

Johnson, B.L., Henny, C.J., Kaiser, J.L., Davis, J.W., and Schulz, E.P., 2009, Assessment of contaminant exposure and effects on Ospreys nesting along the Lower Duwamish River, Washington, 2006–07: U.S Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1255, 90 p.




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