Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

April 15, 2015

Last Mystery Goo Bird Released Back To The Wild

Bird-Rescue

Russ Curtis of International Bird Rescue releases a male Surf Scoter, the last Mystery Goo  Response bird back to the wild in Sausalito on Wednesday. Photo courtesy Soren Hemmila, Marinscope Newspapers

The last Mystery Goo bird in care – a male Surf Scoter – was released Wednesday back to the wild.

The seaduck’s freedom represents the end of three long months of rehabilitation that included hundreds of birds that were contaminated in San Francisco Bay by a yet to be fully identified substance that coated birds with a sticky substance back in mid-January.

Male Surf Scoter was the last Mystery Goo released. Photo by Cheryl Reynodlss

Number: 165: A Male Surf Scoter was the last Mystery Goo bird released. Photo by Cheryl Reynodlss

“We are so happy to see the final clean, healthy seabird returned to the wild,” said Barbara Callahan, Interim Executive Director of International Bird Rescue (IBR). “We are also extremely grateful for the public’s support – including the generous donations that helped us fund this expensive response.”

The mystery goo impacted over 500 hundred aquatic birds – 323 were brought into care at IBR’s San Francisco Bay Center in Fairfield and 165 of those have now been RELEASED! The remaining birds were in such poor condition they could not be saved. At least 170 dead bird carcasses were picked up during January by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) personnel.

The goo covered the feathers of seabirds, destroying their ability to stay warm, but no mystery goo was found to be on the beach or in the water, which deepened the mystery.

No responsible party has yet to be identified and the cost of all the bird care has fallen to IBR who has relied on the help of the public and foundations for donations. Bird Rescue has spent nearly $150,000 on this unusual contaminant response. Donate here

Many of these rescued birds also came to the center with pressure sores on their hocks or toes from being stranded on hard land. These injures can take months of care and healing. Other patients had surgeries for keel injuries but most of those healed quickly.

On February 12, state and federal labs concluded that the substance that coated birds includes a mixture of non-petroleum-based fats or oils. See the press release from CAFW: http://ow.ly/J4bZp

This week a bill moved through the first round of committees that would open a state oil spill response fund to help pay for non-petroleum responses involving wildlife. See info on the bill proposed by California State Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco)

Surf Scoter released back to the wild by Russ Curtis of International Bird Rescue in Sausalito. Photo courtesy Soren Hemmila, Marinscope Newspapers

 

April 14, 2015

We Give Thanks During Volunteer Appreciation Week

Bird-Rescue

Janille_LA-Pelicans-Vol-web
This is Volunteer Appreciation Week and it reminds us that we appreciate our wonderfully helpful volunteers EVERY day!

Volunteers are a critical component of our 365 day a year bird care: They help feed our bird patients, keep clinics clean, run errands and perform some administrative duties.

Volunteers help cleanup a pond at our San Francisco Bay Center in April.

Top photo, Janille, a volunteer at our Los Angeles Center captures a Brown Pelican. Above, Volunteers help cleanup a pond at our San Francisco Bay Center in April. Photos by Bill Steinkamp and Cheryl Reynolds

Many of our volunteers have supported our “Every Bird Matters” efforts for more than 20 years!

During the Mystery Goo response this winter, we had more 300 volunteers that worked 5,000+ hours helping us rescue and rehabilitate the hundreds of seabirds that arrived at our San Francisco Bay Center.

We’re thankful to have volunteer help each day and without them the monumental task of caring for 5,000 injured, sick and orphaned aquatic birds at our two centers would be nearly impossible.

If you’d like to help, too, check out the upcoming volunteer orientations at both of our California centers: http://bird-rescue.org/get-involved/volunteer.aspx

April 10, 2015

Updated: Brown Pelican gunshot victim has perished

Bird-Rescue
Resting after two surgeries to repair a broken wing bone, this male Brown Pelican is in critical condition. Photo by Kelly Berry – International Bird Rescue

This male Brown Pelican is still in critical condition after being shot in early March. Photo by Kelly Berry – International Bird Rescue

Updated April 14, 2015:  Sadly, the Brown Pelican gunshot victim died this week.

Nearly a month following the horrific shooting of a Brown Pelican found in Redondo Beach, International Bird Rescue is still caring for this critically injured seabird. After two major surgeries the bird is receiving supportive care due to an infected gunshot wound that fractured the bird’s ulna (wing).

