Pesticide residues in eggs of wild birds: Adjustment for loss of moisture and lipid

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Eggs of wild birds collected for the purpose of measuring concentrations of pesticides or other pollutants vary from nearly fresh to nearly dry so that objective comparisons cannot be made on the basis of weight of the contents at the time of collection. Residue concentrations in the nearly dry eggs can be greatly exaggerated by this artifact.

Valid interpretation of residue data depends upon compensation for these losses. A method is presented for making adjustments on the basis of volume of the egg, and formulas are derived for estimating the volume of eggs of eagles, ospreys, and pelicans from egg measurements. The possibility of adjustments on the basis of percentage of moisture, solids, or fat in fresh eggs is discussed also.