Horned larks from the Field Museum, with gray birds from the turn of the century and cleaner birds from more recent years when there was less soot in the atmosphere | Carl Fuldner and Shane DuBay, the University of Chicago and the Field Museum
Animals

Soot-Covered Bird Specimens Highlight a Century of Dirty Air From Coal Burning

Hundreds of birds found in Rust Belt museum collections provide further evidence of the poor air quality that came from coal burning over the past 135 years.

Published On 10/10/2017
12:00 PM EDT
Field sparrows from the Field Museum's collections, with gray birds from the turn of the century and cleaner birds from more recent years when there was less soot in the atmosphere | Carl Fuldner and Shane DuBay, the University of Chicago and the Field Museum
Red-headed woodpeckers from the Field Museum's collections, with gray birds from periods when there was more coal-associated soot in the atmosphere | Carl Fuldner and Shane DuBay, the University of Chicago and the Field Museum