This majestic male Brown Pelican is receiving nutritional support plus pain medications and antibiotics to treat his infection. The large amount of damaged tissue at the gunshot wound is continuing to be an obstacle to healing.

“This Pelican is in very guarded condition and we’re treating him with utmost care to help him heal,” says Dr. Rebecca Duerr, International Bird Rescue’s staff veterinarian. “We hope that the public will assist us in finding the people responsible for this needlessly cruel and illegal act.”

Through an anonymous donor, there is a $5,000 reward offered to anyone with information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this shooting. To report, please call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at 310-328-1516.

Background

On March 12th, a pelican that could not fly, was captured by Redondo Beach Animal Control. After being brought to our Los Angeles wildlife center, International Bird Rescue staff discovered he had a broken wing (ulna) and a fish hook embedded in his right shoulder.

This case seemed like a straightforward fishing gear injury until clinic staff took x-rays and discovered the ulna fracture was due to a gunshot wound. Tiny speckles of metal visible were noted in the radiograph image.

Pelican-Adopt-ButtonBrown Pelicans are federally protected birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As a species only recently removed from the Endangered Species List in 2009, Brown Pelicans have enough challenges in their lives without being shot.

IBR depends on the support of the public to care for animals injured in cruelty incidents, as well as those harmed by fishing gear and other human-caused injuries. Please donate now or Adopt-a-Pelican

April 9, 2015

Your Donation Goes Twice As Far…

Bird-Rescue

Ducklings-group-1200px

Dear fellow bird lover,

After helping raise 1,400 baby birds last year, THIS spring is clearly going to be another busy season!

Last week we received a “Duckling Dozen” rescued by a California Highway Patrol officer and our friends at Solano County Animal Services. These 12 ducklings were rescued from the freeway after the mother duck lost her life. After closing the freeway, rescuers scooped the frightened birds up and quickly brought them to our San Francisco Bay Center.

Three goslings are some of the other baby birds in care this month at IBR. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

Three goslings in care this month at our San Francisco Bay Center. (Top) Lots of orphaned Mallard ducklings, including these rescued from a local freeway.  Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

This is where we ask you to help support these precious lives.

Become a member now during our Spring Membership Drive and a generous donor will match your contribution up to $10,000! Just think, we can double your donation to support the birds!

Sacred-Dove-AA-logo

We want to encourage monthly donors too, so we have special offer provided by ALEX AND ANI and their philanthropic division, CHARITY BY DESIGN. Supporters who become monthly donors will receive the ALEX AND ANI ‘Sacred Dove’ charm bangle, a beautiful piece from the ALEX AND ANI collection. It’s a wonderful way to show your support for the birds that inspire all of us every day. And you’ll be an official member of our Seabird Circle. Your pledge of $15 a month or more as a sustaining member makes it all possible.

With encroaching development squeezing out the available habitat for wildlife and changes in our climate, our patient-load continues to grow. Your support is needed more than ever to help us get through what we know will be a season full of animals in need – they need our lifesaving support to help them through being orphaned, entangled in fishing line, sick or injured.

Won’t you please join our Spring Campaign and help us meet our goal of raising $20,000 and help us help the thousands of wild birds that will need our help this year?

Thank you again for your unwavering and generous support,

Barbara Signature

 

 

 

Barbara Callahan
Interim Executive Director

April 3, 2015

The Release Files: Two Laysan Albatross Back To The Wild!

Bird-Rescue

Albatross-IMG_0779-Double-Release-webTwo Laysan Albatross, rare birds indeed for Southern California, are back in the wild this week after a successful release Thursday afternoon.

Usually, we see one a year, but to have two at the same time is pretty incredible,” said Julie Skoglund, Operations Manager at International Bird Rescue (IBR), quoted in a Daily Breeze newspaper story. Read more

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Two Laysan Albatross in the pool at IBR’s Los Angeles Center before release (above) off the San Pedro, CA coastline. Photos by Bill Steinkamp

The two wayward seabirds came into IBR’s Los Angeles Center late last month. One Laysan Albatross was rescued from a container ship and the other was found sitting in the desert. Read earlier blog post: Two Rare Albatross Ready For Release After Unusual SoCal Landings

Thanks to the Los Angeles County Lifeguards who shuttled the seabirds via boat ride to a release point off the San Pedro coastline.

IBR relies on the support of the public to care for wildlife, including wayward birds blown off course, those injured in cruelty incidents, as well as those harmed by fishing gear and other human-caused injuries.

