Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

October 3, 2018

Take a Peek At The Proposed Pacific Flyway Center

Russ Curtis

A new education center with a focus on waterbirds is poised for approval in Northern California. The Pacific Flyway Center will be built in Fairfield, CA just a short trip from International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center.

Ducks fly over Suisun Marsh, the site of the proposed Pacific Flyway Center.

The Pacific Flyway Fund will take 560 acres of wetlands and “develop, restore and enhance the site as an open space land preserve and wildlife habitat conservation area, with an interpretive nature and educational facility.” The site is near Highways 680 and 80 in Solano County.

Bird Rescue supports this very important educational facility that will introduce the public to the wonders of the Flyway and the Suisun Marsh. Construction may begin as early as spring 2019.

Developers are currently working with the city of Fairfield to finish the project’s environmental review, use permit, and design review, which will lead to the first phase of construction, the outdoor marsh walk. Once complete, the outdoor park will be the facility’s main attraction, where visitors come face-to-face with waterfowl and other wetland birds.

The Pacific Flyway Center is the vision of Ken Hofmann. Before Hoffman died in April of 2018, he made a significant commitment of funds and energy to acquire the property, and allow for the planning, design, and permitting of the center over the next three years through the Pacific Flyway Fund.

Additional funding will be provided by public, private, and matching dollars. The project also has strong partnerships with Ducks Unlimited, California Waterfowl Association, the National Audubon Society, the University of California, Davis, and the Suisun Resource Conservation Board.

September 28, 2018

Photographers in Focus: Alan Murphy

Russ Curtis

Common Loon with chick at Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. All photos © Alan Murphy

We stumbled upon Alan Murphy’s gorgeous bird photos by accident this month while looking online at Common Loon [Gavia immer] images. September is that special month when we celebrate a group of waterbirds that excels at beauty and wonderful parenting skills. What attracted us to Murphy’s photos is that he captures these waterbirds with such grace.

Murphy is an award-winning photographer based in Houston. Besides spending time creating top notch bird photos, this photographer leads several bird photography workshops. Check them out here

We asked Murphy to tell us more about his passion for capturing images of our avian friends:

Question: Your photos of loons are striking. How do you get such intimate portraits of these beautiful birds?

Answer: I have been leading loon photography workshops in British Columbia for the past 7 years. We take small groups out to photograph 3 or 4 nesting pairs. The birds are used to us and allow us to spend time watching and documenting their behavior. I built a low profile platform pontoon boat that you can lay down to photograph the loons from a low perspective. Our camera lenses are only a few inches above water level giving that very intimate look. Each year we get to see and photograph eggs hatching, the chick’s first swim and first feeding. As the adult loons dive to catch their food, their chicks remain on the surface leaving them vulnerable to eagles and other predators. Many times they would bring the chicks over to our boat knowing they would be safe. It is truly a spiritual experience to spend time with these beautiful birds.

Common Loon adult interaction with chick at Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.

Q: How did you get into wildlife photography?

A: As a young boy growing up in England and Ireland, bird watching was my hobby. I loved spending time in the woods and had a keen interest in the birds. When I moved to the United States in the 80’s, I was a little overwhelmed with the number of species that looked similar. As an example, in England we have one wren, where in the States we have nine species of wren. To speed up the challenge of identification on the many species, I borrowed a camera and small zoom lens. I would have prints made from the slide film and then try to ID the birds from the prints with my bird book next to them. It didn’t take long to see I needed a bigger lens and find ways to get closer. I read books on how to find and approach wildlife and also on how to be a better photographer. I discovered that I loved the challenge of the technical camera stuff, the challenge of getting closer and most of all, I found photographing birds to be the most intimate bird watching there is. I was hooked.

Sunrise: Loon on the lake at Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.

Q: What’s are some of the challenges you face in your bird photography?

