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Birdy Count Update

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The Deepwater Horizon seems to have finally become background noise in the news cycle. The New Orleans Times-Picayune isn’t featuring a “day counter” on their website anymore. Up through about Day 78, it was at the top of the front page.

It‘s Day 84, and BP may be about to close the leak with a new cap. That’s no cause for panic or angst, so I guess it isn’t worth top-value pixels.

And after 84 days of wailing and hand-wringing, how many birds have actually died?

Less than 200:

Roughly 420 birds harmed by oil have been found on the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, according to Ken Rice, director of wildlife rescue in those states. About 190 of the birds were found dead.

I hope the media-driven anxiety was worth it.

Also note that the relief well is now only a couple of hundred feet from the leaking bore:

On Monday, the first relief well will go down another 40-50 feet, Wells said, and will then have another 100 feet to go down before connecting with the main well, just 5 feet to the side.

Wells said that relatively short distance will take a few more weeks because drill teams still need to line the relief well with metal casing and cement, to make sure it's sealed and doesn't experience the same breakdown as the original well.

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On a related note, day 87 the well is capped. No one else seems amazed that in under 3 months, BP was able to stop the flow using technology and ideas that didn't exist a year ago.