Every Bird Matters and so does your donation!

April 1, 2015

Two Rare Albatross Ready For Release After Unusual SoCal Landings

Bird-Rescue

two-Laysan-Albatross-LA-Center

Two Laysan Albatross, rare seabirds for Southern California that were rescued separately in the Los Angeles area, will be released together this week. They were each rehabilitated at International Bird Rescue’s San Pedro center.

Laysan Albatross was found sitting on a construction site in Palm Desert. Photo courtesy Melissa Usrey

One Laysan Albatross was found sitting on a construction site in Palm Desert, CA. Photo courtesy Melissa Usrey

One Albatross was rescued on March 21st after being found trapped between two containers aboard a cargo ship headed to the Port of Long Beach. The seabird was also oiled by grease and was cleaned by IBR staff last week. Read earlier blog post: Laysan Albatross Long, Greasy Ride to Freedom

The other Laysan Albatross was found on March 20th in the desert city of Rancho Mirage, about 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It was stabilized by The Living Desert Zoo Gardens and transferred to IBR on March 30th.

Port_of_LB_LogoWe also want to say thanks to the Port of Long Beach for generously supporting the care of these majestic seabirds.

Laysan Albatross are frequent stowaways on container ships that travel the ocean highways. They have often been spotted resting or even building nests aboard these vessels.

The stowaway phenomenon is generally considered to be a simple case of mistaken identity. Laysan Albatrosses may see the flat surface of a cargo ship as the perfect new nesting island during breeding season.

With their tremendous 6 ½ foot wingspan, Laysan Albatross can glide long distances – sometimes 300-400 miles in one day. They breed on tiny islands in the North Pacific Ocean about 3,000 miles from California.

Top photo by Kelly Berry – International Bird Rescue

March 30, 2015

Join us in our “Every Bird Matters” Spring Membership Drive!

Barbara Callahan
First Duckling of the Spring baby bird season. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

First duckling of the Spring baby bird season. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Dear fellow bird lover,

Our first baby ducking showed up this week, signaling the start of beautiful and busy spring.

It’s already been a busy winter and we cared for hundreds of seabirds affected by the “mystery goo” event in San Francisco Bay. More than 160 of those birds have been cleaned and returned the wild.

Without a responsible party, we funded this extraordinary response with contributions from the public – bird lovers like you, who believe wildlife needs more support than ever, and they’re right!

To help us continue our “Every Bird Matters” programs we are asking all our supporters to join through our Spring Membership Drive. This will insure that we have funds to meet the need of thousands of baby birds that will flood our two California centers. Our goal is $20,000 for this drive.

Sacred-Dove

A wonderful donor has offered to match, dollar for dollar, any donations up to $10,000! What a great way to make your donation go twice as far and help us continue to save thousands of sick, injured and orphaned birds this year!

We want to encourage monthly donors too, so we have special offer provided by ALEX AND ANI and their philanthropic division, CHARITY BY DESIGN. Supporters who become monthly donors will also receive the ALEX AND ANI ‘Sacred Dove’ charm bangle, a beautiful piece from the ALEX AND ANI collection. It’s a wonderful way to show your support for the birds that inspire all of us every day. And you’ll be an official member of our Seabird Circle. Your pledge of $15 a month or more as a sustaining member makes it all possible.

Mallard Duckling at SF Bay CenterOr, you can make a single gift by clicking here. Whatever the level, all our supporters are bird rescue heroes.

We see evidence everyday that the environment is changing and we receive thousands of birds each year that are harmed by human impact, whether it is fishing line entanglement, urban encroachment or pollution. To quote our past director, Jay Holcomb, “When you stop caring for the individuals, you’ve stopped caring about the population”.

Your gift is crucial to ensuring we continue to give world-class care to birds in need, including this Brown Pelican, injured by a gunshot to its wing and in care right now at our Los Angeles Center.

Thank you for your generosity and for helping us continue to help the birds.

With deepest gratitude,

Barbara Signature

 

 

Barbara Callahan
Interim Executive Director

March 27, 2015

Laysan Albatross Long, Greasy Ride to Freedom

Bird-Rescue

Laysan-Albatross-2-webA Laysan Albatross who hitched a ride on a west coast bound container ship is now safely in care at our Los Angeles center.

Laysan Albatross was cleaned of grease after being stuck on a container ship for at least 10 days.