A: My personal photography goal is to photograph as many of the species that breed in North America. There are over 740 species. It has taken me 30 years to photograph just over 600 and will probably take the rest of my life to reach 700.  It takes time, networking, money and luck. There’s also a sense of urgency as so many species are getting close to extinction and may not be here in 20-30 years. In the 30 years I have been photographing migrating birds on the Upper Texas Coast, I have seen a decline in bird numbers. The technology in camera gear is getting better each year and equipment is getting lighter, but our subjects are declining and the places to find then are shrinking. To help with this challenge, I try to use my photography to help in conservation in any way I can.

The feathers of a Common Murre at Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.

Q: What camera system do you prefer? Favorite lens for wildlife photography?

A: I work with Nikon equipment and have been for over 25 years. Since my main subject is birds, I use the Nikon 600 f4 lens for most of my perched work. For birds in flight I use the Nikon 300 f2.8 lens, sometimes with the 1.4 teleconverter.

Unlike photographing large African mammals for example, birds are small and a long telephoto lens is a necessity. It can be expensive entering in this hobby or profession, but once you have your gear, your set for years. (Well, until the next and greatest camera comes out!)

Q: What tips or suggestions for photographers do you have to edit and catalog their work?

A: I was a photographer when film changed to digital. There was a steep learning curve and not a lot of info for those of us on the forefront of digital. I made a lot of mistakes when it came to organizing my work. Today, there is so much info on the internet, that you can find a lot of feedback on almost anything.  What I found works best for me was to create folders for every species of bird in North America. I have one set of folders that store all my RAW files (over 750 folders) and one set of folders that store all my processed TIFFs. I also have a set of species folders that store smaller JPEGs that are used for my website, newsletters, Facebook etc. The RAWs are stored using the embedded camera file number. The TIFFs are stored using the embedded camera file number, plus the species name. I don’t use keywords like date, sex, location etc, but if I were also cataloging mammals, landscape, macro etc, I would probably do that in order to find things easier. If I need a bird photo, I just go to the species folder.

Editing for me has changed over time. When I first started out, I kept everything. Now, it has to be as good or better than what I already have for me to keep it.

Q: What bird photo projects will you be working on in the future?

A: I have a few things in the works. This winter I will be trying to improve on a photo project that I have been doing to capture a Belted Kingfisher diving into the water. The image I am after is right as the bill touches the water.

I am building a system to where I have a camera and wide angle lens hidden in a fake rock. I will bring this to the Iceland workshop next year so participants can get up close and personal wide-angle images of Puffins. The camera has a WiFi device that can be operated from your phone up to 100 feet away.

Pacific Loon

Q: Who are some of your favorite wildlife photographers?

A: Since I’m a bird photographer, all these people specialize in birds and have all inspired me.

Jacob Spendelow

Matthew Studebaker

Connor Stefanison

Jess Findlay

Robert Royce

Greg Downing

Brian Small

Q: How has working in nature enhanced your life?

A: As a young boy, I found great solace and peace looking and studying birds in the forests. Now as an adult, I get to not only do this for a living, but I get to share it with many others. To be around other like minded people and to share the wonders of nature, to contribute to conservation, and to travel to amazing places, I surely have the best job in the world.

More of Murphy’s favorite bird photos can be seen here: http://www.alanmurphyphotography.com/favorites.htm

Cinnamon Teal

 

 

Brown Pelican

Least Sandpiper

 

September 23, 2018

Opens House October 20th At San Francisco Bay-Delta Center

Russ Curtis

The public is welcome at International Bird Rescue’s FREE Open House at its San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center in Fairfield.

This family friendly annual open house gives the public an exclusive behind the scenes chance to learn how Bird Rescue rehabilitates injured, orphaned, and sick waterbirds. More than 2,500 bird patients on average come through the doors each year.

This year has been a particularly busy year for the public supported non-profit. At least one hundred stranded young Common Murres, including “Mara the Murre”, flooded the center this summer. It also treated a high number of hungry pelicans that crash landed along Bay Area beaches.

There will also be exhibits, tours, kid’s activities, lectures and a silent auction! Admission is free and it’s all happening on Saturday, Oct. 20th from 12:30 – 4:30 P.M.

