Cadmium has a similar chemical structure as calcium. It attaches to the soil the same way that calcium would and competes with calcium for those binding sites. As calcium would normally move through the food web, cadmium moves through instead.

My work should trigger further interest in studying the effects of cadmium on wildlife. Birds are exceptionally good indicators of environmental problems. Because they have to eat a lot to stay alive, high levels of contaminants go through their system.