It occured to me while I was on the treadmill today a lot of sea birds are pretty filthy animals to start with. We've all seen seagulls eating out of dumpsters. In fact this filthy lifestyle has earned seagulls the nickname flying rats.
In many ways the oil slick represents a fresh start for these birds.
They get the chance to check into a nice, almost spa-like facility where they are cleaned by compassionate volunteers who care about them. Under normal circustances, your average seagull would never have the opportunity to get a thorough cleaning supervised by experts.
Ask any homeless person what its like to take a shower at a local shelter. They always say they feel like a new person. Washing away months of encrusted street grime, urine, and fecal matter can work wonders for the soul. This works for sea birds as well.
I've heard many of these freshly cleaned birds leave the shelter and fly directly back to take a dip in the oil again. Obviously that's an indication of how much these birds enjoy the luxurious process we've developed for them.
Having hung around here in the gulf for a couple months has made me feel a bit oily myself. I would consider it a privilege if a couple nice volunteers gave me a good scrub down. But I would never place this extra burden on the busy volunteers because I have a paid assistant that sees to my needs in that regard.
So let's not cry for the oily birds. They're getting the best oil removal services money can buy and they're loving it.