We encourage attendees to RSVP: https://bird-rescue.eventbrite.com

September 11, 2018

Public Invited to the 2018 Coastal Cleanup Day

Russ Curtis

September 15th Beach Trash Cleanup Focuses on Debris That Harm and Kill Seabirds

What: Coastal Cleanup Day in San Pedro

Where: White Point/Royal Palms Beach, 1799 West Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro 90731. (Map)

When: Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 9 AM to Noon

International Bird Rescue is joining local community groups, including the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, to help remove beach trash at the 2018 Coastal Cleanup Day on September 15.

Volunteers will pick up refuse along the White Point/Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro. This is one of 50 beach cleanup sites throughout Los Angeles County, and more information about this state-wide event is located here: https://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/ccd.html

The public is invited and encouraged to participate in the cleanup and can register online under White Point Beach.

Bird Rescue looks forward to helping make the beach a safer place for the public, wildlife and especially seabirds. Each year the Bird Rescue’s wildlife center treats hundreds of injured patients that have ingested or become entangled in fishing tackle and trash.

September 7, 2018

Emurregency: Mara the Murre Update #2

Russ Curtis

This young Common Murre, named “Mara”  has put on much needed weight. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds/International Bird Rescue

Why how she’s grown!

Mara the murre has tripled in weight since she was rescued in Marin County in late July. She arrived into care hungry and anemic and weighing only 240 grams. Her latest weight: 720 grams.

This Common Murre was named for one of our volunteers who was walking her dogs on the beach and spotted the very small bird bobbing in the surf. Thinking fast, the rescuer asked a passerby to secure her dogs and then scooped up the seabird. Afterward she called Marin Animal Control and the bird was transferred to our San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center in Fairfield, California..

The young seabird quickly became the bird ambassador for a seabird crisis that has been hitting the Northern California coast. Since mid-July, over 100 murres (rhymes with “furs”) have been admitted into intensive care. Many were starving, anemic and some were contaminated with oil.

After leaving the nest, Baby murres like Mara learn to forage with their fathers. Without parental guidance, and if left alone in the wild, they would slowly starve to death.

You can help birds like Mara by donating to our E-Murre-gency fund to help pay the extraordinary costs associated with this seabird stranding event. Donate now

 

August 28, 2018

E-murre-gency Sparks Seabird Media Attention

Russ Curtis

Common Murre chicks first day of waterproofing in pool. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds 7/24/18.

August hasn’t been a great month for starving seabirds, but the good news is the media has been shining a light on this crisis. Television and print media has provided outstanding coverage to educate the public about Common Murre and Northern Fulmars affected by changes in ocean environments. Donate

We suspect the surge in starving seabirds that we’ve seen at our California centers is part of a larger environmental problem. From warming oceans to depleted fish stocks, to large-scale seabird die-offs in Alaska, waterbirds are responding to their environments and the results are alarming. To see a list of news articles covering the current #emurregency at International Bird Rescue, see below.

Here’s a list of the top reports:

San Francisco Chronicle: El Niño fears grow as starving baby birds wash up on California beaches

NBC-TV: Alarming Number of Starving Seabirds Dying on Bay Area Beaches

KSBW-TV: Baby ‘penguins’ appearing on Central Coast beaches

Mercury News: California bird rescue group inundated with injured, starving waterbirds

ABC-TV: Starving, abandoned baby murres washing ashore in Bay Area

KCBS Radio: Starving Birds Could Mean El Nino is Coming

August 24, 2018

An Update on Mara the Murre

Russ Curtis

Mara is spending time with a rescued adult murre who is acting as a surrogate parent during her recovery. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds/International Bird Rescue

Dear Supporters,

Thanks to people like you, Mara is slowly recovering from starvation. We’re hand-feeding her every day, filling in for the role her father would have played. She’s also swimming with a rescued adult murre who is acting as a surrogate parent during her recovery. We continue to monitor her progress daily, but it will be many weeks before Mara is strong enough to be released. Continued care for birds like Mara is expensive which is why we still need your help.

Thanks to generous donations made by many individuals and our matching donor, we are almost halfway to our $100,000 goal. As we provide intensive care for an unprecedented number of waterbirds like Mara, the E-murre-gency continues to unfold.