Laysan Albatross was cleaned of grease after being stuck on a container ship for at least 10 days.

The seabird was emaciated and dehydrated when it was rescued on March 21st. It was also trapped between containers for at least 10 days on a ship enroute to the Port of Long Beach.

To add to its predicament, the Albatross was also found to be contaminated by grease and had a bathtub ring of oil around its chest. The bird was cleaned of grease at our center in San Pedro.

Over the last two days the bird has received supportive care (IV fluids and oral nutritional tubings). This week the bird is gaining weight and will soon be released back to the wild.

Laysan Albatross are frequent stowaways on container ships that travel the ocean highways. They have often been spotted resting or even building nests aboard these vessels.

Read more on these wandering seabirds of the high seas:

Albatross: Looking for Land in All the Wrong Places

Double stowaway: Laysan Albatross catches a ride on container ship and a pickup

LAAL-Cleaning-Grease-off-Feathers-web

 

 

 

March 23, 2015

$5,000 Reward Now Offered in Brown Pelican Gunshot Incident

Bird-Rescue
With purple "vet wrap" to support the pinned wing, Brown Pelican is recuperating at our Los Angeles Center. Photo by Kylie Clatterbuck

With purple “vet wrap” to support the pinned wing, Brown Pelican is recuperating at our Los Angeles Center. Photo by Kylie Clatterbuck

International Bird Rescue, along with help from an anonymous donor, is now offering a $5,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for shooting an adult male Brown Pelican in Southern California.

Anyone with information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for shooting this bird should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at 310-328-1516.

donate_button_IBROn March 12th, a pelican that could not fly, was captured by Redondo Beach Animal Control. After being brought to our Los Angeles wildlife center, International Bird Rescue staff discovered he had a broken wing (ulna) and a fishhook embedded in his right shoulder.

This case seemed like a straightforward fishing gear injury until clinic staff took radiographs and discovered the ulna fracture was due to a gunshot wound, as seen by the tiny speckles of metal visible in the X-ray image.

The fishhook injury thankfully was superficial, but the gunshot wound was very contaminated with debris and dead tissue. A few small pieces of smashed bone that were nearly falling out of the wound needed to be removed.

Our veterinarian Dr Rebecca Duerr performed surgery to pin the ulna together on March 18.  The surgery went well, but the injury still carries a substantial risk of infection and this case still holds a guarded prognosis for success.

Dr Rebecca Duerr removes pellet that broke Pelican's wing. Photo by Kelly Berry-International Bird Rescue

Dr Rebecca Duerr cleans and closes a gunshot wound prior to pinning the fractured pelican’s wing. Photo by Kelly Berry – International Bird Rescue. The x-ray (below) of the broken ulna show pieces of bullet.

Brown Pelicans are federally protected birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As a species only recently removed from the Endangered Species List in 2009, Brown Pelicans have enough challenges in their lives without being shot. Please encourage your friends, neighbors and relatives to treat our wild avian neighbors with kindness and compassion.

IBR depends on the support of the public to care for animals injured in cruelty incidents, as well as those harmed by fishing gear and other human-caused injuries. Please donate now

(Updated with reward info on March 23, 2015)

Gunshot fractured this Brown Pelican's ulna (wing). X-ray by International Bird Rescue

March 14, 2015

Update: Mystery Goo Bird Numbers

Bird-Rescue
Horned Grebe recuperating in one of our pools. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Horned Grebe, cleaned of mystery goo, recuperating in pool at San Francisco Bay Center. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Nearly two months after 323 mystery goo seabirds arrived, International Bird Rescue is still treating the last of the bird patients affected by this unusual contaminant.

19 seabirds, including, Surf Scoters, Buffleheads and Horned Grebes are still among those in care. A total of 154 cleaned, healthy birds have now been returned to the wild.

The birds had their feathers coated by a sticky, non-petroleum substance that grounded them along the East Bay shore of San Francisco Bay.

Mystery Goo Numbers (as of March 14, 2015)

323 = Brought to center

154 = Released to date

110 = Humanely euthanized

40 = Dead on Arrival

19 = Birds still in care (mainly Surf Scoters)

Note: About 170 birds were collected dead by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) personnel.

Bufflehead awaits vet clearance for release. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Bufflehead awaits vet clearance for release. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

The 19 birds that still remain in care are those that entered our San Francisco Bay center with serious but treatable medical problems. These included severe emaciation, anemia, or injuries.

