Oil is seen on the tip of the bill of an oil-soaked pelican on an island in Barataria Bay just off the the coast of Louisiana, Sunday, May 23, 2010.

As spill grows, oil soaks delicate marshes, birds – AP

By GREG BLUESTEIN and MATTHEW BROWN, Associated Press Writers Greg Bluestein And Matthew Brown, Associated Press Writers

As officials approached to survey the damage the Gulf oil spill caused in coastal marshes, some brown pelicans couldn’t fly away Sunday. All they could do was hobble.

Several pelicans were coated in oil on Barataria Bay off Louisiana, their usually brown and white feathers now jet black. Pelican eggs were glazed with rust-colored gunk, and new hatchlings and nests were also coated with crude.

 

Oil is seen on the tip of the bill of an oil-soaked pelican on an island in Barataria Bay just off the the coast of Louisiana, Sunday, May 23, 2010.

Oil is seen on the tip of the bill of an oil-soaked pelican on an island in Barataria Bay just off the the coast of Louisiana, Sunday, May 23, 2010.

It is unclear if the area can even be cleaned, or if the birds can be saved. It is also unknown how much of the Gulf Coast will end up looking the same way because of a well that has spewed untold millions of gallons of oil since an offshore rig exploded more than a month ago.

“As we talk, a total of more than 65 miles of our shoreline now has been oiled,” said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who announced new efforts to keep the spill from spreading.

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