Waterbirds in Crisis
In light of recent government decisions to loosen environmental regulations, NBC-TV Bay Area visited our SF Bay-Delta wildlife center to report first hand about the effects these decisions are having on marine life, including waterbirds like Mara. When the government steps back from environmental protections, non-profits like International Bird Rescue and concerned individuals like you, must STEP UP to fill the gap. We can’t do it alone.

We need to raise $100,000 to cover the cost of this crisis and reach our goal. Please donate today by visiting our Giving Grid campaign or donate directly through our website, and share this message with your friends. All donations made today will be matched dollar for dollar, doubling your impact.

For all those who have already given, thank you for your support – we couldn’t do this work without you. We dream of a world in which every person, every day, takes action to protect the natural home of wildlife and ourselves. Thank you for continuing to help us make that vision a reality.

Sincerely,

The Bird Rescue Team

 

August 21, 2018

Seabird E-murre-gency: Meet Mara

Russ Curtis

Meet Mara:

Young murres like Mara have been flooding our Northern California wildlife center for the past two months. Little Mara was named after her quick-thinking rescuer who was taking a morning walk on the beach and spotted something peculiar bobbing in the water – it looked like a tiny penguin. Springing into action, she found a passerby to hold her dogs while she rescued the confused and weak baby murre. Like the scores of young murre chicks in our care, Mara was found healthy, yet abandoned. This raises the question – what happened to her parents? Did her parents die from environmental causes? Baby murres like Mara learn to forage from their fathers. Without that guidance if left alone in the wild, they would slowly starve to death.

We have seen an alarming uptick in Common Murres coming into our center. Many were starving, and some were contaminated with oil. Since mid-July, over 100 murres have been admitted into intensive care at our San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center in Fairfield, California.

“E-Murre-gency” declared as unprecedented numbers of Common Murres need extensive care. This is a critical moment for waterbirds. From Brown Pelicans unexpectedly falling from the skies to polluted oceans and depleted fish stocks, this has been a challenging season. Increasing environmental challenges mean Bird Rescue is always responding to unexpected situations and struggling to absorb the costs.

We Need Your Help!
Bird Rescue needs to raise $100,000 by August 31st to help with the unexpected burden of caring for many additional birds beyond our budget. Thanks to an anonymous donor, for a limited time your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $50,000. Take action and donate now to save twice as many injured or orphaned birds, like Mara!

We dream of a world in which every person, every day takes action to protect the natural home of wildlife and ourselves. Thank you for helping us make that vision a reality.

With Gratitude,
The Bird Rescue Team

 

July 1, 2018

Bird Rescue Celebrates 40 Years With Dawn, Procter And Gamble

Prepared by Phil Kohlmetz

No one wishes for oil spills. Not petroleum companies, and certainly not those of us who care about the environment. But spills do happen, and one particularly bad spill occurred in 1971 right outside San Francisco Bay. When bad things happen, good people respond. A group of concerned local citizens trooped down to beaches and shoreline all around the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay in a desperate attempt to rescue thousands of birds covered in oil.

Dawn is holding a 40-year celebration at Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall in New York City.

After that first oil spill, we explored many different ways to clean oil off of aquatic birds. Seven years later, in 1978, International Bird Rescue started what would become a 40-year relationship (and counting) with Procter and Gamble. Through trial, error, and our tenacity to find a solution, we discovered that Procter and Gamble’s Dawn dish soap, was the golden ticket! It was inexpensive, effective, readily available, and Procter and Gamble was excited to learn about this somewhat unusual use of their product.

Since then, Procter and Gamble have become one of our biggest supporters, donating countless bottles of Dawn dish soap to us, and committing hundreds of thousands of dollars to support our wildlife rehabilitation, research, and spill response work.

Fortunately, our 47 years of work has helped improve emergency response techniques and outcomes for oiled wildlife across the globe. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of other threats to aquatic birds. Rescuing birds negatively affected by urban wildlife conflicts such as habitat loss, cruelty, and fishing entanglements (from hooks, lines, and nets) is an ever-increasing volume of our work.

