Here are descriptions of five birds threatened by the oil spill off Huntington Beach, shown above from left.
Western grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Because it spends most of its time on the surface of coastal waters, this wintering bird is among the most vulnerable to the early effects of a spill.
California least tern (Sterna antillarum browni)
This endangered gull-like bird nests on the sand in wetlands such as Bolsa Chica. Now wintering farther south, its nesting grounds would be threatened if oil enters the wetlands.
Brown pelican ( Pelecanus occidentalis )
This endangered bird flies along the surface and dives for fish; at least two have been found with their feathers covered with oil.