Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic
Three oil-coated brown pelican chicks sit on an island nest in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, in an undated picture.
Images of brown pelicans drenched in oil were a common sight last summer. The species became the spill's "poster child" because it had been taken off the U.S. endangered species list just five months before the oil hit, said Melanie Driscoll, Gulf Coast director of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society.
This year, brown pelicans are returning to nest in areas that are still contaminated with oil, Driscoll said, and the extent of the damage to their food supply remains to be seenMore at: Gulf Spill Photos: 9 Animal Victims