See: History of DAWN helping save wildlife

We can all take action every day to make a difference and improve the  human impact on aquatic birds by opting for wooden stir sticks (instead of plastic) at the local coffee shop, using reusable water bottles (instead of single-use plastic bottles), making sure to never litter, and by donating to International Bird Rescue. Join us, and we can all continue this life-saving work. To learn more about becoming a corporate sponsor, click here.

Cleaning oiled wildlife at the 2010 Deepwater Gulf Oil Spill in Louisiana.

 

June 30, 2018

The Release Files: More Brown Pelicans Return to the Wild

Bird-Rescue

On a bright, sunny, morning with the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop, seven Brown Pelicans were returned to Northern California waters. The pelicans were nursed back to health after arriving sick and starving at International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center. The release included some older birds that received care for fishing line injuries. All were returned to the wild with the help of our volunteers at Fort Baker in Sausalito, CA.

The seabirds were among 88 brown pelicans that have flooded our two California wildlife centers since late April. They were found weak, hungry, cold, and unable to fly at parks and beaches as far south as Monterey, California. One pelican was even rescued in front of a coffee shop in downtown San Francisco.

The public was instrumental in helping these birds in need. They alerted local animal control officials that scooped up the lethargic, wide-winged seabirds. Many went the extra mile to assist these iconic coastal birds.

Four of the seven Brown Pelicans get ready to fly off into San Francisco Bay. Photo courtesy of Paul Alber

“We want to thank Frank from Crows Nest, South Carolina, who found a sick and weak pelican with a severe wing injury while in Santa Cruz and took action that ultimately saved its life,” said JD Bergeron, executive director. “At Bird Rescue, we are inspired by people like Frank who take action to help wildlife in crisis.”

“We send our deepest thanks to all the people who first saw these birds in trouble, to those who helped capture and bring them to our center, to the staff and volunteers who fed and medicated them, to the donors who helped pay for fish and veterinary care. I am so inspired by the village of caring people who step up to protect nature.”

The cause of the grounding of these sick and starving birds is still unknown, but we suspect that changing ocean conditions, including warming water temperatures and the lack of available fish, are main factors.

Each of these pelicans received two leg bands: One federal and one special Bird Rescue Blue-band. They include X59, X60, X61, X62, X63, X64, and X65.

Blue-banded California Brown Pelican Program

The California Brown Pelican represents a species of special interest to Bird Rescue. These birds continue to face many challenges including oil spills, fishing tackle entanglements, prey shortages, and climate change.

To help us track this iconic seabird, each one of the Brown Pelicans we release receives a large, blue, plastic leg-band bearing easily readable white numbers. Bird Rescue started banding its rehabilitated Brown Pelicans back in 2009 when these seabirds were de-listed from the endangered species list. With the help of citizen scientists, the blue-banded pelicans spotted in the wild can be reported on online: https://www.bird-rescue.org/contact/found-a-bird/reporting-a-banded-bird.aspx

How You Can Help

Bird Rescue continues to ask for the public’s help in caring for these brown pelicans in need. Donations can be made online at www.birdrescue.org or mailed to the center directly. We encourage anyone who spots a sick or injured pelican to call their local animal control or contact us directly at 707-207-0380.

International Bird Rescue – San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center
4369 Cordelia Road
Fairfield, California 94534

Media stories

San Francisco Chronicle: Injured, starving pelicans are rehabilitated, freed on San Francisco Bay shoreline

Fairfield Daily Republic: Brown pelicans – nursed back to health – return to wild

As the media records the event, rescued Brown Pelicans were returned to nature at Fort Baker near the Golden Gate Bride. Photo courtesy of Paul Alber

June 27, 2018

Bird Rescue Remains On-Call in the Wake of Two Major Oil Spills

Russ Curtis

Within the past week, there have been two notable oil spills impacting the world. In Rotterdam, Netherlands, hundreds of swans and other birds were oiled when 7,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil spilled into the harbor. Closer to home in Doon, Iowa, a train derailment leaked 230,000 gallons of oil into the Rock River. Both spills are categorized as “Tier 2” events, meaning that response officials are utilizing not only local responders but also national resources and response teams.