Many of these rescued birds also came to the center with pressure sores to their hocks or toes from being stranded on hard land. These injures can take months of care and healing. Other patients had surgeries for keel injuries but most of these healed quickly.

Background

In mid-January hundreds of birds were rescued from Alameda south to Hayward in San Francisco Bay. Each was coated with an unknown tacky substance dubbed “mystery goo”.

Female Surf Scoter. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Female Surf Scoter. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

On Thursday, February 12, state and federal labs concluded that the substance that coated birds includes a mixture of non-petroleum-based fats or oils. Read the full press release from California Department Fish and Wildlife: http://ow.ly/J4bZp

With still no responsible party identified to help cover the cost of bird care, International Bird Rescue’s funded most of response costs with the help of the public and foundation donations. Bird Rescue has spent $150,000 on the response and continues to rely on public support to help with costs associated with this unusual contaminant response. Donate Now

Media reports

As scientists work to identify mystery goo, rescued birds return home, Los Angeles Times, March 1 ,2015

 

March 11, 2015

Saying thanks to some very helpful foundations

Laurie Pyne

somerhalderlogoInternational Bird Rescue would like to thank the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and the Summerlee Foundation, Annie Lee Roberts Emergency Rescue Fund for their generous funding that helped to rescue and treat the hundreds of birds that were coated in “mystery goo” in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The caring and concerned teams at these foundations rapidly responded to our emergency request for life-saving support. We are deeply grateful to each of them and to all of you that helped these birds get back to the wild. We couldn’t have done it without you.ConFundLogo

 

 

 

 

summerlee-foundation

 

March 3, 2015

The Release Files: Bonaparte’s Gull

Rebecca Duerr
Bonaparte's Gull takes flight. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

Bonaparte’s Gull takes flight in Suisun Marsh. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

We recently returned a Bonaparte’s Gull to the wild after this patient was treated in the midst of the “Mystery Goo Response”.

This Bonaparte’s Gull was introduced as a Patient of the Week December 6, 2014. The bird was found at Silver Oak Winery in Sonoma County, and arrived with a very large laceration exposing its thigh muscles from hip to mid leg (3 inches long on a 120 gram bird!). It also had severe damage to its right foot.

BOGUThe thigh wound was surgically closed. The middle toe was not salvageable and was amputated, while the outer toe had a laceration that was sutured closed, and an injury to the inner toe’s first toe joint was stabilized with a splint for two weeks.

This bird’s injuries were consistent with what we have seen before in birds that have run into razor wire. After two months of treatment, the thigh laceration and foot injuries have healed very nicely and the bird grew new feathers on the new skin at the former thigh wound.

This resilient little gull spent the last few weeks flying and eating very well while growing in new feathers. It was released last month at the Suisun Marina.

– Rebecca Duerr, Staff Veterinarian, International Bird Rescue

Bonapartes-release-over-water-web

February 26, 2015

Honoring school kids fundraising efforts with a bird release

Bird-Rescue

Pelicans-Released-Alameda-PDS“I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way…” 
~Greatest Love Of All song written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed

On a beautifully clear Thursday morning we honored a special group of caring third graders from Park Day School in Oakland. We inviting them to a bird release to celebrate their fundraising prowess after they collected $603.30 for the Mystery Goo seabird response.

Thank you PDS kids and their teachers Renee Miller, Mona Halaby, and Jeanine Harmon!

All photos by Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

Pelicans-Alameda-Release-SF-skyline

Among the birds released: Four Brown Pelicans at Encinal Beach in Alameda.

"Park Day School bird release 2/16/15 at Encinal Beach Alameda"

Park Day School students present ceremonial $603.30 check from fundraising efforts for mystery goo birds.

"Park Day School bird release 2/16/15 at Encinal Beach Alameda"

February 20, 2015

Honoring Volunteers: Release of 18 More Clean, Healthy Mystery Goo Birds

Bird-Rescue

2-SUSC-Release-Feb-20-2015-CR-webToday we gave thanks to some of our wonderful volunteers who were so instrumental in returning clean, healthy mystery goo birds back to the wild. As part of the celebration, 18 more seabirds were released at Fort Baker in Sausalito Friday morning.

Volunteer-Release-Feb-20-2015-CR-web

Volunteers celebrate the release the seabirds, including the Surf Scoter (above). Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

With this release, the total of clean birds returned to the wild is now 128. Another 56 birds are still in care at our San Francisco Bay Center in Fairfield.

