Migrating snow geese survive landing in contaminated water

Posted 2:07 a.m. Thursday

— Over a thousand snow geese that have landed to rest in a former open-pit copper mine in Butte this week have survived, unlike the 342 birds that died after ingesting the Berkeley Pit's highly acidic water in 1995.

The Montana Standard reports ( ) that the manager of environmental affairs for Montana Resources, Mark Thompson, says the birds arrived Monday and flew away from the site Wednesday. Montana Resources has been shooting rifles and using other noise tactics to get the birds to leave.

The agency implemented the bird monitoring program to keep birds off the pit's contaminated water after the hundreds of migrating geese died 21 years ago.

Thompson says this week's birds had an unusually long stay of about 30 hours. No bird deaths have been reported.


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