With 47 years of experience in oil spill response, we are eager to bring our skills to the scene and we stand prepared at a moment’s notice. Having handled a very similar situation to the Rotterdam spill in 2006, involving large numbers of swans at the Tallinn (Estonia) Oil Spill, we are on alert to offer our services and experience if and when it is needed. With close to 1,000 birds currently affected by the spill, we are currently in regular contact with the officials in the Netherlands and ready to activate when the call is made by on-scene officials.

Quick action is key to a successful wildlife response. With three crisis response hospitals and a fully trained team of staff and volunteers, International Bird Rescue is prepared and ready to respond to an oil spill 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our 45+ years of specialized experience in rescuing and caring for oiled wildlife has made International Bird Rescue a global leader in oil spill response, training, and preparedness. Even while caring for the over 300 rehabilitating birds currently in care, we are ready to take action – helping to do our part to make our global waters a safer place for waterbirds in crisis.

To read more about the spill in Rotterdam, click here. To learn more about the spill in Iowa, click here. To stay up-to-date on Bird Rescue’s involvement with these spills – watch out for updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

June 15, 2018

Summer “Drill Season” In High Gear

Bird-Rescue

 

Founded in the wake of one of the most significant spills in California history, International Bird Rescue has been an integral part of global oil spill response for the past 47 years. To-date we’ve responded to over 225 oiled wildlife responses throughout the world. Spill response preparedness has remained a core mission of Bird Rescue since our inception. While emergencies may not arise every day, being prepared for them is a huge part of the work that goes into any sort of emergency response work, including oil spills.

To optimally prepare for an oil spill emergency, trustees, emergency responders, oil producers, and shippers all get together periodically to review their response plans and execute drill exercises. During drills, spill personnel and equipment is put to the test by “responding” to hypothetical spill scenarios just as they would in the event of an actual spill. The summer and spring months are a very busy time of year for these events, and we are often invited to participate in multiple drills throughout the season.

International Bird Rescue strongly supports these drill exercises and is happy to provide a voice for wildlife amongst all of the other players at the table in these large-scale operations. We use these opportunities to learn, network, and educate other emergency response participants about the wildlife operations that occur during a spill.

In May, Board Member Ron Morris participated in a tabletop drill in Washington State.  The spill scenario occurred in the waters of Puget Sound, and Ron acted as the Deputy Wildlife Branch Director. As the former Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) for Spill Responses with the U.S. Coast Guard, Ron is well acquainted with processes of responding to a large-scale spill. When asked why he supports these collaborative drills, Ron spoke to what an excellent opportunity these drills are for working with and meeting fellow responders and gaining experience in new skillsets. “You don’t fail these things.” Ron proclaimed, “They are always an opportunity to learn.”

To learn more about our work in oil spill response, see our website.

 

June 13, 2018

The Release Files: Rescued Young Pelicans Get a Second Chance

Bird-Rescue

Healthy young Brown Pelicans released at Whites Point in San Pedro. Photos by Angie Trumbo

A beautiful day for a release! Three rehabilitated Brown Pelicans took to the skies and joined a flock of local pelicans as they returned to the wild Wednesday afternoon. The healthy seabirds were released at Whites Point in San Pedro after a month in Bird Rescue care.

The opening paragraph in the Associated Press story by John Rogers captured it best:

“Birds gotta fly, and to the delight of dozens of people gathered above a rock-strewn Southern California beach, that’s exactly what a trio of Brown Pelicans did when their cages were opened.”

Concern for ailing Brown Pelicans that live along the coast of California has been mounting the past few months. Since late April at least 80 sick and dying birds came into Bird Rescue’s two California wildlife centers. The first and second year Brown Pelicans admitted show signs of emaciation, hypothermia, and anemia.

Two of three pelicans released Wednesday.

Some of these cases, such as the two pelicans that crash-landed in the middle of a Pepperdine University graduation ceremony,  garnered media attention. Many more sick birds have been found grounded on LAX airport runways, on city streets, and in people’s yards.

