Exposure, Effects and Absorption of Lead in American Woodcock (Scolopax minor): A Review

Amanda D. French, Warren C. Conway, Jaclyn E. Cañas-Carrell, David M. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Due to long term declines of American Woodcock (Scolopax minor) and widespread distribution of environmentally available lead (Pb) throughout their geographic range, it is important to assess if Pb exposure is a potential contributor to these declines. Woodcock are exposed to Pb through various environmental sources and are known to exhibit relatively high bone-Pb concentrations. Absorption of Pb by birds, and woodcock specifically, is not well understood. Some studies show that interactions among calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and vitamin D levels may play an important role in Pb absorption. Therefore, when future Pb studies are performed for woodcock, and other birds, interactions among these elements should be considered. For example, these interactions are relevant in the acquisition and mobilization of calcium in female birds during egg development and shell calcification. These factors should be considered to understand potential mechanisms of Pb exposure, Pb absorption, and subsequent Pb toxicity to birds in general, and woodcock specifically. This review discusses Pb exposure routes, effects of Pb toxicity, and the distribution of Pb in American woodcock and identifies areas for future research in woodcock and other avian species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-296
Number of pages10
JournalBulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • American woodcock (Scolopax minor)
  • Calcium (Ca)
  • Iron (Fe)
  • Lead (Pb)
  • Phosphorus (P)
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc (Zn)


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