More than 300 volunteers from all over California came together to help in the care of hundreds of birds that began arriving for the East Bay on January 16, 2015 coated in a mystery substance. Read more

We’d like to again thank all the groups that sent staff and volunteers, including: Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), East Bay Regional Parks, Wildlife Emergency Services, Peninsula Humane Society, Baykeeper, Audubon California, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, Lindsey Wildlife Museum, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, OSPR, Bird Ally X, Wildlife Care Association, Native Songbird Care and Education Center, Pacific Wildlife Care, Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley, Mount Diablo Audubon, Golden Gate Audubon, Native Animal Rescue, SPCA for Monterey County, Napa Wildlife, Marine Mammal Center, California Waterfowl Association, Beach Watch and SeaWorld.

Vols-Release-Feb-20-2015-RC-web

February 17, 2015

Mystery Goo Partially Identified, Cost Nears $150,000 To Rescue Birds

Bird-Rescue
"Gummy Bear" the gooed Horned Grebe was released on February 12.

“Gummy Bear” the gooed Horned Grebe was released on February 12 at Fort Baker in Sausalito. Photo by Russ Curtis

As the mysterious goo that affected seabirds in San Francisco Bay is a little closer to being identified, International Bird Rescue continues to treat affected birds a month after more than 500 hypothermic and dying birds were discovered.

With no responsible party to help with the cost of bird care, International Bird Rescue’s finances are strained. To date, the non-profit organization has spent $150,000 on the response. It continues to rely on public support to help with costs associated with this unusual contaminant response. Donate Now

“We really need the public to step up and support the care of these beautiful seabirds,” said Barbara Callahan, interim executive director of International Bird Rescue.

On Thursday, Feb 12th, state and federal labs concluded that the substance that coated birds includes a mixture of non-petroleum-based fats or oils. Read the full press release from California Department Fish and Wildlife: http://ow.ly/J4bZp

See: San Francisco Chronicle story: Scientists close in on IDing bird-killing mystery goo

Volunteer Kathy Koehler and husband, Bill, release female Surf Scoters.

Volunteer Kathy Koehler and husband, Bill, release female Surf Scoters. Photo by Russ Curtis

“We are so grateful that the goo has been identified,” said Barbara Callahan. “This was a vexing substance to remove from the birds, but we succeeded even though we couldn’t identify the substance.”

The goo covered the feathers of the seabirds, destroying their ability to stay warm, but no mystery goo was found to be on the beach or in the water, which deepened the mystery.

Each of the birds was medically stabilized and then cleaned using a combination of baking soda and vinegar, followed by washing with Dawn detergent, and rinse to repair waterproofing.

The birds treated include: Surf Scoters, Horned Grebes, Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes, and Scaups. More than 70% the bird affected were Surf Scoters.

The birds were mainly rescued beginning on January 16, 2015 along the East Bay shoreline from Alameda south to Hayward. All of the live birds came in to IBR’s San Francisco Bay Center in Fairfield, CA.

110 Birds Have Been Returned to the Wild

On Thursday, February 12, six more cleaned birds were released at Fort Baker in Marin County. Included in the release was a Horned Grebe, dubbed “Gummy Bear” by clinic staff. This bird came into care early in the response completely covered in goo. Photo (above) shows before and after cleaning. See “Gummy Bear” video

Horned Grebe aka "Gummy Bear" came with super gunked feathers, 3 weeks later it was released clean.

Horned Grebe aka “Gummy Bear” came with super gunked feathers, 3 weeks later it was released clean. [See Larger Photo] Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

Of the 323 brought in for care, 110 now have been released back to the San Francisco Bay. Another 78 birds are still in care. 135 died in care.

170 birds were collected dead by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) personnel.

The birds that still remain in care are those that entered our San Francisco Bay Center with serious but treatable medical problems. These included severe emaciation, anemia, or injuries.

Many of the rescued birds came to the center with pressure sores to their hocks or toes from being stranded on hard land, and these may take up to 2 or 3 months to treat. Several dozen birds have also had surgeries for keel injuries but most of these healed quickly. Some of these have already been released; others should be ready to go soon.

No new goo-covered, live birds have been found since Thursday, January 22.

Surf-Scoters-Feb-1-in-pool-MR-1200px

Male Surf Scoters, 70% of the seabirds rescued, fill pool at our San Francisco Bay Center. Photo by Mark Russell