It’s still a mystery what’s causing these birds to crash land. It could be the challenges of warmer ocean waters that chase the pelicans fish stocks to deeper, unreachable waters. What we do know is that these young seabirds need immediate care.

With the quick action of the public and local animal control agencies, ailing pelicans can be stabilized, hydrated and fed. After a month or more of care, more will return to their familiar coastal waters where hopefully they will find food and thrive in the wild.

Thanks to all the local folks that came out to cheer on these second chance pelicans. And thanks to our donors whose support makes it possible to give mother nature a little TLC!

Taking to the skies, youthful pelicans spread their wings after release.

June 3, 2018

2017 Annual Report On The Way

Bird-Rescue

Keep your eyes peeled for Bird Rescue’s 2017 Annual Report! You’ll have an opportunity to read about the most influential recent events, track our financials, read about the work of our wonderful staff and volunteers, and learn more about our vision for the future of Bird Rescue. The report will be published soon on our website and elsewhere, available to everyone.  Announcements about the expected release date to come.

Every year since our inception in 1971, International Bird Rescue has worked nonstop to remain on the cutting edge of oiled wildlife rehab and recovery. Because we specialize in aquatic birds we have the privilege of caring for some of the most mysterious and difficult species to rehabilitate such as grebes, loons, pelicans, surf scoters and more.

Each year presents challenges for us to conquer on behalf of the birds and the wild environments they call home. In our 2017 Annual Report, read more about some of the most compelling events presented to us in our recent past, such as the East Bay Mystery Spill, the Refugio Spill, and others. See how frequently we remove fish hooks and fishing line from our birds in care, and about other human impacts, we work to reverse, beyond oil spills, every day.

Learn about our financials, and about how we remain lean and efficient in order to get more work done. See how our history informs our future plans and get a peek into the direction Bird Rescue intends to take in 2018 and beyond. Read about our amazing staff and volunteers and enjoy our spectacular photography that illustrates the birds themselves, the reason behind all our efforts.

We’ll be announcing the release date and will be keeping you informed about how you can access the report and learn about every aspect of our work and about what we can all do for the future of the birds!

June 1, 2018

Rescuer’s Perspective – Katie Mcafee

Bird-Rescue

Between both our Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife centers, International Bird Rescue helps to save the lives of thousands of birds each year. Our specialized rehabilitation clinics are open 365 days a year and staffed with an incredible team of technicians, volunteers, center managers, and one resident Veterinarian. While we are grateful to this incredible group of people for the work that they do, almost all of the day-to-day rescues that we see would NOT be possible without the personal action of the many kind-hearted rescuers that bring birds to our centers every day. It is for this reason that we value the perspective and motivation behind the many rescues that these everyday heroes take the time to make. Today’s rescuer’s perspective focuses on Katie Mcafee who took matters into her own hands when she saw an abandoned group of baby ducklings on the side of a busy highway after their mother had been struck by a car.

It was a typical day for Katie as she was driving home from work on Highway 37, not far from our San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center in Fairfield, California. As she was preparing to exit the busy highway, she noticed a dead female Mallard on the side of the road, with a cluster of baby ducklings standing close by. She steered the car to the side of the road, and successfully coerced the young ducklings into her care. She then brought them to the center and shared her tale of saving the young bird’s lives.

When asked why she did what she did, Katie described the experience as “just knowing in my gut that I had to do something.” Katie mentioned that she drives highway 37 regularly, and often sees dead animals on the side of the road. Parts of highway 37 are active wildlife habitat, and as a result, many animals suffer a sad fate. Katie said that it felt good to actually be able to help the ducklings after seeing so many animals on the same road that could not be saved.

Katie is a prime example of the type of rescuer that we see come through our doors all of the time at the center. A nature enthusiast, who notices the disparity in the natural world, and wants to do something to help. When we asked Katie how she felt after doing her very good deed, she replied saying that she left the center with a sense of fulfillment and excitement after being able to help the young birds. Thank you, Katie, for helping the birds, and for joining us in our mission to do our part every day, to protect the natural world!