Hepatic mercury concentrations of Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidns melanotos) and Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) collected from the central Illinois River Valley, Illinois, during early fall migration in 2007 were examined. Mean and median mercury concentrations were significantly greater in the livers of Pectoral Sandpipers (0.30 and 0.28 µg/g wet weight, respectively) than in Killdeer (0.07 and 0.06 µg/g wet weight, respectively). Differences in foraging ecology between these species likely account for the observed differences in tissue mercury concentrations. In general, mercury concentrations were low in these species relative to other shorebirds and can serve as baseline for future monitoring.
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Vol. 37 • No. 2