Grebes and other diving birds and ducks, struggle to preen the oil off of their feathers. The feat is impossible as the oil sticks to their plumage and prevents the birds' feathers from insulating the animals properly.
Unless captured and washed, oiled birds eventually succumb to cold, hunger and weakness -- as well as toxicity from ingesting the oil as they groom.
Note: Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) was called for rescue on all birds pictured in this series of photos.
These photos were taken while volunteering with the oil spill efforts to locate oiled birds and wildlife. OWCN was notified about all oiled birds found.